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Should I travel while pregnant?

Pregnant lady on holidayIf you’re an expectant mother planning a holiday, you’ll be keen to ensure you’re able to travel with complete peace of mind. That’s where travel insurance comes in.could cover you for any unexpected complications, like medical emergencies, holiday cancellations and lost baggage.

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Get the right travel insurance

Generally speaking, most insurers will allow you to travel during your pregnancy unless you’re advised against it by your doctor. Although pregnancy travel insurance doesn’t provide cover for events arising from a normal pregnancy, such as normal childbirth, you could however be covered for complications and unforeseen events while travelling.

Confused.com’s 2013 research revealed that 20% of future mothers did not take out travel insurance. And of those that did, less than half failed to check the terms and conditions of their insurance policy with regards to pregnancy.

It’s worth checking the policy documents before taking out travel insurance, and here’s why:

    • When it comes to pregnant women, airline and travel insurance policies differ.
    • Similarly, each travel insurance provider has different policies with regards to how far into your pregnancy you're allowed to travel.
    • It’s also worth checking the policy documents before buying a travel insurance policy, and make special note of any policy exclusions and what their policy terms are on pregnant travellers.
    • Travel insurance rules also apply to different ways of travelling, so travelling by sea can be different to travelling by air.

    Flying during pregnancy

    Did you know that turning up for your flight without prior notification of your pregnancy may result in being denied travel? Each airline has different restrictions on how far into your pregnancy they’ll allow you to fly, and certain airlines may require medical approval.

    Confused.com found that 41% of future mothers did not check the cut-off point for flying with their airline before travelling. Typically, if travelling after 28 weeks pregnant, an airline will require a letter from the doctor confirming the due date and that the mother-to-be is not at risk of complications (according to NHS guide to pregnancy travel).

    Worryingly, 50% of the pregnant women who have travelled did not consult their doctor before flying. To avoid delays and more importantly, to check it’s safe to fly – get written permission from your doctor or midwife to put you worries at rest.

    Travelling by car? Take a look at our article on how to wear your seatbelt when you're pregnant.

    General advice and useful documents

      • As a rule of thumb, travelling during your third trimester could be riskier, so consult your doctor beforehand.
      • Before leaving for your holiday, familiarise yourself with the area you plan to stay and find out where the nearest hospital or doctor’s surgery is.
      • Print out a copy of your medical notes (e.g. blood type, any allergies, doctor’s details back home).
      • Print a copy of your travel insurance policy, your policy number and an emergency contact telephone number.
      • Take an EHIC card if you're going to Europe.

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