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Going to France at 34/35 weeks

(15 Posts)
CitizenOscar Mon 29-Apr-13 17:18:30

We've planned a family holiday (including DH, Ds1, DM, DF and some others) around a wedding in the south of France. I will be 34/35 weeks' pregnant with DS2 and I'm starting to get a bit anxious about it.

So, please tell me: am I being a total fool for even considering it? We're going by train so no flying involved.

And if not, what sensible steps should I be taking? I'm thinking things like telling travel insurance company, bringing notes with me...?

DejaB00 Mon 29-Apr-13 18:23:46

Hi
It is entirely your decision whether you go or not, and I'm sure your midwife can advise.
I am from France, and go back regularly. Antenatal/maternity care is fantastic over there, so you don't have to worry about standards. Do you speak French though? You might struggle if not and the medical staff's English is not quite up to scratch (which if they are 'old' is a possibility), plus they might struggle to read your notes.
Have you got an E111 card? You may have to pay some costs if you are treated, but as long as you have a card and get all the paperwork filled in at docs/hospital, the NHS will refund on your return. I had to be treated in hospital for a miscarriage while on holiday there a few years ago, and it all went very smoothly.

CitizenOscar Mon 29-Apr-13 20:51:00

Thanks, that's reassuring. I have a gp appointment the week before so will be able to get their opinion then.

I do speak French - studied at uni but a bit rusty and not totally up on pregnancy/medical vocab but could probably get by.

I have the EHIC card.

rowtunda Mon 29-Apr-13 21:24:19

I'm in the same position - I really want to go to friends wedding in france at 36 weeks. We would be travelling on Eurostar and I checked with the post office and they would insure me (not all companies would pay for all costs).

My main reservations are
DS1 was born at 38weeks
DS1 was born in 7hr labour - I've heard second ones can come a lot quicker and I don't want to be on a train!
I only speak very basic GCSE English
The length of the journey (6hrs on a train) may just be a bit too much

But I really really want to go! Once I get there it could be a really relaxing weekend break away without DS1 pre DC2

Sorry I'm not really any help!

rowtunda Mon 29-Apr-13 21:25:13

Ha ha - I only speak basic French (basic English when sleep deprived though!!!grin)

ButteryJam Mon 29-Apr-13 21:26:49

CitizenOscar, if your midwife is OK with it, I would personally go for it. You could take your notes with you. Are you by any chance taking your car with you? If so, you could keep your hospital bags in your boot.

CitizenOscar Mon 29-Apr-13 21:30:15

I know what you mean about the train journey but I think it'd be ok without DS1. We'll have 2yo DS1 with us, so I am nervous about the journey too!

DS1 was born at 39+4 and was loooooong labour (contractions started at 39+1) but who knows what this one will be like?

I don't want to miss out on a lovely holiday when it could be another 4-6 weeks before baby arrives but I don't really fancy having baby away from home. Wish I had a crystal ball.

P.S. any tips on maternity swimwear if I do go?!

CitizenOscar Mon 29-Apr-13 21:36:19

Buttery - my parents are driving so could take some extra luggage (eg hospital bag) with them.

Wincher Tue 30-Apr-13 09:39:37

I went to France when I was about 33 weeks in my last pregnancy and the worst bit was having to avoid all the lovely cheese/wine/pate... Actually the worst bit was having a car accident - although I was uninjured, I went to get checked out at hospital and they kept me in overnight for monitoring. I had very good care, a private room etc (though the food was just as grim as English hospitals). My rusty French totally deserted me in the hospital and no one spoke any English. I had my EHIC card but my travel insurance wouldn't cover me for pregnancy-related issues past 32 weeks, so I was a bit worried about the bill. I didn't have to pay anything at the time but I was sent a bill a while later. I called up the EHIC people who told me to pay it and claim it back through them, which i did - it all went very smoothly and I wasn't out of pocket at all.

CitizenOscar Tue 30-Apr-13 12:41:28

Thanks Wincher, that's really interesting, especially about the insurance and EHIC.

NotSoNervous Tue 30-Apr-13 12:44:31

I ent to Paris on the Eurostar when I was about 31/32w pregnant with DC1 for a few days and it was all fine, my ankles swelled up a fair bit though from all the walking

DejaB00 Tue 30-Apr-13 14:58:28

citizenoscar don't tell anyone but I don't take out travel insurance when I go to France. I've been treated several times (sprained spine, miscarriage, pneumonia- I'm so lucky!). As long as it's necessary emergency treatment and you are able to fork out initially (credit card
always handy) then the NHS will refund in full.

CitizenOscar Tue 30-Apr-13 17:05:49

My lips are sealed Deja wink

We've got annual travel insurance so I'm thinking I should probably let them know or find out what they would/wouldn't cover. But good to know it's not necessarily an issue.

Obviously hoping I won't need any treatment and will just be able to potter around in the sun and work on my tan (or more likely chasing DS1 away from the bidet if our last trip to France is anything to go by).

Jollyb Tue 30-Apr-13 17:39:16

The EHIC card entitles you to emergency treatment so that wouldn't necessarily be a problem, but doesn't cover any repatriation costs. From memory my travel insurance allows travel quite late into pregnancy.

rowtunda Tue 30-Apr-13 21:23:48

Yep check with insurance company. I spoke to one company which would only treat you for 'unexpected' pregnancy complications - which as I was going to be travelling at 36 weeks they agreed actual birth was not counted as unexpected and therefore wouldn't be covered!

Post office said they would cover everything.

DO NOT TRAVEL WITHOUT INSURANCE!

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