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As you know, I love to travel more than anything, but there are sooo many places that I can’t travel when pregnant! Now that I am in my second pregnancy I have come to realise that just how many destinations are off limits to pregnant ladies and how difficult it can be to find out this information.
This is something that I have Googled countless times, and so I thought that it would be helpful to share my research with other expecting mummies.
Where can’t I travel when pregnant?
When you are pregnant, there are so many more things you have to think about when traveling. Is this a safe place for me to be? Is there a high risk of diseases where I am planning to visit? Will I have access to adequate medical care if I should need it? How late into my pregnancy am I allowed to travel? Although you may be able to travel internationally and not have any trouble, it is important to avoid certain areas of the world and make sure you have plans in place to have a successful trip.
In some developing countries, there is a greater risk of contracting the Zika virus through mosquito bites. Now, if you are pregnant, you are more likely to get bitten by mosquitoes (trust me- I know!! Read why in this post- why do I get more mosquito bites when pregnant?
Because you are more likely to get bitten by a mosquito, the chances of you contracting Zika virus are higher. Whilst Zika virus doesn’t usually have any major impacts on people, it has been associated with birth defects.
There was a huge amount of this in the media a couple of year sago, advising pregnant women not to travel to destinations which have the Zika virus. All has gone rather quiet now, however. BUT that doesn’t mean that it isn’t still a risk! You can read more about Zika Virus on the NHS website here. I have also plotted areas with Zika virus, which is largely concentrated in central and South America, on the map below.
Another concern for pregnant women is the risk of Malaria in parts of the world, which is also transmitted through mosquito bites. Malaria is a disease that affects the red blood cells and can cause a lot of complications to you and your unborn child. As of 2016, 91 countries and territories on the globe were considered to be in a Malaria epidemic region. Some of the most affected regions are Africa, Asia, Central America, South America and the Middle East.
These locations should be avoided, completely, while pregnant. I have made a handy infographic showing all of the destinations which are sadly off of your itinerary for the next nine months.
Sometimes, however, traveling through or to these regions of the world is unavoidable. If you are pregnant and are traveling internationally to a new place, and one that is at a higher risk for these dangerous diseases, there are a few things you can do to help keep you safe and healthy. I have outlined some of these for you below.
Visit Your Doctor and Get Travel Health Insurance
When considering travel whilst pregnant it is important for you to visit your doctor and speak to him/her about your travel plans. Your doctor will advise you on any vaccines you may need before beginning your travels and what are safe for you during pregnancy. Getting travel health insurance is also important, although I would recommend this for anybody, not just pregnant women!
In my experience, nurses and doctors are very nervous about pregnant women travelling or taking young children travelling. I understand that there are certain risks, but for me the experience outweighs these. I personally take on board their advice but take their nervousness with a pinch of salt- I am big and ugly enough to know how to take care of myself and my children whilst at home or whilst travelling.
Pack A Copy Of Your Medical Records
In case of an emergency in a different country whilst pregnant, having your records available will make the process of getting care much easier. Keep them with you at all times, along with a list of any medications you are taking, so they are readily available if you need them.
I kept my records in the bag that I checked in for my flight on my recent trip which I later realised was a bad idea, I also packed my Gaviscon which made for a pretty uncomfortable flight with hours worth of heartburn to contend with! Always keep your notes and medication with you because you never know when you might need it!
Research Medical Care Where You Are Going
Knowing what to expect will make it a lot less stressful if there is an emergency while you are away. Research healthcare providers, hospitals, insurance, etc before leaving for your trip that way you are prepared ahead of time. I suggest having access to a map, such as Google Maps, so that you can find said healthcare provider if needed too .
There can also be a cut-off point in your pregnancy when you won’t be permitted to fly, which depends on the airline that you are using. Usually this you will need a fit to fly letter from around 28 weeks and you will be permitted to fly until around 36 weeks, although this does vary by airline. This is less if you are having twins. Doing your homework for your trip is a very good idea when pregnant.
Did you travel when you were pregnant? I would love to hear your experiences! Comment below!
Psssst! By the way, I have recently designed a flight log book to allow your kids to record all of the journeys! If you’re looking for a special way to record your children’s travel memories then head over to Amazon to take a look!