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Archive for the ‘Pregnancy’ Category

Tips for flying abroad when pregnant

Planning a trip abroad while pregnant? Prepare properly and there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a safe relaxing flight.

From choosing your destination to keeping comfortable on the plane, here are our top tips for flying abroad when you’re expecting a baby.

Time your trip well

If you’re feeling well and you’ve discussed your plans with your GP or midwife, it’s perfectly possible to fly during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. However, many women feel nauseous and exhausted during this period, so if that’s you, why not wait until you can really enjoy your holiday?

If you’ve experienced spotting, high blood pressure, severe morning sickness or a previous miscarriage, your doctor will probably advise you to avoid flying for now.

During the second trimester (14-27 weeks), nausea usually subsides and energy levels increase, giving you the perfect excuse to enjoy a trip abroad. Make the most of this opportunity, as you might find flying uncomfortable and tiring once you reach the third trimester. Most airlines won’t allow pregnant women to fly with them after 36 weeks, although this drops to 32 weeks for multiple pregnancies.

 

Choose your country carefully

Because vaccinations aren’t always safe for pregnant women, it’s best to choose a holiday destination where you won’t encounter any dangerous diseases. Malaria and yellow fever pose a particularly high risk, as some anti-malarial medication isn’t safe for mums-to-be and the yellow fever vaccine contains a small amount of potentially harmful live virus. If you really need to travel to an affected area, ask your GP for guidance.

You should also consider postponing your trip if you’re travelling to a country where the Zika virus is active. Talk to your GP and check out the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website for detailed advice.

Travelling in the summer? Then you’ll want to avoid uncomfortably hot countries, particularly if you’ll be heavily pregnant when you travel. It’s also worth remembering that your risk of suffering from blood clots and varicose veins increases slightly on flights over five hours.

Wherever you decided to go, always check that your holiday insurance covers you after 28 weeks and that it includes medical care if you go into labour unexpectedly.

 

Carry key information

A copy of your maternity notes is essential hand luggage if you’re flying while pregnant. We also suggest noting down your blood type, any allergies to medications and your doctor’s contact details.

Once you’re 28 weeks pregnant, you’ll need to carry a letter or certificate from your doctor or midwife. This should confirm your due date, as well stating that you’re well enough to travel and that there are no complications. It’s worth asking your airline whether a prewritten letter is available, although your GP may still charge you for signing it.

Don’t forget to apply for an EHIC card, which entitles you to free or reduced cost emergency medical care while abroad. If you apply via the official website, the card won’t cost you a penny and you’ll be covered for five years.

 

Prepare for take-off

Frequent trips to the toilet are an unfortunate side effect of pregnancy, so why not reserve an aisle seat when you book your flight? You’ll be able to nip to the loo without disturbing your fellow passengers and it will be easier for you to move about, reducing your chance of developing varicose veins and blood clots.

Talking of blood clots, don’t forget to pop your compression stockings on before you fly, as these will improve your circulation and prevent swelling. Flexing your foot, rotating your ankles and wiggling your toes at regular intervals can also help, but you should always seek help if you notice any redness or tenderness in your legs.

To make sure that you feel relaxed throughout the flight, it’s best to wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes with adjustable straps. Position your seatbelt under your bump, make sure you have plenty of water with you to avoid dehydration and pack some energy boosting fresh or dried fruit.

Finally, don’t worry about going through airport scanners, as they use a low-frequency electromagnetic field and are safe for pregnant women.

Take our tips on board and you’ll find that your flight is the perfect opportunity to relax, enjoy a snooze and get lost in a good book. After all, once you’ve had your baby, flying will become a completely different experience!

What to pack when flying pregnant

Pregnant and flying abroad? Packing your hand luggage carefully is the best way to ensure a comfortable, safe and trouble free trip. But what if you’re not sure what to pack?

Don’t despair, as we’ve come up with a handy guide to the travel essentials that will make your flight an enjoyable one

Keeping comfortable

  • The rapid changes your body undergoes during pregnancy can result in sore muscles and an achy back, so it’s worth packing a small cushion or pillow in your cabin bag. If space is tight, why not buy an inflatable version? You could also consider packing a lightweight bump band, which wraps around your bump for extra support.
  • Because flying during pregnancy can slightly increase your risk of blood clots, your carry-on luggage should definitely include a pair of compression socks. These will help to keep your circulation flowing during the flight, meaning that you’re less likely to suffer from swollen feet or ankles.
  • When it comes to your outfit, go for comfortable but versatile options like leggings or a maxi dress. Add a cardigan or jacket in case you feel cool and wear a pair of flat supportive slip on shoes, as these will be easy to remove when you go through security.
  • Flying is the perfect opportunity to rest and unwind, so why not use the time to get lost in a good book or record your thoughts in a pregnancy travel journal? Alternatively, pack an eye mask and enjoy some well-deserved shut-eye. After all, growing a baby is hard work!

Health and beauty

  • Having a baby on board means taking extra care of your health and wellbeing, so pack accordingly. Make sure you pop some hand sanitizer and wipes in your hand luggage, as these will enable you to stay clean and fresh on board.
  • Moisturiser, lip balm and a spray mister will also come in handy while you’re flying, because air conditioning can dehydrate your skin. And don’t forget to take blister pads for your feet, as even well fitting footwear can rub.
  • If you’re travelling to a hot country, it’s a good idea to pack some high factor sun cream in your cabin bag. This can be applied shortly before you arrive at your destination. You could also consider packing some insect repellent, as mosquitoes love mums to be! While Insect repellents containing up to 50% Deet are considered safe for pregnant women to use, natural alternatives containing citronella are also available.

Food and drink

  • Your travel bag should always contain a few nutritious nibbles, so that delays or tasteless airline food don’t leave you feeling hungry. Dried and fresh fruit, cereal bars, nuts and biscuits make ideal snacks. If you’re still battling morning sickness, try eating little and often and if you’re suffering from heartburn, don’t forget your antacids!
  • Staying hydrated is very important when you’re pregnant, so pack at least one bottle of water in your hand luggage once you’ve passed through the security scanners. If you’re taking vitamins, bring these with you too.

It can also be useful to carry a list of foods you should avoid eating in order to protect your developing baby. These include unpasteurised cheeses like Brie and Camembert, undercooked meat, raw fish and pate.

Whether the tap water is safe to drink depends on your destination, so check this with your travel agent. If you have any doubts, always buy bottled water and avoid eating salads washed in tap water.

Travel documents

  • Suffering from pregnancy related forgetfulness? Then we recommend double checking that you’ve packed your passport just before you leave home. If you’re hiring a car, you’ll also need to bring your driving licence.
  • As well as packing your holiday insurance documents, it’s worth making a separate note of the insurer’s helpline number. Keep this in your travel bag and give a copy to your travelling companion, just in case your luggage gets lost en route.
  • If you’re flying while pregnant you’ll also need to carry your maternity notes with you. After 28 weeks, most airlines will require an additional letter from your midwife or doctor confirming that you’re fit to fly. If this applies to you, ask your airline whether they have a standard letter you can print out for your GP to sign.
  • It’s also important to find out which number you should call if you require emergency treatment while you’re away. Your travel agent will be able to give you this, as well as details of local hospitals and doctors.

Finally, don’t forget to bring a list of key contact numbers, so that you can inform family members, friends and pet sitters about any travel delays.

 

We hope our packing tips have helped you to feel fully prepared for your flight. All you have to do now is kick back, relax and enjoy the journey.

Your hospital bag: What to pack

what to baby in hospital bag

Even if you are planning to have a home birth, it is still worth packing a hospital bag, just in case you need to go in. Packing it early, means you avoid any last minute panics.

Here is a list of items to pack:

For You:

  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers (ones that are easy to get on)
  • Socks
  • Old night dress for labour
  • Spare night dress
  • Lip balm
  • Snacks and drinks (glucose tablets)
  • Books, magazines and iPad
  • Hair ties
  • Pillows – a V shaped pillow is very useful
  • Music
  • Water spray
  • Handheld fan
  • Bendy straws
  • Tech chargers (phone)
  • Going home outfit
  • Nursing bras
  • Breast pads
  • Toiletries
  • Towels
  • Old underwear
  • Eye mask
  • Ear plugs
  • Empty bag (you will bring home gifts etc)

For your baby:

  • 5 x baby grows
  • 5 x vests
  • Baby blanket
  • Nappies (12 per day)
  • Muslin squares
  • 3 x hats
  • Baby car seat
  • Jacket or snowsuit
  • Gloves

Download and print checklist