I've just found out I'm pregnant and my husband and I want one last romantic holiday in Italy before the baby comes. Do I need special travel insurance? I keep reading about 'pre-existing medical conditions' and wondering if pregnancy is classed as one? Melanie Rawson, Leeds
Stuart Bensusan, Sales Director for Essential Travel says:
We get roughly 60 calls a day from women in their first trimester worried that pregnancy counts as a 'pre-existing medical condition' and they will need special travel insurance - they won't. With a few exceptions, 99% of mums-to-be are perfectly fine and will be covered by a standard travel insurance policy, meaning expectant mums can relax and make the most of a much-needed break before the big day.
There are three basic rules Mums-to-Be need to be aware of when travelling:
- Being pregnant is not classed as a medical condition unless you have had previous problems with an earlier pregnancy.
- Your pregnancy is covered as long as you are back in the UK within eight weeks of the due delivery date - therefore you are covered up to week 32 in your pregnancy.
- Emergency medical expenses due to pregnancy are covered as long as you are not expected to give birth within 8 weeks of the start of the trip, during the trip or within 8 weeks of the end of the trip. So anything over 36 weeks would probably not be covered. From 32-36 weeks you need to have written consent from your GP/midwife stating that you are fit to fly. However, rules vary between airlines and travellers should check the protocol with individual airlines because some request a letter from doctors if a traveller is flying from her 28th week of pregnancy.
Joanna Hunter, Editor of Essential Travel Magazine says: Morning sickness isn't quite Stuart's remit, so I've stepped in.
Obviously if you are really worried about your morning sickness you should consult your doctor, but one option is Biobands, anti-motion sickness acupressure bands that are said to be effective for morning sickness as well as general travel sickness.
Other suggestions for combating morning sickness - when travelling or otherwise - include eating small but frequent meals, carrying a perfumed handkerchief for combatting strong, nausea-inducing odours and eating lots of protein, as this is believed to fight off nausea. Good luck - and have a good trip!
Please note: If you should go into labour prematurely (i.e. prior to 32 weeks), this can be classed as unexpected and should therefore be covered. But you would not be allowed to ask for a caesarean section when the natural birthing procedure is adequate etc. In any circumstances a call should be made to the emergency medical assistance line for their help in ensuring you get the right treatment whilst you are away.