Travel is a notoriously difficult issue when it comes to pregnancy. If you’ve just found that you’re pregnant or you’re past the first trimester, you may be wondering when and where you can travel and how your pregnancy affects your travel insurance
When can you travel when you are pregnant?
Many people think that you cannot travel at all when you are pregnant, but this is not true and you can actually travel during long periods during your pregnancy. Experts advise against travelling during the early stages of pregnancy, as this is the period of greatest risk of miscarriage. Many women also find it unpleasant to travel during the first three months as a result of nausea and morning sickness. The best time to travel is during the second trimester, as most women have stopped feeling sick by this point and the risk of miscarriage is low.
There is no reason to stop pregnant women travelling, but experts do advise women to be particularly cautious when travelling during their pregnancy; it is best to avoid areas where there is a high risk of disease or illnesses, it is best to keep flight time fairly short, as air travel increases the risk of blood clots and it is always a good idea to research the resort in advance to find out about healthcare facilities in the local area.
After you reach week 28, the airline you are travelling with may request a letter from your doctor saying that you are not at high risk of complications; the letter will also be used to confirm the due date. Most airlines will not carry pregnant women after 36 weeks (and 32 weeks for women expecting twins) and insurance providers also have cut-off points for pregnant women.
How does pregnancy affect travel insurance?
Pregnancy does affect travel insurance and most providers ask you to confirm whether or not you are pregnant when you take out travel insurance. This does not mean that you cannot get travel insurance when you are pregnant; there are many providers that offer policies for pregnant women, but you may have to provide additional details about your health and there may be restrictions for cover, especially during the latter stages of pregnancy.
It is worth bearing in mind that you may struggle to get travel insurance if you are near your due date; this is because pregnant women are considered relatively high risk of travel insurers and the closer the due date, the higher the risk of the woman going into labour during their trip. Many providers have a cut off point, which is often around 8 weeks prior to the due date, but some will not provide cover after 28 weeks, so make sure you check the details of your policy very carefully.
Checking your policy
It is important to check every detail of your policy and to ensure that you know what your policy offers; generally speaking, as with most insurance policies, the more you pay, the more comprehensive the cover and it is worth spending a little more to ensure that you are protected for every potential eventuality. Check the details of your travel insurance policy for information about early birth, hospital costs, care during labour and changing your return date.
When you travel, it is a good idea to take your medical notes and your insurance details with you; it is also a good idea to find out about local healthcare facilities and make sure you know the emergency helpline number in the country you are visiting.
If you are travelling by plane, make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and stay active during the flight; the risk of clotting increases when you fly, so try to keep your legs moving and get up and walk about every half an hour.