Pregnancy and Travel Insurance: What You Need to Know
Planning an upcoming babymoon or getaway before the baby’s born? If you’re thinking about travelling while you’re pregnant, it can bring a host of questions about travel insurance. The major concern for expectant moms is ensuring you have the care you need when you need it. If you’re travelling abroad, whether out of your province or out of the country, you need to have the right travel insurance. Why? Not every travel insurance plan includes pregnancy as a condition they cover. But, because they have specific guidelines, it helps to know when coverage starts - and stops.
Here are a few tips to ensure you have the best coverage for you and your little one.
When Is It Okay to Travel While Pregnant?
To help you plan your trip, the Government of Canada has produced a health guide to travelling while pregnant. It suggests purchasing travel insurance, and highlights the risks in each trimester:
- First Trimester: Limit travel as a common pregnancy issue or emergency can occur.
- Second Trimester: Travel during the 18th to 24th week of your pregnancy is generally safe.
- Third Trimester: Most physicians will suggest you don’t travel because you’re more prone to going into labour, emergencies and complications. After the eighth month, you need to prepare in case the baby decides to arrive early.
Travel Insurance When You’re Pregnant
Selecting random travel insurance packages can be a mistake if you’re pregnant. Some exclude pregnancy as a medical condition they cover. Travel insurance while pregnant might only cover you up to 26 weeks. If they include coverage, it might only be for complications and not if you go into labour. They might categorize it under pre-existing conditions. But, don’t let that bring you down. It just means you need to find special travel insurance for expectant moms.
To Help You Find Pregnancy Travel Insurance
- When you shop online for travel insurance, look specifically for travel insurance that includes pregnancy. You will find insurance coverage is available but for specific time frames during your pregnancy.
- When researching travel insurance, before you sign up, read their Terms and Conditions as well as the Exclusions.
- If you’ve been pregnant before and had complications, don’t worry. You can still find coverage, but you might have to comparison shop for the best travel insurance deals.
Check with the Airline
Most airlines will let you travel up to your 36th week, but check with the airline. They may have specific restrictions in place, and you may need a note from your doctor.
Check with Your Doctor
Consult a physician about travelling while pregnant. Let them know when you want to travel, the time frames, and the location, so they can make recommendations. If you had complications with previous pregnancies, your doctor might tell you to avoid travel until the baby’s born.
Stay Comfortable When You Travel (Plane, Train, Car)
Stress might be okay for the average person, but pregnant women should look for ways to stay comfortable and avoid stress during travel.
- Eating healthy and staying hydrated: Eat well and enjoy healthy foods. Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.
- Dress in layers: Depending on your travel location, you might go from hot to cold, so wear comfortable layers. You can always store an extra sweater in your carry-on. Wear comfortable shoes to support your feet so you can walk around.
- Bring your pillow and blanket: On flights and during long car rides, your favorite pillow and a warm blanket can give you added comfort. It can also help in hotels if the pillows are too firm or not firm enough.
- Take extra time: Don’t rush to the airport or for connecting flights. Allow extra time.
- Get up and stretch: On long flights, book an aisle seat so you can walk frequently and stretch your legs. If you’re driving, stop often and walk around. If you're on a train, get up and walk around every thirty-minutes to an hour. This can reduce the risk of developing blood clots from sitting too long.
Know the Associated Medical Risks
Travelling while pregnant comes with a few risks you should talk to your doctor about.
Developing a blood clot
You may be prone to blood clots. Ensure you walk regularly and wear loose clothes.
Catching a food-borne or water-borne illness
These can be more severe for expectant moms. Take extreme precautions with food and water while travelling. Wash off all fruits and vegetables, only drink bottled water, and frequently wash your hands.
Avoiding a vaccine
You need vaccines in some countries, but live vaccines aren’t safe for expectant moms. An inactive vaccine might be okay. Refer to your physician about the vaccine requirements for the country you want to visit.
Find the Best Travel Insurance to Safeguard Your Travel Plans
It might take time to find the right travel insurance, but it can give you more confidence if you’re going away. You can’t tell if you’ll need to see a doctor while abroad. Pregnancy travel insurance gives you added peace of mind if there’s an emergency while you’re away. And, you can enjoy travelling - safely and comfortably, before your bundle of joy arrives! With Kanetix.ca you can compare travel insurance rates from Canada's leading insurance providers.