Honeymooning when pregnant

Temples at Borobudur, Indonesia


If you’re getting married while pregnant you may wonder if honeymooning is still a good idea – or, indeed, if it’s still possible. But travel doesn’t have to be off the cards just because you’re pregnant – far from it – though of course you may find you need to weigh up your options a little more than normal. Here’s my tips for successfully honeymooning while pregnant:

  • Consider what stage you’ll be at when you’ll be travelling. The first trimester can be a real struggle, especially with tiredness and sickness, and medical practictioners consider the second trimester to be the most comfortable for travelling – your energy levels will be up, but you won’t be so heavily pregnant to make things too difficult or tiring, and you won’t need to worry about giving birth abroad.
  • Take your maternity notes with you. This is an important point regardless of where you are in your pregnancy (though you’ll only have maternity notes once you’ve had your booking appointment – usually around 10 weeks); travelling with your notes means that if something happens to you (pregnancy related or otherwise), the medical staff can be immediately up to date with your pregnancy and personal situation. This also applies if you’re travelling within your home country prior to the birth.
  • Speak to your doctor or midwife. If you’re worried about travelling, your midwife or doctor will be able to provide advice and reassurance, and give you suggestions for making things more comfortable and easier. If you have had any complications so far with your pregnancy, however, they are likely to recommend that you don’t travel abroad for the rest of your pregnancy.
  • Check airline regulations. If you’re planning on flying, check with the airline(s) you’re thinking of booking with as to what their policy is with regards to pregnant travellers. For example, British Airways will allow you to travel up until  your 36th week (32nd week if you’re having more than one baby), but after 28 weeks you’ll need to take a certificate from your doctor or midwife confirming your estimated due date and that there are no complications.
  • Wear comfortable clothes when travelling. Don’t worry about dressing up for the plane – wear what will make you feel most comfortable, especially if you are flying long haul. So think layers – cardigans, vest tops, a scarf or wrap – and stay away from tighter fitting clothes like jeans.
  • When flying, walk around and stretch as much as possible. This will help you feel more comfortable and also help to relax you.
  • Factor in time to relax. Unless of course you’re having a beach holiday, when relaxation will be playing a major role anyway, do make sure that you have time in your plans to stop and wind down for a bit. For example, if you’re going to be driving from one destination to the next, make sure that the distances aren’t too far, or factor in a stop for an hour or two for lunch in the middle of your drive (not to mention stops for snacks and leg-stretching in between).
  • If you’ll be honeymooning in your third trimester, consider staying close(ish) to home. It’s likely to feel a bit risky going too far away in your third trimester, so think about honeymooning in the same country – if you live in London, for example, you might want to consider heading up to Norfolk, or down to Devon; in the US, you might want to think about taking a long-distance train journey to get a bit further away, and to save the hassle of flying.
  • Vaccinations. General advice from the NHS is that you should avoid travelling to destinations that require vaccinations during pregnancy, because of concerns that the bacteria or virus in the jab could harm the baby. That said, if you are travelling to a country that requires vaccinations, it’s better to be vaccinated than not. See more on the NHS website
  • Pack plenty of food and drinks when travelling. Remaining hydrated and keeping your energy levels up are particularly important when pregnant.
  • Take out travel insurance. Travel insurance is always important when travelling, but especially so when you’re pregnant – if you require any medical attention, you don’t want to have to contemplate huge costs to be seen abroad, for a start. Do be sure to check that any travel insurance policy you take our will definitely cover you travelling while pregnant (you may have to declare this before hand).
Photograph courtesy of Gildardo Sánchez
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