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Tides are turning and babymoons are on the rise with couples choosing to get away to enjoy the calm before the storm of parenthood. Spending some quality time with your partner before the arrival of your little one can be an enjoyable relaxing experience, as long as you have thoroughly done your research and carefully considered all of the risks.
Arranging suitable travel insurance cover is very important as travelling whilst pregnant can end up being very expensive, sometimes costing over £100,000, if things don’t go to plan.
Travelling while pregnant is unchartered waters for many expectant mothers. So, to make it easier for you, we have compiled seven top tips to consider when deciding to travelling abroad while pregnant.
Planning, planning and more planning
Planning ahead is the key to determining all potential risks. Make sure you spend lots of time researching and comparing holiday destinations – Barbados may feel like the perfect babymoon destination, however a ten-hour flight whilst pregnant can be extremely uncomfortable and risky, so choosing a closer location may be more beneficial to you.
Take a look at how far away your accommodation would be from the nearest hospital and assess if the quality and standard of care the hospital provides suits your comfort and needs. Bear in mind that overseas healthcare and medical facilities are not always as advanced as they are here in the UK. We recommend researching the nearest public hospital to your hotel and timing how long it would take you to get there.
Read local health news and requirements
We advise reading up on any local health news regarding your potential holiday destination and also checking whether you need any specific vaccinations to visit. You should discuss any required vaccinations with your doctor and check whether your travel insurance policy would cover you if a new disease or epidemic were to break out whilst you are abroad. Insurers have previously experienced holiday cancellation claims due to disease outbreaks or scares that pose a threat to unborn children, for example the Zika virus.
Consider any pregnancy-related health matters
Before you travel, make sure you have considered any current or historic pregnancy-related complications. Taking the necessary precautions and consulting your doctor before travelling abroad will mean you can truly unwind and enjoy your romantic time together. Keep in mind that most travel insurance providers (including Holidaysafe) will need you to declare any pre-existing medical conditions including any pregnancy-related complications when taking a quote out for a policy. If you do not fully declare your medical history and later need emergency medical assistance, or to submit a claim, you may not be covered.
Check your policy covers a pre-mature birth
Most expectant mothers will not plan to have an additional joyous new born to be travelling back with them on return flight! However, it is not unheard of for mothers to give birth prematurely. Most travel insurance policies automatically provide cover for a premature baby born overseas, until it is medically safe for you and your new bundle of joy to travel home. However, it is best to double check exactly what your policy covers as protection may vary between providers and babies born prematurely can result in very expensive insurance cases. Here at Holidaysafe, it cost over £100,000 to safely bring one premature baby home in a specialist neonatal air ambulance, as an example.
Check the countries tolerance towards marital status
Given modern attitudes towards family in the UK, it might be hard to believe but certain countries are less accepting of children born outside of wedlock. Now, although travel insurance providers wouldn’t deny you emergency assistance based on marital status, we strongly recommend that you check the local customs and laws of your holiday destination. The reason being, that travelling to a destination pregnant and unmarried could result in various complications, should an emergency arise. Here at Holidaysafe, we handled a case where a baby was born prematurely and out of wedlock in a country where this was a criminal offence at the time. The family had to seek permission to leave from the country’s royal family and embassy, and were only given a matter of hours to leave the country after the emergency documents were issued. Not what you need after welcoming a newborn into the world!
Travel with the necessary medical documents
You don’t have to take your midwifery notes on holiday with you, but it would be useful if you need to visit a hospital in an emergency. However, make sure you have packed any documentation that your specific airline requires as most travel insurance policies will not cover you if you have been refused travel for not picking up your travel documents from the kitchen table! It is also worth noting that most airlines do not typically allow you to fly beyond 36 weeks but this can vary so make sure you check with your airline. Double check your travel insurance policy also as most providers limit the number of weeks pregnant travellers can fly too.
Consider cover if you are undergoing IVF
If you are undergoing IVF, it is worth planning ahead as you may need to potentially cancel your trip if a new medical risk was to occur. Some travel insurance providers offer cover for these circumstances so it is definitely worth looking into if this applies to you.
For more information to help you with travelling while pregnant, please read our complete pregnancy travel guide here.
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