if you are pregnant

if you are pregnant

Before leaving

It’s all right to travel and to be pregnant, but you must respect several strict rules. The best time to travel is during the second trimester of pregnancy. A woman who is pregnant can travel under good conditions if she carefully chooses her destination and the length of her visit. She must however do away with any unnecessary, harmful risks and carelessness for the sake of her own health and for the health of her pregnancy.

Your gynaecologist must approve of your travel plans before you leave. Make an appointment to get his/her opinion; he/she will also provide you with a health certificate, which may be required by certain airline companies. Most interior flights will generally allow you to travel right up to term; however a time limit is set for international flights. Be sure you have authorisation to travel round-trip, and not just one way.

Have your doctor’s phone number on hand and verify that pregnancy is not excluded from the guaranties cited in your assistance contract.

It is extremely risky to travel to a place where you are not able to receive treatment or advice from a medical professional in case of a problem. Therefore you must be sure that the country or countries you will be visiting have proper medical structures. Contact your assistance company. They will be able to give you this information.

Countries presenting a high-level health risk should be avoided during pregnancy, except in the case of absolute necessity.

At the same time, avoid high altitudes and extreme heat, which are both a source of major discomfort.

Attenuated living virus vaccines are generally not recommended during pregnancies. Please consult your family practitioner.

The Yellow Fever vaccination is permitted after the 6th month of pregnancy. It is administered in an accredited health centre and validated in your vaccination booklet.

Malaria is a very serious illness for pregnant women. Travelling to a malaria endemic region should be put off, except in case of absolute necessity.

If you simply must go to one of these countries, you must realize that the most important part of preventing malaria is via mechanical protection (repulsive agents, mosquito netting, wearing long-sleeved garments and long trousers). You must also take your daily medication prescribed by your doctor. Some of this medication may be advised against in the case of pregnancy.

A long-distance flight can be very uncomfortable on legs and feet. It’s important to drink lots of water throughout the flight, to get up and walk around whenever possible and to wear support stockings. Wearing a safety belt placed snugly under the belly is obligatory and will protect both the mother and her unborn baby.

Once you have arrived, try to avoid prolonged transfers in a bus or automobile, particularly over roads unsuited to motor vehicles. Do not lift or carry heavy luggage.

Medical professionals strongly advise against practicing any aggressive sports during pregnancy, and do not recommend scuba diving or water skiing.

If you have any problem while travelling, don’t wait until you get home to consult a doctor. The regulating doctor of your assistance company is available to discuss any questions or doubts you may have about your health. He/she can provide useful advice, contact your family doctor and organize a consultation wherever you are.