Wednesday 21 March 2012

Travelling When Pregnant - A Cautionary Tale

These days we travel, we take it for granted. In our grandparents day overseas travel was often a once in a lifetime experience, these days, it can be once a year, even more often. Pregnancy is not an illness, it should be a normal life event, it shouldn't force us to stop doing things that we love to do, as long those things aren't injurious to ourselves or unborn baby!

As regular readers know, I deal in the minorities of pregnancy, those one in 10-13 pregnancies that do not go to plan. I think sometimes it can be easy to be blase about pregnancy, but even now in the 21st century pregnancy can be a risky business.

But being pregnant shouldn't curtail our lives to such an extent that we feel confined to our homes unable to travel, unable to lead our normal lives, but we do need to make careful considerations in our pregnancies, to make sure that we have covered our bases.

The difficult thing is, no one can predict when your baby will come. Whilst some women are high risk for premature deliveries, a lot of women are not, and are caught by suprise. I would never say "don't travel in your third trimester" if your having an uncomplicated pregnancy. However if you are going to travel, be prepared.

This story has prompted today's post. The couple in question had their baby at 26 weeks gestation whilst on holiday in Canada. Whilst the mother (and father) were covered, the policy did not cover childbirth or the baby. The have been left with $1 000 000 bill. Eye watering, bankrupting stuff, in an already highly stressful situation. There was a very interesting and heated discussion on my Facebook page today about this story, but the moral of it is be prepared. It isn't courting fate, it's being sensible

This is not as uncommon as you might think. I have heard heartbreaking stories of people trapped abroad, without support of their families, only to find they do not have adequate insurance cover. I'll never forget a thread on the Bliss messageboard a few years ago about a mum stuck in Tunisia on holiday with her 27 weeker, with inadequate insurance.

If you chose to travel in your third trimester, call your insurance provider, shop around, and make sure you have adequate levels of cover in place. Ask the question, "would I be covered if my baby arrived prematurely and would my baby be covered". Double check. Get it in writing too.

Consider what sort of holiday or break would be best, too. In our case we chose to travel to Germany to be home just before my 24th week, and just as well, as it turns out. But we also chose to travel to family and friends, my Mother in Law is a practising midwife in Germany so had things gone pear shaped earlier, we did have a back up plan.

Life is for living, but always check the fine print, and have a worst case scenario plan in place. 

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