Travelling at 34 weeks pregnant?!

Is such a great idea, right?!  Well apparently it’s not so bad after all!  My midwife actually said a short-haul flight now was a much better idea than anything in the first trimester (when I also flew long haul without realising I was pregnant!).  So this post is for anyone thinking about doing the same and maybe has some reservations or worries.

I’m currently in Gothenburg in Sweden, for a week for the final of the Volvo Ocean Race 2015!  This was booked eight months ago, before I knew I would be this pregnant!  My Hubby is a sailing nut, so this was his Christmas present.  We both debated long and hard about whether I should still go or not, but after discussion with my midwife, and getting to this stage feeling pretty ok, we decided to take the plunge!

So here is what Id recommend . . .

  • You need to pack your maternity notes in your hand luggage
  • You need to take any vitamins and supplements your taking, also in your hand luggage.  Don’t forget your folic acid especially if you are in your first trimester
  • If you are anywhere near 28 weeks or over you will need a fitness to fly certificate.  If you look big, it may be worth getting one anyway.  Each airline has their own version of this, it needs to be printed out and completed by your doctor or midwife.  It needs to be dated within two weeks of your return flight.  If you get your doctor to complete this it will most likely cost you in excess of £20.  (I’m not sure if this is worth saying, I’m absolutely huge at the moment, despite this, no one asked to see my certificate on our outbound flight!  – curious?!)
  • If you are over 28 weeks you will struggle to get any travel insurance to cover you for anything maternity related other than emergency treatment.  If you do find a policy you need to read the wording very carefully.  I found one aimed at pregnant travellers, only to read the endless small print to find it would not cover me for the cost of giving birth abroad, surely your number one worry?!  You still need your insurance to cover you for other stuff, bag loss etc.
  • If your travelling within the EU take along your European Health Insurance Card (http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/about-the-ehic.aspx).  This is free and needs to be applied for at least ten working days before you travel.  You can download the App to support the card from the App Store.  This gives you local information on where you are travelling to, including what the card actually entitles you to.
  • Stretch mark creams, lotions and potions!  Maybe some comforting lavender oil for your hotel pillow.  Good luck trying to get a maternity pillow on an aircraft!  If you use one, maybe ask for extra pillows in advance of your arrival at your hotel?
  • A really good piece of advice my midwife gave me was just to check where your nearest hospital is at your destination when you get there.  More than anything this will give you peace of mind, if you suddenly end up in labour, you know where your going!
  • Take it easy, if you hiked up mountains pre-pregnancy you may suddenly find this a bit more difficult!  It’s a trade off between we must see everything, we are in a new country and actually, I’m enormous, tired and I have swollen feet!

Good of luck if you take the plunge and decide to go somewhere exciting!  Xx

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