Once upon a time, travel during pregnancy – and in particular, flying during pregnancy – was approached with extreme caution. Today, the idea is much more acceptable: sometimes travel is unavoidable and, with ‘babymoons’ becoming an increasingly popular travel trend, pregnant travel is often intentional and thus needs to be carefully planned.
How Far Into a Pregnancy is Travel Allowed?
There are various factors that dictate how far into pregnancy a woman is allowed to travel. Some risk factors include whether it’s a single or multiple pregnancy, whether there are current or prior complications that make it a high-risk pregnancy, and even the method of travel. A majority of women find traveling during the second trimester more comfortable.
After the first trimester, there is less risk of a miscarriage and any nausea induced by morning sickness has usually either passed or is at least more manageable. Interestingly, most airlines permit travel until the end of the 36th week for single pregnancies on flights lasting four or more hours. For shorter flights, travel is allowed right until the end of the 40th week, in the case of single pregnancies.
This being said, it’s worth checking out the policy of the airline you’re flying with, especially when you consider how some airlines require a medical certificate from the start of the second trimester! In contrast, many cruise liners only allow pregnant women to travel with them if they are no further than 27 weeks into their pregnancy, at the time of disembarkation.
Pregnancy and Travel Insurance
It goes without saying that traveling without suitable travel insurance while pregnant is not advisable. Even when it comes to complication-free pregnancies, there is no guarantee that traveling mothers-to-be won’t require some form of medical treatment while abroad. Moreover, private health insurance only holds good for local travel, and not international travel.
Most insurance providers classify pregnancy as a pre-existing medical condition that is automatically covered into the second trimester, but only under certain specific circumstances. These conditions include anything from ‘single pregnancy minus any complications’, to requiring that the pregnancy was not the result of any assisted reproduction program, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF)’.
In addition, most insurers only offer travel cover into the second trimester and not beyond, which means the cut-off point could be as early as the 23rd week, or as late as the 26th week. Naturally, like any other insurance product, some research is recommended before you buy, especially in terms of region-specific exclusions and restrictions. travelinsurance.com.au/ can be an extremely useful tool to compare the travel cover offered by various insurers.
Where to Travel When Pregnant
One of the biggest concerns during traveling while pregnant is choosing a safe destination. Obviously, this rules out most adventurous destinations, along with any destinations that might require too much walking or exertion. However, those aren’t the only factors to consider. Other destinations to avoid are those carrying a high travel warning (regardless of the reason for the warning), along with any destinations that have inferior medical facilities or have a high likelihood of illness or disease.
Such considerations can pose a considerable risk to both mother and child. Normally, travel destinations that have a high risk of communicable illnesses and diseases are still accessible thanks to necessary precautions like vaccinations, but not all vaccinations are considered safe for expectant mothers. While this may eliminate a range of potential destinations, there are still many options to choose from – from a romantic weekend in Bali, to a relaxed cultural tour of Europe.
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