The lowdown on travelling whilst pregnant

Emmy Samtani
Emmy Samtani
Emmy is the founder of Kiindred and mother to 3 little ones. Over the last 4 years, she has worked with some of the most credible experts in the parenting space and is a keen contributor on all things parenthood.
Created on Oct 10, 2023 · 3 mins read

There are plenty of limitations people will tell you about when you’re pregnant: foods you can’t eat, exercises you can’t do, and ingredients you should avoid. One that people are divided on is travel. Some will tell you travelling is way too risky and that you should always stay close to your hospital in case of an emergency. Others will happily globe-trot and make the most of their pre-baby freedom. Before Covid-19 that was, anyway.   There are a few things to consider to help make the right decision for you and your baby.

What are the actual recommendations?

To start, an uncomplicated pregnancy allows you to travel (primarily by plane) as much as you want up to 36 weeks. It’s advised that the best time to travel is the second trimester (weeks 18-24) because most complications are likely to occur in the first or third trimester.

Knowing this, always discuss your pregnancy and travel wishes with your doctor so they can tell you the safest measures for you specifically. In some cases, your pregnancy might be too high-risk for any sort of travel.

Air travel

Nine months without a vacation might seem completely undoable to you! So, if you’re itching to jet off, keep a few things in mind.

  • Always check with the airline – some don’t allow you to travel after 36 weeks (but this can vary depending on the carrier)
  • Be aware of the risk for miscarriage or preterm labour
  • Have a written doctor’s note of your due date in case an airline asks to see it
  • Make sure to get up and move around to increase blood flow
  • Consider getting aisle seat to be able to move around more often
  • Never fly if your doctor has advised you against it

Car Travel

Going in the car is a normal day-to-day activity that you can’t really avoid during pregnancy. If you’re doing long car trips there are some things you might want to consider:

  • Always wear your seatbelt (a given!)
  • Get out for bathroom breaks and stop to walk around every 2 hours to increase blood flow
  • Move your seat back to avoid worse airbag impact in case of a collision – and give you and your bump more room
  • If there is ever a crash, see your doctor immediately even if you feel fine

Boat Travel

If you’re looking to set sail on a cruise for vacation, there might be a few more stops in your way. Before booking your ticket, make sure to look into these restrictions:

  • Most cruise lines won’t allow pregnant women over 24 weeks to come on board
  • They will also require documentation from your doctor
  • Make sure that the stops on the trip have safe food and drink options for you
  • Ensure that your insurance will cover any problems or expenses during travel
  • Keep in mind that there might not be proper medical staff or supplies available to you at sea
  • Remember that communicable diseases travel much faster on ships because of the crowded environment. Be aware of this when considering your choice of cruise.

As long as you are prepared and are aware of the risks, your dream vacation, cute bump snaps, and a little R&R can be just what the doctor ordered!

*Due to the recent Covid 19 events, it is advised to stay updated with the latest Government regulations with regards to travel. 

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