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Travel at 37 weeks - crazy?

(66 Posts)
Snowfalls108 Mon 19-Jan-09 16:40:02

So I'm in the early days of pregnancy, but thinking ahead. Obviously things could all go wrong, but touch wood!

My friend is getting married in the south of France when I'll be 37 weeks. I'm meant to be giving a reading, and she's hiring a villa for 12 of us (including DH) to stay in for the week before.

Am I crazy to be contemplating going? I would travel down by train (with a friend), DH would fly down the next day as he's got work, and we would ship all our bags seperately.

Plus points to me are chance to have a week in a villa in the south of France, bob around in the pool, be looked after by friends and the cook who they've got in.
Cons - will I want to move anywhere at that stage? What happens if I go into labour?

As you can tell it's my first time at all this and any advice would be appreciated.
I will obviously take doctors advice too, but would be nice to hear from those who have been there done that! grin

daisy5 Mon 19-Jan-09 16:51:03

My view...

...big shame to miss out unless you really aren't comfortable with the idea. btw you won't be feeling very comfortable at 37 weeks - heat may be annoying at times, sleeping may be hard at times etc.

Have insurance etc, so that you can cancel if you need to. In my antenatal group one girl came five weeks early and another had a planned ceasar at around 37 weeks, so something could happen. However saying that plenty of us go over our due date.

If you decide to go, work out the worst that could happen and plan what you would do if that happened. If you went into labour on the train, into labour on holiday. Have phone numbers of doctors, local maternity hospital etc. Do you speak French? Does anybody in your group?

Probably someone who lives in France can advise a little more.

3littlefrogs Mon 19-Jan-09 16:55:11

If you decide to go, make sure you drink plenty, wear strong support tights and walk up and down the train very frequently to keep the circulation in your legs moving.

If you have any family history of DVT, or if you have varicose veins, ask your consultant what your risk of DVT is, and if they would recommend anything to reduce it.

Snowfalls108 Mon 19-Jan-09 16:55:49

Hi Daisy,
Thanks for the reply.
Yup we'll have a couple of French speakers in the group - wonder how their medical translations are, and if they know the French for "get me some pain killers now!"

I love planning, so that side of it wouldn't be an issue.

Going into labour on the train does not sound fun!

mrsgboring Mon 19-Jan-09 16:56:13

I don't know but I doubt you'd get insurance to cover you that late. Check Eurostar's policy too since they may not carry you that late on.

I really think 37 weeks is just too late, sorry.

Marthasmama Mon 19-Jan-09 16:58:53

I think at 37 weeks I could just about manage roll myself out of bed to shuffle to the toilet. grin

cmotdibbler Mon 19-Jan-09 17:01:45

I really wouldn't. Thats a long train journey when you will want to wee every 5 minutes, possibly not fit into train seat with table, be grumpy as lack of sleep etc.

And having a baby in a different country would not be a great experience I'm guessing. My DS turned up at 35 weeks, after I'd spent several days away on business (in this country) and that was a scary enough prospect

Carrie06 Mon 19-Jan-09 17:06:25

Unlikely that any insurance company would cover you that late. Not sure if the E111 or the new card that replaces it covers childbirth (EHIC or something like that). Cx

Snowfalls108 Mon 19-Jan-09 17:14:51

EHIC covers and Eurostar have no limits.
I've heard good reports about France's maternity care!

magnummum Mon 19-Jan-09 17:20:04

Having been told by all and sundry that first babies are ususally always late - mine was born at 37 weeks (and very quickly). Shame to miss your friend's wedding but personally I wouldn't be leaving the country that close to your due date. Good luck with making a decision!

Astarte Mon 19-Jan-09 17:23:27

I'm 37 weeks pg and not planning to leave the house very frequently, never mind the country!

Snowfalls is this your first baby by any chance? grin

Astarte Mon 19-Jan-09 17:24:04

Ah reread, I see it is. Good luck!

Snowfalls108 Mon 19-Jan-09 17:28:20

oh dear. Am I being a bit silly!
It would be so sad not to go.

Why do people need to get married so far away?

iwantitnow Mon 19-Jan-09 18:03:52

I had excruciating rib pain from 16 weeks in my first pregnancy, this one I've got morning sickness still and I'm over 31 weeks. Long trip on Eurostar I would not be contemplating now and definitely not at 37 weeks. However, some people have very easy pregnancies.

37 weeks is considered full term for a baby have friends who gave birth to first babies then. Would you be coming back at 38 weeks?

If you do book - book very cheap flights for DH, but I would do Eurostar 1st class to get more leg/bump room. I wouldn't agree to doing the reading though in case you have to pull out.

Depends how much its going to cost you to cancel and weighing up the risk of going into labour on the train.

LoveActually Mon 19-Jan-09 18:10:10

Hi Snowfalls,
Morning sickness aside I reckon I've had an easy/comfortable pregnancy, and had been planning to go away and stay with friends(in the UK) at 37 weeks. Am so glad we did not. At 37 weeks all I wanted to do was nest, and I certainly didn't feel like going very far. As iwantitnow said 37 weeks is full term, I'd be surprised if you felt like going by then.

MustHaveaVeryShortMemory Mon 19-Jan-09 19:07:30

Have you read any of this thread?

It is about childbirth in France and begins:

- here in France, there is no pain relief other than epidural
- that epidural is not mobile and means there is only one way to give birth - on your back, with feet in stirrups

I had my first baby at 37 weeks.... Don't do it!!

daisy5 Mon 19-Jan-09 19:32:58

Hi again

Yes, Snowfalls - there are quite a few considerations and you would have to know what you are taking on, and would have to be able to easily cancel nearer the time if it didn't appear a good idea.

My cousin delivered in France, and wasn't that impressed with it compared to Australia - they seem to encourage epidurals and like you to stay in bed. So you may have to accept that it would be that way if you went into labour in France and maybe ask around for lots of good and bad experiences in the French system to get a feel for how things can go. But are you the sort of person that would then worry every day that you might go into labour, and therefore it wouldn't be much fun for you anyway. If you are, there is not much point going as you will be stressed.

I went away for a long (romantic - well, sort of) weekend at 36 weeks (4 hours by car) and was happy waddling around - we went out to dinner each night although I wasn't much after 11pm. I actually found it a nice distraction from sitting around at home, which I was getting quite bored with. The travel in the car was fine - I don't remember being uncomfortable at all.

On the train would be a unique birth experience, although first births usually aren't quick (naturally, a few are) so you would start to make plans if you started to get contractions.

If the trainfare is much cheaper now, might it be a good idea just to book it and take a view much nearer the time? Also, you will want your doctors advice then, and if you have a high risk pregnancy they will advise against anyway.

Good luck with whatever you choose. How annoying is the timing!

dinkystinky Mon 19-Jan-09 21:03:33

To be honest, wouldnt be really that keen on travelling that far at 37 weeks as at that stage of pregnancy you feel huge, v uncomfortable (particularly in the heat) and need the loo every 5 minutes (am now 36 weeks with no 2 so know where am coming from). However, if you're having a straight forward pregnancy, and insurance and EHIC will cover you at 37-38 weeks and Eurostar will take you, it is worth considering - though if I were you I'd look in advance into what you'd have to do re passport and getting baby back into the country (and registering its birth) if you do end up birthing in France...

daisy5 Mon 19-Jan-09 21:12:56

Oh yes, a friend of mine was considering birth in Switzerland early, but amongst other things didn't like the idea of all the paperwork. Another friend gave birth in Australia, and the paperwork was a bit slow to come back.

nkf Mon 19-Jan-09 21:14:45

I wouldn't go. Not at 37 weeks. Stick to the sofa.

mrsgboring Mon 19-Jan-09 21:16:44

Is EHIC really enough cover though? I have often read that it is not to be relied on alone (though I always do). You need to look very carefully at what sort of out of pocket expenses you could incur, not least having to stay in France for longer than you bargained if you or the baby are not fit to travel on the appointed return date. Remember you could go into labour on the train going home and end up recovering from a C-section for a week in Paris or something.

I think the type of "easy pregnancy" where you could actually contemplate doing something like this at 37 weeks is extremely rare (easy pregnancy means you don't actually want to jump off a bridge by 38 weeks IMO and IME)

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 19-Jan-09 21:20:21

Message withdrawn

Snowfalls108 Mon 19-Jan-09 21:58:55

Thanks for all your thoughts. My mum had both babies late, and easy pregnancies. I think I will probably book and then see how I'm feeling closer to the time. Just looked at insurance and because it's through dh's work it will cover me! Completely understand that I will be knackered, but hopefully it will work. If anyone has travelled this late it would be great to hear.

daisy5 Tue 20-Jan-09 09:38:24

At least that gives you options - booking now and deciding later.

If you go, you will end up with a big folder of paperwork: passport application, addresses and maps of all hospitals near the stops on your route down south (especially Ashford - first stop on UK soil), a page of two of french translations of common labour terms (I had a missed miscarriage in Spain and the hospital staff could speak no English - my partner spoke some Spanish but it was as good as useless when it came to medical terms), a number for any local doctors who speak English etc etc.

Good luck with it all.


FatController Tue 20-Jan-09 09:53:08

EHIC will cover you at 37 weeks. I went to Spain at 35 weeks but I flew (the airline would not carry me after 37 weeks).

I did get quite tired and could not walk too far, spent most of the time in the pool! However a lot of my antenatal class mates were very tired and didn't to go out much by this point, plus a few needed regular hospital checks for breech babies/blood pressure/diabetes etc which you would not be able to have if you were in France.

I would be concerned about the train journey TBH. You will probably be quite uncomfortable by 37 weeks and I'm not sure you would be able to lie down or move about easily on a train....and it's a long train journey to the south of France!

I used to live in France, not sure about actual birth but hospital care is great, you are encouraged to stay in for a while to rest and to learn how to look after baby. Fab! Would be a complete pain to get baby home though (used to work for an french airline and the French love their burocracy and paperwork!)

Personally i would not go cos I fould giving birth odd enough without having to do it in a foreign country! Plus I could not have handled the stress of getting home and the long journey.

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