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Pregnant? How To Travel Safely

Posted in General Health 14 Jul, 2015

Travelling when you're pregnant can be daunting. It's bad enough getting to the supermarket and back without sweating, eating and crying - or was that just me?

The thought of a warm break before the sleepless nights begin is very appealing, but before you book a flight do check how safe it is, and how to keep well abroad.

When Can You Travel?

It's best to travel during the second trimester, after the morning sickness has passed (hopefully) but before any risk of premature birth or a pregnancy-related condition arises. This is the trimester in which ladies 'glow' (hmmm, some may disagree) and it's thought to be the safest point during pregnancy.

Try to arrange your holiday around antenatal checks as these are important and may pick up issues before they become a problem.

How To Travel

Some airlines will want a letter from your GP if you are over 28 weeks pregnant, which indicates you are safe to travel and not at risk of complications. Ferry companies may not let you travel if you are beyond 32 weeks. It's best to check with your own travel provider exactly what their rules are.

When flying, you need to keep comfortable - here's how.

- Stay hydrated - avoid caffeine and fizzy drinks.
- Keep moving - you are more at risk of DVT if you are pregnant and up to 6 weeks afterwards.
- Book an aisle seat. You'll need to wee often and there isn't much space to squeeze out past fellow travellers.
- Wear loose clothing.


Remember to pack non-spoilable snacks such as flapjacks and cereal bars. Delays without food can cause a big problem for pregnant ladies.

Take Care Once You Arrive

- ...Be very careful with what you eat and drink. Stick to bottled mineral water and make sure the lid is firmly attached - this is to make sure it hasn't been filled from the tap. Avoid straws too, which are often reused.

- ...Avoid saunas, thermal spas and steam rooms – whether in the UK or abroad. Use factor-50 sun cream and keep covered up.

- ...Relax - do not go water skiing - I know you know that, but just in case.

- ... Keep active - move around but take it steady. Be aware of the weather. Ice and freezing temperatures can make pavement and roads slippery.

- ...Always put seatbelts under your bump and across your breasts, not comfy but safer for baby.

What Meds Can You Take

Don't travel to countries with a high malaria risk when you are pregnant, and avoid countries where you need vaccines, as they can harm your baby. If you absolutely have to go, you'll need to talk to your GP about the risks.

It's generally safer to take the antimalarial medication than it is to travel unprotected. As malaria can cause miscarriage, premature delivery and even death, its best to be prepared. We offer a range of different medication such as malarone to help protect you from malaria. Find out the best way on how to prevent malaria on our travelling page.


You'll need pregnancy travel insurance that covers:

- Premature birth
- Care during birth
- Cover to re-arrange return flights
- Care for the newborn baby


It's worth getting to grips with what facilities there are in your local area. Where is the hospital or doctor surgery? What is the national emergency number? How do you say 'gherkins with ketchup and lots of them' in Spanish?

Enjoy your trip; take care of yourself and the baby and good luck for the future. Let's hope you get a sleeper.

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