Well, the honest answer is – that depends. First baby or experienced mum? Family history of challenging births? Natural nest-builder or restless in your third trimester? All these, and many more, will influence how late you should consider travelling in late pregnancy. Some mums-to-be can’t imagine leaving their homes after their sixth month of pregnancy. Whilst others find themselves craving exercise and novel experiences right up to the day they go into labour.
So while it is a personal decision. Our panel of experienced maternity nurses have some excellent holidaying while pregnant tips to help you make up your mind.
Some anti-malaria tablets are unsafe during pregnancy, and some vaccines. Ones that use live bacteria or viruses – are also not recommended. So if you’re travelling, do your research and if your vaccinations weren’t up to date before you got pregnant. Consider travelling to somewhere that won’t require vaccines or malaria prophylactics.
There are few things more irritating that being stuck in a car that isn’t going anywhere. That irritation is multiplied when you’re in late pregnancy, with an unreliable bladder and an itchy belly! Also remember how far you’re going to have to drive to get to hospital if you do go into early labour. While being a passenger might seem like the easy option for a holiday. This way of travelling can be stressful for many mums. Not to mention being a major trigger for the nausea that many pregnant women had thought they’d left behind them after their first trimester. On the other hand, if you’re finding late pregnancy limiting. A road trip can be a great way to give yourself some happy distractions.
Flying and sailing in your third trimester
As you are more likely to go into labour after your 37th week, (32nd week if you’re having a multiple birth). Many airlines and cruise lines – including ferries – won’t let you travel past that date. Many airlines also ask for a letter from your doctor confirming your due date if you’re past your 28th week. You’ll also need to make sure you stay hydrated and move around regularly to avoid deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Do bear in mind that many expectant mums find the compression stockings that are recommended for air flight highly uncomfortable.
Healthcare considerations when travelling in pregnancy
Make sure you know what healthcare facilities you can expect from your holiday destination. Also pack your maternity records in your hand luggage so you can give any healthcare provider your notes if necessary. Be sure your travel insurance covers pregnancy-related care. Including changing your return date if you should go into labour early.
Whether you decide to take a holiday away from home or not. Remember that you should be taking it easy on holiday, the stress of packing and organising can be a burden. So be sure you can delegate.
Above all, think carefully about how you’re going to get your new baby home if he or she does arrive early. Travelling while pregnant is one thing, being away from home with your newborn is something else entirely!