A relaxing break during your pregnancy can be exactly what you need. We’ve got the essential information to make travelling when pregnant as easy as possible.
- You shouldn’t have to pay more for your travel insurance because you’re pregnant
- But there may be some restrictions in terms of what you’re covered for and when
- If you travel against medical advice you won’t be insured
What you need to know about travel insurance when pregnant
Travelling when pregnant, in most instances, can be safe for both you and your baby. However, you should always have a travel insurance policy in place to cover you – just like you usually would when enjoying a well-earned break.
Getting holiday insurance when pregnant is essentially the same as when you’re not expecting. Plus, you won’t have to pay a higher premium simply because you’re pregnant.
However, there may be some restrictions around:
- What you’re insured for – insurers may not pay out associated healthcare costs if you give birth abroad, for example.
- Stages of your pregnancy you’re covered for – policies might not protect you if you encounter complications after a certain number of weeks.
That’s why it’s important to read your policy documents to ensure you don’t have to worry about unexpected costs.
Is it safe to fly when pregnant?
According to official NHS guidelines, it’s normally safe to travel by air while pregnant. This is if:
- Mother and baby are currently in good health
- Your pregnancy is straightforward
- You feel safe travelling
Before travelling during pregnancy, you should discuss it with your midwife or GP. They will be able to give you more guidance on whether it’s a good idea and is safe for you to do so.
Many women try to avoid flying during the first 12 to 15 weeks, as this is often the worst time for morning sickness and fatigue. Travelling between months four and six can be a good time to take a break, as long as your midwife and doctor are happy for you to travel.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, the thought of travelling could be less appealing, particularly on a long-haul plane journey. And, there are some restrictions that airlines place on pregnant passengers flying in their final trimester, which we discuss below.
You should also be aware that the risk of developing blood clots while flying for more than four hours could be higher when you’re pregnant. Although, according to NHS guidelines, this isn’t fully confirmed yet.
A few things can help reduce the chances of this happening:
- Wearing compression stockings
- Doing calf exercises
- Getting up and walking around, if you can
Does travel insurance cover pregnancy?
While looking for holiday insurance when pregnant, it’s vital to check that your policy covers you for overseas medical care in the event of an emergency. It should also cover the cost of your holiday if you’re unable to travel because your doctor advises you not to.
Again, pregnancy isn’t considered a separate medical condition, so you will be covered while you’re expecting. However, before you take out your policy, you’ll need to let your insurer know about any pre-existing medical conditions, that aren’t related to your pregnancy.
It’s important to note that if you travel against medical advice, you won’t be covered by travel insurance. However, if you booked your holiday before you were pregnant, and you’re then told you can’t travel on medical grounds, we’ll provide cancellation cover.
When travelling while pregnant, you can still receive the same cover that you’d receive from a travel insurance policy if you weren’t expecting, such as:
- Having to cancel your trip or activities due to illness
- Personal liability cover
- Personal accident cover
- Any optional baggage loss or damage covers
LV= can also provide cover if you decide to abandon your holiday because your transport is delayed by more than 24 hours or it gets cancelled. Be aware, however, that you won’t be covered to cancel just because you no longer want to travel – so make sure you consider your travel plans carefully.
Do I need to tell my travel insurance company that I’m pregnant?
You don’t usually need to notify your travel insurance provider of your pregnancy when you apply for a policy. That’s because it’s not considered a medical condition. If you’re concerned and need to discuss the matter further before applying, contact your insurer. They’ll be able to help you and give you all the details about travel insurance and pregnancy that you need.
Do I need to tell the airline I’m pregnant?
Yes, it’s best to call your airline to let them know how many weeks pregnant you are when you plan to fly. If you’re past the 28-week mark, they’ll likely need a letter from your doctor or midwife, which confirms:
- You and your baby are healthy
- Your pregnancy is proceeding normally
- Your due date
The airline might also need to clear your travel if you’re due to give birth less than four weeks after departure and if complications are expected during your delivery.
Although flying itself shouldn’t be harmful to you or your baby if you’re experiencing a straightforward pregnancy, there is an increased risk of going into labour from about the 36th week. Airlines usually won’t permit you to fly once you reach 37 weeks, or 32 weeks if you’re expecting twins or more.
It's always best to check with your operator before you travel as many have differing policies. It's still important to check these as your policy may not cover you if you don't adhere to the restrictions.
What should I think about before I travel when pregnant?
Making sure you have the right travel insurance policy is the most important thing to do before you finally enjoy that well-deserved break. There are also a couple of other points to keep in mind before you book:
The destination you’re travelling to
If you’re planning to get pregnant or are already pregnant, you should avoid travelling to countries where there is a risk of contracting the Zika virus. If you do book a trip to an area known to have the virus, there will be no cancellation cover, and they may not cover your medical costs.
Whether you need vaccinations
NHS guidelines recommend that you avoid travelling to places where you need vaccinations when pregnant. However, if you need to travel, speak to your GP about what vaccinations are safe and the potential risks associated with having them.
Local food and drink
Specific destinations may not have safe drinking water available from taps, so you should check this before you travel. This includes water at your hotel, served in restaurants and used in the production of food.
If in doubt, buy bottled water when you can and avoid having ice in your cold drinks. Ensure food is thoroughly washed in suitable drinking water and cooked thoroughly.
Taking your maternity notes with you
Just in case anything happens, the local doctors should know how your pregnancy has progressed so far. If you're travelling to Europe, take your EHIC or GHIC with you as well.
Get a quote for LV= travel insurance to start organising your next trip.
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