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Longhaul flight to Barbados when 34 weeks pregnant - should I go?

(21 Posts)
emjawi Mon 18-Mar-13 13:51:56

Hi everyone, I wouldn't normally be asking a question if I should go to Barbados or not but in this case I'm very anxious about it. We have a holiday booked with my husband's side of the family to Barbados in a couple of weeks time. Flying out I will be 33.5 weeks pregnant, flying back 34.5 weeks. I was persuaded into it by my in-laws when I was around 8 weeks pregnant as originally I said no as I would be in my 3rd trimester by then. I really regret backing down.

My in-laws have upgraded me to upper class on the way back so I have a flat bed over night. However I'm still very anxious about the whole experience - the flight in general (we have a 2 year old as well and I am a nervous flyer), back ache, blood clots, jet lag, having a baby in Barbados (nightmare!), uncomfortable beds etc. On the other hand it'll probably be a great break with the family.

The alternative options are I stay in the UK and my husband and little boy go to Barbados (my husband's entire family will be there to help) but I know I will miss my little one dearly. However I don't really feel I can ask them to miss the holiday due to my anxiety. Furthermore it could be a nice rest for me to have a week at my parents' house. Or we all stay at home together. My flight could be refunded but their's would not.

The doctor's are telling me medically I am ok to fly but it's not ideal for obvious reasons. I'm a bit of a worrier by nature and I really wouldn't forgive myself or my husband's family if anything happened to the baby or myself.

Advice would be so much appreciated.

DewDr0p Mon 18-Mar-13 13:54:42

Have you managed to get travel insurance OP? I remember struggling to find anyone to insure me past a certain no of weeks when I was pg (can't remember exactly how many - 32 maybe?)

I can totally understand your anxiety btw, I think it's very reasonable to want to stay close to home at this stage in your pg!

MOSagain Mon 18-Mar-13 14:02:45

Have you checked with the airline that they will allow you to fly? The limit varies between airlines but can be as early as 32 or 34 weeks with some.

I flew when around 32 weeks pregnant (not through choice, was living abroad) and it was very stressful. I must have been asked 5 or 6 times how many weeks pregnant I was and had to keep producing my drs certificate.

emjawi Mon 18-Mar-13 14:45:41

Yes, I am covered with travel insurance and they will refund my ticket if I opt out if I'm advised not to go by a Doctor. I have already seen a dr and said about my anxiety so if necessary I think the Dr could put anxiety as a reason. The airline (Virgin) allows you to fly up to 36 weeks. It's good to know that I'm not crazy for feeling this way...

monkeyfacegrace Mon 18-Mar-13 14:50:39

I went into labour at 32+6 so Im a little more wary.

Was DS birth straightforward? And does your DH have family out there you could stay with if, worst case, you give birth over there?

Personally, Id enjoy a week alone grin

givemeaclue Mon 18-Mar-13 17:34:11

I wouldn't go.

Fluffy1234 Mon 18-Mar-13 17:37:35

Nor would I.

fedupwithdeployment Mon 18-Mar-13 17:43:12

I would go. I went to the US at about the same stage to see DH. I wanted to go to Bermuda a few weeks later, but it was right at the point that insurance wouldn't cover me (36 weeks I think) so I didn't go. I went to a friend's wedding in Cornwall instead (drove all the way on my own). Quite a few people thought I was bonkers, but I enjoyed it and was fine.

But your decision.

AimsJD Tue 19-Mar-13 09:04:57

Hi. I am a neonatal nurse and I would really try to persuade you not to go. When your baby is born prematurely it can be hard enough. If your baby was born early in Barbados it may not get as good health care as over in England. You may just spend the whole time on the baby ward as the baby is most likely not to take off with feeds as a term baby. X

AimsJD Tue 19-Mar-13 09:06:15

Hi. I am a neonatal nurse and I would really try to persuade you not to go. When your baby is born prematurely it can be hard enough. If your baby was born early in Barbados it may not get as good health care as over in England. You may just spend the whole time on the baby ward as the baby is most likely not to take off with feeds as a term baby. X

Toasttoppers Tue 19-Mar-13 09:08:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mutley77 Wed 03-Apr-13 15:15:30

I would definitely not go. I am not overly risk averse and with reference to one post above would have no problem doing the drive to Cornwall on my own at a late stage of pregnancy. The thing about getting to a country where you need to fly to get home is that if there is any complication meaning you can't fly back - you are effectively trapped there until you have your baby and she/he is old enough and well enough to fly back with you. Having had complications in later pregnancy (out of nowhere) - I know now how common they can be. You then have the added complications of who is going to stay with you and how practical that is going to be - assuming that your DH has a job to get back to.

I would also not be happy about either of my DC going that far away for that long without me (and they are now aged 8 and 4) - even if they were with my DH.

In terms of your insurance I would be surprised if the cancellation of your DH and DC aren't covered. We had to cancel a holiday due to my pregnancy and the whole family were covered as they were travelling with me.

I think your DH's family sound a bit controlling and unnecessarily involved IMO but that is probably a separate issue!

Flibbertyjibbet Wed 03-Apr-13 15:26:51

They sound like my inlaws, they think babies only come on their due dates and were sulking because we turned down the use of their holiday home in a remote part of cumbria for a bank holiday weekend, a week before my due date with ds2.

Their answer was that if I went into labour there is a nice (tiny) hospital in the nearest town and if anything went wrong its ok cos they airlift people to Dumfries and Galloway hosp!!

Or I could set off home at the first contractions... M6 on a bank holiday weekend anyone? I'd have been airlifted out of the traffic jam!

ANyway, back to OP. I think you should check the insurance and see if all your flights are covered if you cannot go. Then have a holiday later on with all 4 of you while baby can fly for free.

sannaville Wed 03-Apr-13 15:38:59

I flew to lanzarote at 31 wks came home and the next day dd1 was born!! Dd2 was born at 30 wks! No known cause for either being born early. I would not fly that late if I were u, what happens if u go into labour on the flight?

FannyFifer Wed 03-Apr-13 15:44:44

Latest I've flown was 32 weeks and it wasn't fun tbh.
I was very very swollen after being on the flight and it took a lot out of me.

everlong Thu 04-Apr-13 21:16:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cq Thu 04-Apr-13 21:24:56

Don't do it. As someone said up thread, hospitals are not great in the Caribbean - everyone who can afford it goes to the States for any necessary treatment. Don't want to scare you, but why take the risk? You would never forgive yourself if anything happened.

At best you will be completely knackered on your return and that's no way to start your new chapter as mum-of-two, which is a hard hard journey.

Let your Dh & little one go and enjoy a quiet time on your own, nesting. It will be your last bit of peace for a long time!

detoxlatte Thu 04-Apr-13 21:28:16

Are you sure Virgin will take you until 36 weeks? I flew LHR-JFK at 27 weeks with Virgin and that was the absolute limit.

Personally I wouldn't go - it's not necessary, and frankly the allure of time alone at this stage of a second pregnancy would be far greater than being stuck on an island with my inlaws!

difficultpickle Thu 04-Apr-13 21:35:24

You need to get your doctor to fill in this form if you are planning to fly after 28 weeks.

I had ds very unexpectedly at 33 weeks and he spent 4 weeks in NICU and nearly died. Whilst the hospitals in Barbados are okay I would worry about the NICU provision.

strandednomore Fri 05-Apr-13 09:25:00

Ok here are two sides to the story.
I flew back from Jamaica at about 34 weeks pregnant (business class, thank you very much!) and it was totally fine, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. However I flew back precisely because I wanted to have my baby in the UK where the facilities were better. HOWEVER the biggest risk in Ja (and Barbados probably similar) was the lack of NICU facilities and obviously the baby could have been born before I flew home anyway. Also, I have plenty of friends who DID have their babies in Jamaica and had no problems at all.
Not sure that helps much but I wouldn't dismiss it totally. Apart from the fact you will be very hot and not enjoy the holiday much anyway so is there a huge amount of point?

mummytime Fri 05-Apr-13 09:36:19

Barbados is supposed to have some of the best hospitals in the Carribean. But do what you feel happiest with.

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