Travelling while pregnant can be a bit of a gamble. “When should be your cut off date? What kinds of travel are worse than others for heavily pregnant mothers? Should you risk it if the destination isn’t prepared for or can’t or won’t offer maternity care?” The last worry you would want on top of this is “how much will it cost?” We take a look at the world of travel and pregnancy and see how having travel insurance on holiday is very important when pregnant.
When can and should you travel?
Experts differ as to when you should stop all travel if you are pregnant. To an extent it depends on the type of transport you are taking. Driving isn’t usually a problem, nor is walking unless you are trekking along very strenuous trails (though doing almost anything close to the due date may induce labour). Travelling by ship or train are, similarly, not huge problems. The main type of travel that is unsafe while pregnant is flying. The pressurised environment is arguably bad for the baby the closer to term a woman gets, and may cause complications and possible premature births.
Most airlines, for example British Airways, don’t allow pregnant women past 28 weeks to travel. Others allow you to fly after that with a doctor’s certificate up to 36 weeks and not at all after that, but that can be pushing the limit.
Will my usual travel insurance cover me?
Many companies offer travel insurance up until 28 weeks, depending on the company and the individual case. Most standard travel insurance policies don’t cover pregnancy as a medical condition, and therefore it’s best to check with your holiday insurance provider before you go. Many standard and cheap travel insurance companies will offer top-up pregnancy travel insurance policies, and it’s best to invest in one of those even just for the peace of mind it will bring. It’s also best to check the facilities of the country you are travelling to and what documentation you might need – better to be prepared than be caught short while abroad where there’s little you can do.
Do I only need travel insurance if going by plane?
No. When pregnant you will want to have the extra travel insurance in place even if you are going by train, ship, car or any other transport. This is because the main point of travel insurance whilst you are pregnant is to literally ensure that you can be pregnant and give birth in another country if necessary. Most countries have no national health provision, and health care is paid for on insurance or billed to your account when your procedure is over. Some go as far as not treating you if you are unable to pay for the treatment there and then. The last thing that you want when going into labour is to have someone questioning your financial situation. To make sure that you are covered for any foreign medical expenses, always check that you have travel insurance before booking your holiday.