Flying to America and driving there for the first time whilst 34 weeks pregnant(48 Posts)
My wife and I along with our four children have booked a holiday to Florida in august. My wife will be 34 weeks pregnant and is the only designated driver going on the trip. I am worried about the distance and time spent on the plane and then the added stress of driving in a foreign country setting off a premature labour. Our package holiday does come with some insurance but would that cover the costs of the delivery or would we have to pay a massive bill in an American hospital? Just panicking at this point as I am worried that something is going to go wrong. If anyone can shed some light on these enquiries It will be very appreciated . Thanks
Driving in the US is very easy. The cost of a birth over here depends on the hospital and the treatment she asks for. So would cost anywhere between $6-22k.
Will the airline allow her to fly at 34 weeks? Personally I wouldn't risk it.
Gosh, I wouldn't.
I mean, I know your wife has been pregnant four times before and no doubt feels fit and able, but at that late stage in pregnancy I personally wouldn't dream of taking such a long flight or doing something so physically taxing.
And it's not just the hospital costs, what about accommodation, transport and food for the rest of you plus repatriation costs?
I would check your travel insurances it may well not cover you. It's not as simple as the cost of giving birth. If your wife gives birth @34 weeks I am guessing you may need special care for sometime. The baby would then not be allowed to fly home for several weeks probably. You could potentially be looking at a very large bill.
That sounds horrendous, most airlines won't let pregnant women fly after 36 weeks how long are you going for? and generally you need a doctors certificate after 32 weeks given no later than 7 days before travel so I am guessing you will need to find a doctor in the US to issue this. Would it not be better to see if you can change the flight to slightly earlier July? I think the stress of worrying if anything will happen while you are out there will counter any enjoyment of the holiday . Also Florida holidays tend to be pretty full on I think you need to be running on full energy levels
You need to check what your policy covers with regards to a premature birth. I've read cases where the mother's health care was covered, but not the preemie, leaving families in thousands of pounds of debt.
I'm sorry to say this, but there is no way I would consider flying to the US while heavily pregnant. It's too risky. If your wife does have an early birth, even all is OK with the baby, and if everything is covered financially, you're still potentially looking at not bring able to bring the baby home for many weeks.
I know this is a hypothetical and everything will likely be ok, but I just wouldn't fly long haul, especially to the US, in this situation.
If you don't want to cancel it can you change it to am earlier date, maybe May half term instead?
You should read the insurance policy carefully. It may not cover pregnancy for the duration of your holiday. Would it cover you all if she can't get a fit to fly letter? What would happen if she wasn't well enough to drive?
It sounds like it could get very expensive and tricky.
The only person who can answer your question about what the insurance covers is the insurance provider, so call them. Also check with the airline if they will take your wife at 34 weeks (and the return journey at 35 or 36 weeks however long you are staying out there). Then check with your wife whether she thinks she can handle all that driving.
With many airline you need a doctor's letter if you look over 28 weeks. I flew at 24 weeks and was asked for a letter.... which I fortunately had as someone had warned me (and I did look big).
I was unable to drive after 36 weeks due to size of bump and uncomfortable driving at over 30 weeks.
I think it's very unlikely that the stress of flying and driving will trigger premature labour. But she might end up giving birth prematurely while there anyway, and at best, as PPs point out, you will have to get doctors' notes for each flight to allow her to fly plus if she does give birth, you will very very likely be facing an enormous medical bill.
It just seems like a bad idea all round to go on a longhaul holiday which you would be returning from at 36 weeks pregnant. I presume you are contemplating it because you have kids in school and wanted to give them a nice trip, but in your shoes I'd accept that that's out this year and take them to Cornwall or something.
I was in US for work 31-36 weeks pregnant, flew back at 36 weeks which was the latest they would take me. Even then there was quite a bit of anxiety about it from the airline (Virgin) & I had to go through a medical exam before they let me on, but once on plane I was treated SO well. Do check details of insurance carefully though. If it's just a holiday I'd definitely think about whether you could manage it any earlier...
As much as I appreciate all the posts from everyone (thank you) I now have even more to worry about lol. I would like to add that my wife has always opted for a natural birth with no pain relief or anything. She has always gone full term or within days and she is the best at planning and organising/researching anything. I just want to relieve some of the worry and pressure from her as she carries all of us 365 days a year. I will be looking into our insurance and she will speak to her gp/midwife. Thanks again for your posts 😊
I wouldn't go on holiday at that stage. Too risky for all reasons mentioned. Plus not really relaxing for your wife imo.
We can't afford it next year as then we will have a baby. Booked holiday some time ago and didn't know that we were expecting so pretty much have very little choice. Lol. The joys
When you speak to your insurer, make absolutely sure that any medical bills for the baby will also be covered.
Has your wife discussed her risk of deep vein thrombosis and preventative measures with hrr midwife?
You will need specific travel insurance and your wife will need a fit to fly letter.
Check the airline policy on travel at 36 weeks for the return flight.
I think this sounds potentially perilous all round.
I don't think it'd be as bad if it was just you and your wife but it'd be grim trying to cope with 4 DCS and a wife a new born in hospital.
It might be an idea to speak to whoever you booked your holiday with and find out if you can transfer to another location, get a (partial ) refund or transfer to another time.
If you were to lose the money if a refund isn't possible could you go on your own with the kids or transfer your wife's ticket to another relative?
If you can't afford it next year with a new baby, you definitely can't afford to be underinsured this year.
Would your insurance pay out if you cancelled the holiday due to unforeseen pregnancy? I wouldn't go either way tbh.
When checking the insurance get them to confirm that it covers your wife AND the unborn baby. If the baby is premature there will be a medical bill for the baby and many insurers just cover the named people
Also every pregnancy is different. It's still early days - by my rough calculations she might not have had her anomaly scan yet? Things might show up at that such as low lying placenta that means she can't fly so would book after that to save you the additional hassle.
Unless she's already had it then ignore me!
If your insurance covers pregnancy (which many don't), it's highly unlikely it will cover any medical costs for the baby who will be deemed their own person for insurance purposes. Medical care for a newborn born early can easily be in excess of $100 000. If you can't afford a holiday with the baby next year, then you are unlikely to be able to afford to cover the basic bill for a birth with no complications ($3000-5000). An emergency Caesarian could easily cost $50000 - it's unlikely travel insurance will cover this.
This sounds like one of the most ill-thought through plans I've ever heard of...
You need to check the return flight, The US insurance cut off is much earlier than everywhere else.
My sil could not get ANY insurance cover past 34 weeks, she would have been just a single day after the cut off point on her return journey, but still no one would insure her. Had she travelled anywhere else in the world, she would have been fine! This was 10 years ago, though!
I was overdue with both my pregnancies and was able to drive up till my inductions, but it was uncomfortable at times. If your wife is happy to drive, I don't think that side of things will be an issue. But you really do need to look into insurance for both wife AND a newborn baby!
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