Beginner’s Guide to Traveling To Europe Pregnant

Traveling while pregnant can seem quite daunting and scary at first, but provided you’re armed with the correct travel information, had the appropriate vaccinations and of course sent off your EHIC application and successfully received your E111 card, you should be able to travel without a hitch. In this guide we’re going to explain exactly how you can achieve this worry free journey when traveling to Europe pregnant.

When To Travel In Pregnancy

It is best not to travel to Europe in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, due to the fact nausea and fatigue are particularly more severe in these early stages. Plus the risk of a miscarriage is also higher in the first 3 months of pregnancy whether you’re traveling or not.

What’s more, you should avoid traveling to Europe in the final months of pregnancy, because aside from the obvious reason of giving birth in a foreign country not exactly being ideal; it can become very tiring and uncomfortable for a woman to travel at this point of pregnancy.

So the optimal time for travel is mid pregnancy, between the 4 and 6 month stage, after the more delicate phases of the first trimester, but before the chances of premature labour.

Flying During Pregnancy

Flying cannot cause any harm to you or your baby, but before you book a flight, it’s important that you discuss any prior health concerns or pregnancy complications with a doctor, to ensure that you are safe to fly.

You should also take into consideration how far along into your pregnancy you are. With the likelihood of you going into labour substantially higher after 37 weeks than ever before, some airlines may not let you fly depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy.

Many airlines, after the 28th week of your pregnancy, will ask for a letter from your doctor, confirming your due date and that you aren’t at risk of any complications.

In addition, it’s important to note that a journey longer than 4 hours slightly increases the risk of blood clots, specifically deep vein thrombosis. Therefore, when flying, ensure that you drink plenty of water and move around 30 minutes or so to stretch. To reduce the chance of leg swelling, you can buy a pair of graduated compression or support stockings from the pharmacy.

Car Travel In Pregnancy

It’s best to avoid long car journeys if you’re pregnant. However, if it can’t be avoided, make sure you stop regularly and get out of the car to stretch and move around.

You can also do some exercises in the car (when you’re not driving), such as flexing and rotating your feet and wiggling your toes. This will keep the blood flowing through your legs and reduce any stiffness and discomfort. Wearing compression stockings while on long car journeys (more than 4 hours) can also increase the blood flow in your legs and help prevent blood clots.

Fatigue and dizziness are common during pregnancy, so it’s important on car journeys to drink regularly and eat natural, energy-giving foods, such as fruit and nuts. You should also keep the air circulating in the car and wear your seatbelt with the cross strap between your breasts and the lap strap across your pelvis under your bump, not across your bump.

Road accidents are among the most common causes of injury in pregnant women. If you have to make a long trip, don’t travel on your own and share the driving with your companion.