Are you pregnant and want to go on a trip? Airline travel usually is safe for the mother and baby during pregnancy. However, travel during the first and last trimester is less recommended due to both risks of miscarriage during the first trimester and premature labour during the third. It’s usually suggested to travel between the 16th and 28th week of pregnancy to prevent complications and avoid having to be cared for outside the country and problems with access to a health centre, language barriers, availability and quality of care, repatriation home, etc.
Travel insurance…to avoid surprises!
At all times you should have travel insurance can cover healthcare costs and the return home for you and your baby if something happens while travelling abroad. If you have a valid health card, the RAMQ in Quebec covers a small portion of these healthcare costs for services provided abroad, but not all of it. Please keep this in mind!
Private insurance coverage should be sufficient for all required medical fees for situations that may occur, such as coverage for your hospital stay and transportation back to Canada. If you give birth to your baby abroad, what then? Will they be covered by the insurance? I’m not joking…you have to check EVERYTHING before you leave! This will make sure you avoid unpleasant surprises because healthcare is costly elsewhere in the world. You have to also plan for a flight or other means of transportation to bring you and your baby back home.
I knew a couple whose baby was born outside the country at 32 weeks…Surprise! Even if the childbirth went well, they racked up more than $100,000 in debts for this experience, and it had a significant impact on their future.
A few precautions…
When choosing your destination, think about issues affecting the country, such as epidemics, infectious diseases such as hepatitis, malaria, the Zika virus and many others. Ask for information from your health professional or in a travel clinic before choosing. They can help you make the right choice.
Your immune status and vaccines will also be checked to see if you need others for your destination. A pregnant woman can receive vaccines during pregnancy, but never with a living virus. Getting infected during pregnancy can have severe consequences for the mother and baby. An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure!
When in the airport, mandatory scanners and x-ray machines are not a threat to the mother or baby. You should also stand up and walk around the airplane every hour during your flight to stimulate blood circulation and reduce discomfort.
Be careful of drinking water, food and hygiene. These are basic precautions for all travellers, not just for pregnant women.
Finally, here is a mobile application that can help you during your travels in Canadian airports call Breeze Through Security!
Bon voyage everyone!
The Baby Expert
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