Unless you've already had children, you know that once you have one, your life is forever changed from that point. At least for a couple of years, you can forget about many of the things you've done frequently in the past. This is one reason why many pregnant women like to travel during their pregnancy, knowing it will be much harder (and probably impossible) to do so after the baby has been born.
If you intend to travel while pregnant, here are some important considerations to keep in mind:
First, even though people normally tend not to look at the terms offered by the travel insurance ( "the fine print") when going on vacation, now might be a good time to start doing so. The reason being, insurance companies consider pregnant women to be 'high risk'. This is understandable, as there may be circumstances where the woman delivers her baby in a foreign country where she does not have medical insurance. Furthermore, there may be complications with the pregnancy while abroad which will require immediate medical attention.
Consequently, often pregnant women are not covered unless they return 8 weeks before their due date. In order to prevent aggravation and real risks to you and your baby, make sure you check this clause in your travel insurance. Make sure this applies both for your departure and your return dates – better safe than sorry!
Furthermore, the risk of complications greatly increases if travel is in the second half of the final trimester – so regardless of insurance policies – think hard whether you want to endanger yourself and your baby in such an advanced stage of pregnancy.
Second, if you are unable to find a company that will offer you travel insurance and you absolutely must travel (and these circumstances do occur), contact an insurance broker directly and see whether they are able to create a specific policy for you. Be warned, this will be more expensive than a standard policy, but this price is well worth it in case something does occur while you are away from home.
Third, most airlines have some type of restrictions with regards to pregnant women. Thus, before you purchase a ticket, check the specific restrictions placed by the airline you chose. Also, as you are probably aware, most airlines do not allow pregnant women to travel once their pregnancy is past a certain stage. Be sure to find the specific conditions before you leave. Note that the safest period to travel – from a statistical point of view – is the second trimester of the pregnancy. Keep this in mind!
Fourth, before going on any trip, it is a good idea to go see your doctor and have a checkup. The last thing one needs on a vacation in a foreign country is to discover she had a problem that needs urgent care. This can be avoided! Furthermore, in the final stages of pregnancy this is actually a necessary requirement in order to demonstrate you are eligible to fly, both for the insurance companies and the airlines who aim to minimize their risks, so obtain a letter from your physician that assures them you are in good health.
In conclusion: if you are pregnant and have decided to embark on a vacation, please follow the above advice as it would help you avoid certain unnecessary risks. If all is well, have a safe – and enjoyable – trip! And be sure to send us pictures!