It’s becoming more and more popular for pregnant women to enjoy a getaway before their little one arrives. Often described as a babymoon, these breaks are an opportunity to relax and be waited on hand and foot.
However, it’s natural to have concerns about travelling when you’re carrying a baby, and there are some extra precautions you need to take while you’re away from home.
We’ve listed the pros and cons of pregnant travel, so you can make the right choice for you and your growing family.
Pros of Travelling While Pregnant
- You can get some well-deserved time off
Pregnancy can be very hard work, thanks to all the changes it brings — a holiday will help you relax and take a break from everyday life.
- You can spend quality time with your partner
Your lives will change forever once you have a baby (and this is probably not the first time you’ve heard that!) Taking a moment to enjoy life just the two of you will create memories to see you through those first few sleep-deprived nights, and ensure you go into parenthood feeling connected and united about your family’s future.
- You can still explore
While strenuous activities are out of the question, you don’t have to do nothing all day (unless you want to, of course). You can still see the sights and soak up a different culture, you just need to be more cautious and take the day at a slower pace than you would normally. Make time for regular refreshment breaks and always listen to your body.
- It’s the perfect opportunity to get pampered
Book into a spa hotel for the ultimate babymoon indulgence. Many spas now cater especially for pregnant women — think prenatal massages and top-to-toe treatments — so sit back and enjoy being waited on hand and foot.
- Most travel insurance policies cover pregnancy as standard
According to Holidaysafe’s Travelling When Pregnant guide, you may not even need to disclose your pregnancy to your insurer, unless you have a medical condition caused by pregnancy. (Find more insurance advice and other holiday planning tips here.)
Cons of Travelling While Pregnant
- It limits which countries you can visit
Some countries require you to get vaccinations before you visit, but not all vaccinations are suitable for pregnant women.
As a general rule, vaccines which contain a live version of the virus they protect you against are the most risky, because the virus could affect your unborn baby, but it’s better to get vaccinated than not.
Always find out if there are vaccination requirements for potential babymoon destinations, and travel somewhere where you don’t need them whenever possible.
- You may not be able to travel far
Long-haul flights can be stressful and tiring at the best of times, never mind when you’re pregnant, and depending on how far along you are, you may not be able to fly at all. General consensus is that pregnant women cannot fly from 37 weeks.
If the thought of sitting on a plane or train for hours makes you shudder in horror, opt for a destination close to home. You could even plan a staycation and see some more of what your own country has to offer.
- You need to plan well in advance
It’s important to get advice about your travel plans from your doctor before you book anything. They’ll be able to advise you if you can travel, put your mind at ease if you can, and write a letter clearing you to fly if you can do so.
Even if the airline doesn’t require one, it’s worth carrying a letter regardless, especially if you’re starting to show. The crew are able to stop you from boarding if your pregnancy could potentially be harmful to you or your fellow passengers — having a doctor’s letter will reassure them.
- Not all activities are suitable for pregnant women
Perhaps it’s obvious that sports and adventure activities are out of the question when you’re pregnant, but there are also other activities you should take care to avoid:
- Theme park rides — sudden jolts can be harmful to the baby
- Cycling — your centre of gravity will shift, affecting your balance and increasing the risk of an accident
- Sitting in hot tubs and saunas — overheating can be harmful to the baby
- Scuba diving — the air bubbles which form when you surface can be harmful to both you and the baby
- It can be exhausting
You might just want to sit back and relax at home, without worrying about travelling, and who can blame you? Whatever you decide, it’s important to look after yourself.
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