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Long haul flights in third trimester?

(17 Posts)
catslaw Thu 30-Jan-14 12:41:30

Hi all

Now at the beginning of my third trimester, and facing the grey London weather... the idea of indulging in sunshine and swimming in warm waters before the baby arrives sounds wonderfully appealing. My other half has suggested Thailand, and the flavours already beckon.

But there is a nagging feeling that I am being silly / over ambitious.

I am in good health and so is the baby. Assuming that we are able to sort travel insurance, identify good local maternity care, and choose eating venues carefully... Are long haul flights to exotic destinations just not a good idea?

I'd very much welcome thoughts on this...

Many thanks!

LadyGreenTea Thu 30-Jan-14 12:46:59

Check with airlines, they will have a limit on whether you can fly depending on how far along you are.

saffstel Thu 30-Jan-14 12:47:58

I did a trip to the Canary Islands when I was 34 weeks (just made the cut off date for being allowed to fly!). I think it's a 4 ish hour flight, and I was quite uncomfortable! I wouldn't do it again I think.
I was also with a 2year old and Dh.

TerribleMother Thu 30-Jan-14 12:52:45

I flew London to Australia at 36weeks gone. Had to, virtually had no choice. It was horrific!

26 hours of my own personal hell (and to be honest, hell for my dh, flight attendants and probably the people sitting near me). One labour scare with 10ish hours to go, two bouts of vomiting, one bout of diarrhea, countless up from my seat, back down in my seat, waddles round the plane later, and I'd have jumped out of the fucking thing with no parachute given half the chance! confusedconfused

I had to have letters from a consultant as well, and insurance was very very expensive. I definitely wouldn't recommend it grin.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 30-Jan-14 13:01:19

No, I would not consider this now and I flew longhaul when I was 19 weeks.

The political situation in Thailand is unpredictable and sometimes volatile. Over recent years there have been instances of civil and political unrest resulting in large demonstrations and in some cases violence.

On 21 January the Thai Government declared a 60-day State of Emergency in Bangkok. Honestly I would consider going elsewhere at this time given its instability.

Theknacktoflying Thu 30-Jan-14 13:14:27

I think you will be hard pressed to find an airline that will fly you.

I think you will also probably require a letter from your doctor saying you can fly.

catslaw Thu 30-Jan-14 21:56:35

Both glad and sad to see such consensus on this question. But thank you. Your insights are priceless.

specialsubject Fri 31-Jan-14 14:35:00

you can visit Thailand without going near Bangkok - but I really can't see you getting travel insurance now or clearance to fly. Sorry.

PestoStormissimos Fri 31-Jan-14 15:25:51

I flew to South Africa at 26 weeks for a couple of sunshiney weeks away before having DD1 and it was fine. Went surfing, swimming, sight-seeing but did feel a bit fat in the heat!

Scotinoz Fri 31-Jan-14 16:18:50

I flew Australia to the UK at 26 weeks, then back home to Australia at 28+5. Airline cut off was 29 weeks. I did it through necessity, and probably wouldn't do it again. It was just flipping exhausting. Too many hours all squashed up.

For a holiday I'd think about somewhere a bit closer. Florida or Southern California would be nice winter sun.

Scotinoz Fri 31-Jan-14 16:20:56

Oh, and as TerribleMotherb said, the insurance premium for travel after 24 weeks was cripplingly expensive.

catslaw Sat 01-Feb-14 20:39:13

Thanks all.

Done a bit more homework here and it is doable.
- A letter from doctors seems indispensable, and
- There are affordable speciality insurance options (allcleartravel.co.uk appears to be helpful

The real issues seem to be
- comfort with the (discomfort) of long flights (@TerribleMother's 26 hour flight to AU sounds pretty horrific !!!)
- making sure that you are hydrated, and promoting good circulation with horrid travel tights

It seems to be more of an issue with personal comfort than health risk. But still the argument in favour of a shorter flight is a very very strong one.

For those also considering this question, here's another thread on the same issue (which sadly I didn't see earlier): www.mumsnet.com/Talk/pregnancy/207742-long-haul-flights-in-third-trimester/AllOnOnePage

mummymeister Sat 01-Feb-14 22:31:57

it isn't just personal comfort. there can be health issues depending on your general health, length of flight etc. what if you are delayed? I know you are looking for reasons to do it but assuming this is your first DC I am firmly in the camp of saying please don't. the flight out might be Ok but by the time you come back you will a few weeks further on. stay a bit closer to home. please.

Southsearocks Sat 01-Feb-14 22:43:28

Please consider carefully where you go and what would happen if your baby came early. See my posts on my waters breaking early in the USA (at 27 weeks). It happens. Insurance usually only covers you, not the birth itself and not the baby so if the baby needs neonatal care you may have to foot the bill. Ours was covered after much indecision and because, as an American citizen, my son could claim Medicare. In total our care was around £200,000.

You might be fine of course but you just don't know...

Southsearocks Sat 01-Feb-14 22:45:30

PS and we were both in good shape before we flew. No indication anything would go wrong.

Hersetta Fri 07-Feb-14 14:59:43

I have done it twice. with our first we flew to the Maldives when I was 24 weeks and with our second we flew again to the Maldives at 29 weeks (flights were 10 hrs plus seaplane transfers). I was fine, kept mobile, drank lots and wore DVT socks on the plane.

I did get a drs fit to fly letter as it was after 28 weeks and got a travel insurance policy that covered me up to 36 weeks. Certainly doable.

elizabethsmum Fri 07-Feb-14 22:26:12

A lot of points already covered here already but another I could add was don't underestimate how the heat might affect you. I have flown long haul twice while preg- once in first trimester with severe hyperemisis- not good.
Second preg was 19 weeks with twins- (sister's wedding so had to go).

First point- depends how big you are by the time you go in terms of comfort- it is not easy even moving around narrow aisles of plane. Secondly I got cellulitis in my legs while I was away which was very painful and potentially more serious than I realised at the time.

There are reasons why insurance companies and airlines need medical letters to allow you to travel and you do need to seriously consider the risks.

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