If you’re pregnant and planning on travelling, you are likely to have questions about whether it is safe. If you are planning a staycation, a foreign getaway or a cruise, we have put together our five top tips for travelling when pregnant to help you focus on enjoying your holiday.
But first, let’s look at some of the common questions expectant parents have about travelling when pregnant.
Is it safe to fly when pregnant?
Air travel is considered safe before week 36 if you have a healthy pregnancy. However, it is advisable to discuss your plans with your midwife or GP and avoid travelling too close to your due date.
Can I go on a ferry or cruise when pregnant?
If you are planning to travel by ferry, some ferry operators have no restrictions on travel when pregnant whereas others may need a certificate from your GP at 28 weeks.
Cruise lines typically follow the guidance of not allowing travel from the 24th week of pregnancy, this is due to increased risks of preterm labour and the limited access to medical treatment.
Is it safe to wear a seat belt when pregnant?
Yes, it is safe to wear a seat belt when pregnant and you should always wear a seat belt unless you have a certificate of exemption from your GP. It is important that you:
- Wear a three-point seat belt
- Ensure the shoulder belt goes over the shoulder, collarbone and across the chest
- Wear the lap belt as low as possible under the abdomen and baby
- Adjust the seat belt or car seat to help you get comfortable
Are airbags safe when pregnant?
Another concern many expectant parents have is the safety of airbags. It is safe to travel in a vehicle with airbags and they can protect you and your baby in an accident.
5 top tips for travelling during pregnancy
So, now we’ve discussed some of the most common travel-related questions when pregnant, here are our five tips for you ahead of you booking your next break.
- Choose your destination carefully
- Ideally, advice is to keep your travel time to a minimum and avoid long-haul flights
- Consider looking for destinations that have a mild climate
- Avoid destinations that require vaccinations as they may carry risks for your unborn child
- Avoid countries that carry a risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria or Zika virus
- Plan your route
- Try scheduling toilet breaks and book an aisle seat to make getting up and down easier
- Plan to walk around to stretch your legs to avoid deep vein thrombosis
- Take items that will make your travel more comfortable
- Wear comfortable clothing when travelling
- Pack a pillow to help you get more comfortable
- Keep some water and snacks with you
- Download your favourite TV show or podcast as a distraction
- Travel with someone
- If you can, avoid travelling alone just in case you have an emergency
- Make sure that person knows what to do if you go into labour
- Pack all your important items in your hand luggage
- Items such as your birth plan, vitamins or medications should be clearly labelled and packed in your hand luggage when flying in case your suitcase is lost.
Are you pregnant? Join The Parents Class
If you are pregnant, then join The Parents Class. Our midwife-led, evidence-based antenatal classes are designed to empower expectant parents, so they feel confident making informed decisions shaped around their needs.
Looking for easily-accessible information that you can trust? How about an online forum that allows you to engage with other parents who are experiencing pregnancy and parenthood, just like you? Join our free community to connect with others and gain access to invaluable resources from experts and parents.