Recently a 27 year old influencer was forced to defend herself after fans slammed her flying to the Maldives during her third trimester. Tammy Hembrow is currently 32 weeks pregnant with her third child. The fitness influencer boasts 14.5 million Instagram followers on her personal page and 487k on her fitness page (@tammyhembrowfitness).

Whilst the majority of comments on her latest snaps were positive and full of compliments, critics were outraged that she had chosen to travel abroad with many expressing concerns of the risk of giving birth in another country. Tammy responded; “Midwife said it’s perfectly fine. Fit and healthy and so is bub :)”.

Airlines permit pregnant women to travel right up to 36 weeks for a single pregnancy and 32 weeks for a multiple pregnancy as long as there have been no complications. A medical/fit to fly certificate is required from week 29 and boarding may be refused without one. It is important to note, travel insurance providers will only cover the cost of giving birth abroad up to 28 weeks unless a complication arises. Expenses following a premature, but otherwise normal, birth from week 29 will not be covered.

If the infant is born prematurely, they usually will not be able to fly home until they reach what would have been their full term. Their internal organs will need to be fully developed in order to withstand the pressure of travelling at high altitude. The cost of remaining abroad until it is safe to fly home will not be covered by all travel insurance policies so this is something for expectant parents to look out for if they plan to travel at any stage of the pregnancy.

Those who are looking to travel during pregnancy should speak with their midwife or GP and understand the risks involved. Here are our five top tips for travelling whilst pregnant:

  1. If travelling by air we recommend sticking to short-haul flights as long-haul flights can be taxing on the body. If you are going long-haul take all the necessary precautions for keeping you and your baby comfortable and safe.
  2. When travelling by air, or during long car journeys, it is a good idea to wear compression (or flight) socks. These can be purchased at most pharmacies and will prevent swelling as well as reducing the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT/blood clots). Small, regular exercises will also help improve circulation.
  3. When travelling by sea in particular, pregnancy can make you feel more nauseous. Although there are medications available, they may not be suitable to take during pregnancy, however there are anti-sickness bands which use acupressure to relieve symptoms of nausea and herbal remedies that you can buy so this may be something to try if you are going on a cruise or travelling by boat.
  4. Food poisoning, infections and extreme heat are all known to bring on early labour. Although we want you to enjoy your trip and try as many new things as possible, it is a good idea to stick to foods you know have been prepared in hygienic conditions and steer clear of market stalls, pre-washed foods and seafood vans.
  5. The same goes for tap water, if you are unsure about the cleanliness of the tap water it may be best to use bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth. It is also advised that you do not eat pre-washed foods (salads and fruit that you cannot peel yourself) or have ice cubes in your drinks.

For more tips and advice for travelling during pregnancy, follow this link