Happy pregnancy holidays
Planning to go on holiday while you’re pregnant? Here’s the lowdown on travelling with a bump.
Before you go:
- You may love activity breaks, but now’s not the time to act like Indiana Jones. Allow yourself time to wind down while you’re away.
- The best time to fly is between 12-24 weeks, when you’re comfortable and are least at risk of complications. After 28 weeks you’ll need a GP’s letter confirming your due date and fitness to travel. Ferry operators have similar rules. Eurostar and Eurotunnel have no restrictions.
- Think about your trip. How long is the flight? Will you need vaccinations and, if so, are they safe during pregnancy? What are the standards of hygiene/medical care?
- Some insurers won’t cover you after 28 weeks for anything pregnancy-related. Check if they cover your new baby if you give birth while away. For extra protection, take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for free or reduced-cost emergency treatment in participating countries.
- Although rare, your risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots) increases during pregnancy – especially when you’re sitting still for long periods on a flight. Wear DVT socks, flex your ankles and wiggle your toes while in your seat, and walk around as often as you can. If you’re driving to your destination, stop every hour and a half to stretch your legs.
- Healthy snacks keep blood sugar levels up and help prevent nausea. If you get travel sick, take ginger tea to sip on, or some mint sweets to suck.
- Stay hydrated – keep a small bottle of water in your bag and sip it regularly.
At your destination:
- Check where the nearest hospital is – peace of mind will enable you to relax
- Stick to bottled water to be on the safe side – check the seal too
- Be wary of ice-cream, and also salads and ice in drinks if you’re unsure about the water. Buffet food left uncovered is a bout of food poisoning waiting to happen!
Q I’m making the most of visiting far-flung places before my baby arrives. Is it safe to take anti-malarial treatment?
A Mums-to-be aren’t advised to go to malarial areas unless it’s essential. Chloroquine and Paludrine are said to be safe in pregnancy, but not enough is known about the effects, so always check with your doctor first. Some places in Africa are non-malarial – for example, there are game reserves near Cape Town. Visit malariahotspots.co.uk for info.
Q I’m 18 weeks pregnant and am very active. Should I slow down a bit on holiday?
A It’s fine to carry on with some activities like yoga and Pilates (with a qualified instructor), walking, swimming, even jogging or gentle tennis, if you’re used to doing them. But watersports and any activities that put you at risk of falling are no-nos, as are water slides and roller coasters!
Great pregnancy breaks:
- The Baby Gurus offers a Babymooning Spa Experience which incorporates chill-out time in a lovely hotel with antenatal education. From about £500 per person for one night.
- Downe Health Spa on North Devon’s Hartland Peninsula, has a Mother-to-Be’s Pamper Day, which includes treatments, lunch and cream tea for £239 per person. You could also stay at the on-site Downe Cottages.
- The Intercontinental Mar Menor Golf Resort & Spa (ichotelsgroup.com) in Murcia, Spain, offers an ESPA Retreat for Two – three hours of pregnancy-safe treatments in your own private spa. It’s around £325; accommodation from £135 per night for a deluxe room with breakfast .