Holidaying when pregnant
Congratulations on your pregnancy! In a few months your life is going to be a whirlwind of sleepless nights, constant nappy changes and endless baby groups, meaning now has never been a better time to relax and get away from it all. A babymoon is the perfect opportunity to sit back and reflect on your soon-to-be life as a family, all the while reconnecting with your partner and remembering they, too, are going through each and every step of your pregnancy with you.
Where should I go?
The world really is your oyster when searching for a destination, as, at the moment, you don’t have a wriggling, demanding infant to consider! Having said that, it’s wise to think about what it actually is you want to get out of your babymoon experience. If all you fancy is a relaxing spot of pampering, complete with super-comfortable beds, delicious cuisine and getting away from technological distractions, why not look at booking a long weekend in a UK spa? Not only will you experience pregnancy-related massages and beauty treatments from trained therapists, but most spas operate a ‘no phones’ policy, stopping you from becoming over-stimulated on social media and work emails and encouraging you instead to read and catch up with your other half.
You can, of course, venture further afield, booking a trip overseas to relax on white sands and swim in crystal-clear waters. If this is your first baby then choosing a hotel that’s ‘adults only’ is a great idea – trust us, you’ll miss the peace and quiet when it’s gone! – but do your research to make sure you’re going to be totally comfortable in the resort of your choice. Do they have a doctor on-call should you feel unwell? Are you still within the EU to take advantage of your EHIC – European Health Insurance Card – or are you in a country you feel comfortable staying in should you go in to early labour?
It’s also worth bearing in mind the type of holiday stay you choose to go for – many ‘All Inclusive’ options include buffet-style meals, which, although delicious, are left out on platters for you to help yourself, when it’s much better to actually choose food that’s freshly prepared in front of you. Watch out for tap water and ice cubes, too, if travelling to more remote destinations, and consider how certain fruits and salads may have been washed before tucking in.
When should I go?
It’s hard to know when is the right time to enjoy a babymoon, and again this all depends on exactly where it is you are planning to go. If you’re travelling on land within the UK then you should be fine throughout all trimesters of your pregnancy, taking in to consideration the distance if nearing the end – and asking yourself whether you would be happy having your baby at any hospital in the country. You should also keep hydrated on your journey, stopping regularly if driving to stretch your legs and sharing the journey with whoever’s accompanying you.
Flying, however, is another matter. There’s no reason you can’t fly in your first trimester, however, you need to think about any morning sickness or tiredness you may be experiencing. With this in mind most pregnant women choose to travel in their second trimester (between 14 to 27 weeks) when these symptoms have generally passed. All being well you should then be able to fly up to 37 weeks – when you are technically declared as full term – however, most airlines require a ‘fit to fly’ letter from your GP or midwife if you intend on air travel after the 28-week mark. Check with your travel insurance policy that they, too, will cover you at this stage, to avoid being left with hefty medical bills if you go in to labour abroad.
RCOG’s patient information leaflet, ‘Air travel and pregnancy’, provides advice on travelling by air during pregnancy. Go to https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/patients/patient-leaflets/air-travel-pregnancy/
What should I take?
Be it the UK or overseas, one of the most important things to take with you are your medical notes, again should anything occur while on your trip. It’s also wise to take your labour bag should you be travelling in your third trimester, paying for an extra hold bag if need be to ensure all your comforts are with you if baby decides to make an earlier appearance.
When packing, think comfort all the way, with shoes that can easily be slipped on and off and materials such as cotton which will keep you cool as well as covered up from any hot weather.
Make sure you dress for comfort when travelling to your intended destination as well – maternity leggings are ideal to prevent jeans or shorts digging in – and keep up the fluid intake, with bottles of water to hand and plenty of healthy snacks for extra energy.