Can you? Should you? Is it safe? Yes, yes and yes. Whilst pregnant we enjoyed a two week road trip around Europe before jetting off the Majorca for our final hoorah. Not too mention an action packed weekend in London, clocking up 10 miles a day! There are plenty of things to consider and precautions to be aware of to ensure you and your little one remain safe and comfortable.
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A new term that has been gaining popularity over the last ten years, a babymoon refers to your final last holiday before two become three. Some couples decide to spend big bucks and indulge in a tropical paradise, with the understanding that they wont be travelling for a few years after giving birth.
We spent two weeks at an adults only hotel in Cala D’or, a quieter alternative and within our budget. It was beautiful, relaxing and the perfect holiday as we eagerly awaited the arrival of George. I really recommend treating yourself to a babymoon, spend time finding a destination within your budget or visit your favourite haunt one last time.
WHEN TO TRAVEL?
The first 12 weeks of pregnancy for first time Mothers is a scary time. You just want to get your baby through that first trimester safe and sound. For some women this first taste of pregnancy can be a bit rough, nausea and vomiting so you might want to avoid travel during this phase. If you have none of these symptoms, then go for it! We went travelling at 10 weeks pregnant because fortunately, I didn’t experience any of the above.
Also travelling in the final months of pregnancy can be tiring and uncomfortable. You might find the best time to travel or take a holiday is in mid-pregnancy, second trimester between 3 and 6 months. But if your pregnancy has no complications then there’s no reason why you can’t travel safely, as long as you take the right precautions.
SHOP OUR RECOMMENDED TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
FLYING WHEN PREGNANT
Flying isn’t harmful to you or your baby, but I would absolutely have a chat with your midwife or Doctor about your intentions before booking your flight. If you are having a stress-free pregnancy then they will encourage you to get out there whilst you can! Asking them is just a precaution, they can only offer advice and ultimately it is your decision.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, when you are bigger and heavier you might not want to be sat down on a cramped, noisy plane for hours on end. The flight home from Majorca was horrible, I had had enough half an hour into the four hour flight!
Any flights lasting over 4 hours carry a small risk of blood clots. I bought a pair of compression socks for the flight, which will help reduce leg swelling. Drink plenty of water, wear something comfy and try to walk the aisles every 30 minutes if possible.
The chance of going into labour is naturally higher after 37 weeks (around 32 weeks if you’re carrying twins), and some airlines won’t let you fly towards the end of your pregnancy. Check with the airline for their policy on this.
FITNESS TO FLY DECLARATION
After week 28 of pregnancy, the airline may ask for a letter from your doctor or midwife confirming your due date, and that you aren’t at risk of complications. This is standard procedure and will apply to your travel insurance also. The letter is free to obtain and will cost nothing to get it signed.
Check with your airline to see if they have a template/document that you can print off. Ryanair have their own and TUI. I called the nearest birthing centre and made an appointment to get my letter signed. Take your white pregnancy book with you and a qualified midwife or doctor will look through your notes and sign for you.
If you have experienced complications during your pregnancy I would recommend discussing travel with your Doctor and/or Midwife.
TRAVEL VACCINES WHEN PREGNANT
Vaccines depend solely on the location you are intending to visit. We only visited Europe so therefore did not require any vaccines specifically for travel. In general, the majority of ‘live’ vaccines (that use live bacteria) that aren’t recommended during pregnancy because of concerns that they could harm your baby.
However, some live vaccines may be considered if the risk of infection outweighs the risk of live vaccination. Again, chose your destination wisely and avoid destinations that are experiencing violence, or unrest etc. in terms of vaccines I would speak with your Midwife and/or Doctor about the location you want to visit and get some advice before booking flights.
In my early 20s I definitely took some holidays without travel experience (cringe) but as soon as I we discussed travelling whilst pregnant we immediately updated out travel insurance to let them know I was pregnant. We have travel insurance through our bank, Nationwide.
Nathan spent a good half an hour of the telephone asking questions which they were really happy to answer. His main concern was hospital fees if I was to go into labour early, how it worked and who would foot the bill. Along with if I was to go into labour before the flight, would we be entitled to our money back?
It is worth calling your insurance provider and asking these questions. If you do not like the responses then shop around for an insurance provider that has a package that suits your budget and lifestyle. Don’t risk flying or travelling when pregnant without travel insurance. It is not worth the risk and you may find that you are unable to relax because you don’t have that security blanket.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT DESTINATION
So when you’re pregnant you are essentially an oven and you are running at a different temperature than everyone else. Therefore water and a swimming pool were essential. For me, I had a list of requirements that we took into consideration when choosing a destination.
The resort had to be within a one hour drive of the airport. I wanted water to cool down and take the weight off, literally! and access to foods that I trusted weren’t going to make me ill.
We found it handy to right a list of things you want or desire to narrow down the destination field. Our road trip across Europe during the beginning of my pregnancy was fun and the weather was cooler. Our babymoon to Majorca offered manageable weather and heat. A short flight, English speaking and a hospital within an hours drive.
FIND THE NEAREST HOSPITAL
Before travelling we located the nearest hospital to our locations and write down the address, should anything happen we would be able to pass over the card to a taxi driver. We now do this as part of our planning for any trip. During pregnancy and during our baby travel year.
As George has grown and our confidence in him and travelling with a baby has increased we are more experienced at the issues that travelling can create.
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