Travelling and flying when pregnant

Travelling and flying when pregnant

Finding out you’re pregnant is a momentous occasion – life will never quite be the same again. Yet, if you’ve booked holidays or plan to visit family, many ask the same question, “can you travel during pregnancy?”

In fact, some go a step further, setting off on a pre-baby vacation (aka babymoon) to destress and unwind before the nappy duties, broken sleep, and endless feedings occur. 

Below we’ll answer if you can travel during pregnancy and explore some fun ideas about where to go on your babymoon.

Should you travel during pregnancy?

You are completely able to travel during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy (see below for specific information on the third trimester). According to the research, there’s no evidence that flying causes complications. 

However, as the first trimester is the riskiest time for miscarriage, going on holiday may mean you’re without medical assistance should the worst happen. Otherwise, the only downside is feeling a little extra nauseous and exhausted on top of your already nauseous and exhausted state. 

As for the second trimester, it’s probably the safest time to travel and fly. The main pregnancy-related complications, including miscarriage, are lower in the second trimester than at any other time.

What’s a babymoon?

A babymoon, like a honeymoon, is a celebratory vacation. Only you’re not spending time adjusting to being newlyweds; you’re relishing the final moments before the new baby arrives. That’s all the more important if this is your first baby. 

Being something of a new trend, it’s not widely known; but it does make perfect sense. After all, while a newborn child is a joy, it also involves a lot of work and sleepless nights. Enjoying a little R&R in the sun or seeing somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit can be a last hurrah or adventure before the next chapter of your life begins.

Fun babymoon ideas

Going on a babymoon doesn’t necessarily need to be a big event. It could be a quiet romantic city break, or you could go all out, seeing all the sights you wish to see – you only live once! 

Where you choose will largely depend on your personality and feelings about the coming pregnancy. Here are some ideas to spark your imagination:

  • Sun, sea, and sand. For many of us, there’s nothing more relaxing than a beach view and nothing to do. Bring along a book, pack your bathing suit, and prepare for a week of non-stop relaxation with your partner. Of course, you won’t be able to enjoy any cocktails, but it’s still a chance to relax and unwind. Consider the Balearic Islands, the Maldives, or even the underappreciated Azores. Pack a higher factor sunscreen than usual as your skin is more sensitive to the Sun during pregnancy. 
  • City break. Whether you’re visiting Paris, Rome, Krakow, or New York, there are endless things to explore in the world’s great cities. Nor is there any shortage of romance. It’s one city break you’ll never forget.
  • Staycation. The UK has plenty of wonderful locations to visit. From Cornwall to the Cotswolds to the Lake District, natural beauty abounds. Rent a cosy cottage and enjoy candlelit dinners in the countryside.

When should you stop flying

According to NHS guidance, it’s advised that travelling and flying after 37 weeks (32 weeks if you’re carrying twins) is not advised. Some airlines may ask for a letter from a doctor or midwife after week 28 of pregnancy. Make sure you inform them and your travel insurance company proper to travelling. 

You should avoid long-distance travel of greater than 4 hours, as this increases the risk of blood clots. Drink plenty of water and move about regularly during the flight. In addition, your GP or midwife may recommend travel stockings or provide you with hospital TED stockings.

More info…

The reason we advise you to use a sunscreen with a higher factor than you would normally use is because during pregnancy, the hormone oestrogen increases your chance of developing chloasma, also known as the mask of pregnancy. Some darker pigments can develop on your skin when you’re exposed to the sun. It’s quite common and usually  resolves after pregnancy. Also be aware that now you’re pregnant, sitting in the sun and being in hot climates can make you become dehydrated quite quickly, so keep drinking plenty and frequently. Sit in the shade as much as you can. A little tip if you do feel hot and are trying to cool down, placing a cold flannel on your wrists and back of neck can help. Or place your wrists under a running cold tap will help too.

You deserve to enjoy your labour, birth, and parenthood journey.

Know what to expect, feel in control, and be heard with our online, midwife-led hypnobirthing course.

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