It’s not uncommon for expectant parents to want to have a getaway prior to their little bundle’s arrival. While time away can be very relaxing, there are important things to know about traveling while pregnant.
Be sure to see your physician before making your travel plans. Explain where you are planning on going and how you plan to get there, so they can let you know about any health concerns you may encounter. This can range from the type of transportation, local health alerts (think the Zika virus), and the availability of quality medical care at your destination. Your provider should be able to provide you with a “Fit for Travel” note that may be required by some companies.
Your medical insurance may provide the coverage you need at home but check with them on what they will cover while you’re away. Even domestic travel can have restrictions, if you’re outside the coverage area.
If traveling internationally, it is likely that your regular medical insurance will not pay for treatment outside of the United States. Your travel agent can provide quotes for travel protection that can include not just medical treatment but help cover the cost of medical transports to get you back home, if needed. You can contact the insurance providers to determine the limits of their coverage, including pre-existing conditions. However, some companies do not allow for pregnancy coverage under normal policies. In that circumstance, consider a policy with a Cancel-For-Any-Reason waiver.
Even with your physician’s approval, you need to make sure that you are cleared by the company(ies) you are traveling with. It is generally considered safe to fly before your 36th week of pregnancy, however each situation is different. Conditions such as having twins, high blood pressure or other high-risk considerations may have a factor in your flight readiness. International flights can limit travel to 28 weeks pregnant.
Most cruise lines have an even stricter limit and do not allow women to board if they will be over 24 weeks pregnant at any part of the cruise. If you purchase your cruise fare and it is determined will be passed the 24 week mark before the end of the cruise, you will be denied boarding. Today’s cruise ships have impressive medical facilities on board but not the type of technology and services to properly care for mom and baby, if the unexpected happens.
Even if you’re an experienced traveler, you need to be extra vigilant about preparing for travel during pregnancy. Ultimately, you are your best advocate to having a safe and happy experience. Following the advice of your health care professional, confirming the policies of travel suppliers and making sure you have adequate insurance against the unexpected will help toward mom’s sound mind and body.