Babymoon or Bust - How to travel safe and sound while pregnant
There’s been a lot of talk in the media of late about the babymoon holidays that turn bad. Just take a recent story by The Age of a pregnant woman on vacay in the Whitsunday Islands who had her baby delivered in a helicopter at 27 weeks or the New Jersey couple who sadly lost one of their twins from premature birth, whilst holidaying in Europe.
While some incidents are unavoidable, if you’re planning on taking one last trip (free of nappies, wipes and prams) before reality sets in, there are a few things to look out for when it comes to your travel insurance and some tactics for travelling when pregnant.
Here are our top tips:
1. Know thy dates
The number one thing you will need to check when you are planning your babymoon is how long the insurer will cover you up to. While some offer coverage for pregnancy up to 32 weeks, others have limits of 26 weeks and some insurers don’t cover pregnancy at all.
So make sure you know exactly how far along you’re and check that the insurer provides cover for pregnancy at this date, to ensure if any mishaps occur you’re financially protected.
2. Be honest with your insurer
Being pregnant is listed as a pre-existing medical condition so you’ll need to be upfront about this when looking at different quotes, as well as informing them of any complications you’ve had in the past or whether the pregnancy is a result of an IVF programme. Each of these things will impact your policy and whether you will be covered at all.
3. Get a letter from your doctor
If you're planning on travelling late in your pregnancy, or you’re carrying more than one child, your insurer may cover you if you get a letter from your doctor/nurse to say that it is safe for you to fly. But even still, the airline you’re travelling on may have different rules so you’ll need to read the fine print of both.
4. Check Smartraveller
Visit the Australian Government's Smartraveller website before booking your tickets, to ensure that the country you’re thinking of babymooning at is free of any travel warnings from things like political strikes or natural disasters. Also avoid travel to countries which pose a high risk of malaria as the risks are much higher for pregnant women.
5. Choose your aircraft carefully
Avoid travelling in small unpressurised aircrafts as you’ll have less access to oxygen than in a pressurised cabin.
6. Keep moving on the flight
Be extra vigilant about moving around the cabin when flying, especially on long haul flights, given pregnant women will be more prone to blood clots. You should get up and move around every hour for at least 3 minutes.
7. Avoid high risk activities
Say no to activities which are out of the ordinary, like adventurous water sports or going to areas of high altitude.
8. Be vigilant with your food and drink
If you’re in a new place where food is very different risk of food poisoning may be higher, so be extra careful by packing your own snacks for any day trips and insisting on bottled water.
For more hints and tips for travelling while pregnant, read our Travel Insurance guide for Pregnancy.