Nowadays, being pregnant is not considered to be an automatic reason for not carrying on with your everyday life. However, it is only a few decades ago that a woman with child was advised to stay indoors, stop working and rest herself. Not much chance of that when you see ladies such as the Duchess of Cambridge being discharged from hospital two whole days after giving birth. But women should still be careful when we travel, especially if you are going abroad or to a country where English is not the first language.
So unless you have a high-risk pregnancy and have been advised not to travel, there is no reason why you cannot enjoy some time away with your loved ones. But you should bearing mind that your condition will put some restrictions on what you can and can’t do, however, so long as you prepare yourself and are organised, your trip should be worry free.
Here is our guide to traveling whilst pregnant:
Preparing to book your holiday
It is important to have a check up with your health-care professional, before you go, so that they can give you a clean bill of health. You can also discuss where you are going and they will be able to advise you about any possible dangers. You should always let your doctor know of your plans and listen to what they say about your holiday. You will need to get a letter from your doctor or midwife which states that you are healthy enough to travel, as most airlines insist on this if you are more than 28 weeks pregnant. You may be charged for this letter.
Picking your holiday destination
When you are in your first trimester you can travel quite far away without many worries, however, from the sixth or seventh month onwards, this is not advised. Mothers-to-be suffer in the heat so try not to plan a holiday where it is likely to be too hot, as pregnant women in their last trimester will be more likely to have water retention and swelling in their ankles.
Likewise, no active sports or anything high energy or too risky, such as water skiing, rock climbing etc, and you should aim to stay out of the midday sun from 11am and 3pm, making sure that adequate sun protection is applied and that the pregnant women is hydrated throughout the day.
Before you go away
When you pack your suitcase, there are a few essential things you must take with you. Firstly it is very important that you bring with your all you maternity notes, and the letter the doctor or midlife gave you that enables you to fly or travel. Secondly, if you are traveling in Europe, you must get the medical insurance card called E111, as this entitles you to the same medical care as you would receive in the UK for free. If you do not have this card you will be charged for seeing a doctor or being treated in a hospital.
It is important that you check out the local doctors and nearby hospitals that are situated nearest to where you are staying. You might think this is being overcautious, but in an emergency you will be glad that you had already located their whereabouts.
It is very important that you are comfortable while you are traveling, so that you do not put yourself at risk from a miscarriage or premature birth. To avoid getting DVTs or blood clots you should get up every half an hour or so and stretch your legs. This will keep the circulation going and is relatively easy to do if you are traveling in a plane or train. If you are traveling in a car where you cannot easily move about,, consider compression hosiery, or ask your doctor for some advice.
Once you are there
Protect yourself from mosquitoes by wearing long sleeves, during the day and at night, and by spraying mosquito repellent, but be sure to ask your pharmacist about suitable insect repellents that you can use in pregnancy.
Drink water from bottles and stick to your normal diet rules that you have been throughout your pregnancy. Steer clear of food that has been left out in the open for hours on a buffet, choose freshly prepared meals instead, and always peel your fruit and vegetables, to avoid food poisoning.
Most of all, have a relaxing time, as once your baby has arrived, your holiday memories will seem like a distant dream!