My feed

to access all these features

Get updates on how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy by signing up to the Mumsnet Pregnancy Newsletters.


Holiday in late pregnancy advice please

63 replies

DinosaurFanGirl · 22/03/2017 20:18

3 weeks before due date we are off to rural Devon for 5 days and whilst there may be no flight or cultural barriers I am still nervous about this trip. Can I please get some advice on the following:

  • how to cope with a 7 hour drive there? I'll most likely have to do some driving as my partner is so inexperienced. Public transport isn't an option with how rural the location is and as I have a company car it's cheaper to drive.
  • nearest maternity unit is over an hour away (plus we obviously don't know the roads), just in case I do go into early labour etc, when should we make the journey there and will they be okay in seeing me?
  • is there anything I should take beyond usual labour bag and car seat?

Would also like some general reassurance or someone telling me not to go (other than my mum). We would lose out on the money but maybe home comforts would be better anyway? Would like to think I would be fine though as I really love Devon.

Thanks x
OP posts:
NoArmaniNoPunani · 22/03/2017 20:19

I wouldn't go, but then my view is clouded by the fact that my DS was 5 weeks early

LillyBugg · 22/03/2017 20:37

I holidayed at 35 weeks with DS1. I started losing my mucus plug while away. I rang my own maternity unit for advice and they were great. I also had quite bad pains in my legs on the way home due to sitting still too long. You'll need to take regular breaks from driving, and I know I wouldn't have been able to do much of the actual driving. I was incredibly uncomfortable by that point.

I think as long as you are willing to have your baby elsewhere in the country and understand that could lead to a hospital stay etc where you are unfamiliar then you'll be okay.

Oh and my DS arrived only two weeks later at 37 weeks. I personally wouldn't holiday so close to my due date again.

DinosaurFanGirl · 23/03/2017 07:22

Thank you for replying. I'm gonna need to give this a serious think. It's unlikely I'd be early by that much isn't it? But guess I don't particularly need the worry. X

OP posts:
Frazzled2207 · 23/03/2017 07:43

Personally I wouldn't. Went to Devon myself at 34 weeks pg, journey for us was about 4 hours, and that was enough stress for me. Journey v uncomfortable.

I don't think anything bad would happen (though early arrival very possible), but not really necessary (unless there is some back story?). If you fancy a short break then, surely there is somewhere closer to home?

Frazzled2207 · 23/03/2017 07:46

Btw you do know don't you that 37 weeks is considered "term", I know several babies that arrived at about 37 weeks.

McBaby · 23/03/2017 08:16

Currently 34 weeks with dc3 and a car journey over 30 mins is uncomfortable! I also need the toilet far to frequently!

HopeAndJoy16 · 23/03/2017 08:17

I'm on the fence on this one! I'm currently 36 weeks and we've just been away for a few days. We deliberately booked somewhere within a couple of hours drive of home and within an hour to a hospital. It just made me feel better that if baby did come early it would be manageable. However as other pp have said, 37 weeks is getting very close. I was anxious enough about being away at 35/36 weeks!

Any maternity hospital will see you, take your maternity notes on your hols with you and have the phone numbers for the local labour ward/assessment unit handy. Ring before you set off if you think you need to be seen, especially as it's quite a drive.

And driving is difficult to say. I feel fine to drive at the moment but I am starting to get uncomfortable being sat in one position for a long time. You might feel OK at that point though.


december2 · 23/03/2017 08:18

I drove a couple of hundred miles a few weeks before my due date and felt fine, however baby did arrive 2 weeks late after being induced. Although baby could be early, he or she could also be late and you will be glad you had the break then!

BounceBounceSplishSplash · 23/03/2017 08:20

I wouldn't go 3 weeks before due date - though my DD was 6 weeks early and it was an emergency delivery so my view is slightly skewed.

arbrighton · 23/03/2017 09:04

We've just booked a cottage for 2 months before due date, as about the latest I'm happy to be somewhere remote, and hopefully still able to go for some walks with the dogs etc.

We have two weekends away for the wedding around a month before, but neither is hugely remote and bag/ car seat will be packed. I've not committed to the family 40th birthday celebration a couple of hours from home, about 3 weeks before due date- husband has more or less been told that he is probably going on his own.

Doublechocolatetiffin · 23/03/2017 09:34

Are you saying you'd be 37 weeks when you go? As others have said, that is considered term and the baby could arrive any time. It wouldn't be considered early labour, just normal labour!

I went to France for 4 days at 35 weeks and had a fab time. I didn't give birth till 40 + 15 so an age away! But I think I was quite naive in going and wouldn't make the same decision again. The things that would make me pause about your trip are:

It's a hell of a drive - how far along are you now? By 37 weeks I wouldn't want to sit in a car for 7 hours, the only reason I went to France was because I could fly and it wasn't a long journey!

You're a long way away from a hospital, you don't know how your labour will go and personally I'd want to be closer to a hospital than that. Just because being in a car for an hour in labour sounds awful!

If you do go, make sure you check out the route to the local hospital so you know where you are going if needs be. I'd bring a complete hospital bag, your notes, car seat, sling/buggy?, clothes for baby etc. I made a plan for the worse case scenario, e.g. What happens if you need a c-sec and have to stay there for a longer period of time etc so that I felt prepared.

Frazzled2207 · 23/03/2017 09:40

Absolutely if you do go take hospital bag, notes and baby seat!! I'm sure some mums would be ok to travel in these circs but I def wouldn't

MaverickSnoopy · 23/03/2017 10:07

We went on holiday 2 hours away when I was 37 weeks pregnant with DD2. I was 2 weeks late with DD1 and felt that I would also be late second time around, which I was. I went armed with hospital bag, car seat and notes. I also had a map (and address and phone number) of every maternity unit from our house to the place we were staying, including full directions from any place. I think there were about five or six units and I felt better knowing we had the details.

The journey was awful and we needed to stop twice each way as I was in so much pain for sitting for so long. When we arrived it took me a couple of hours to feel better and the journey back was just as bad. Although I'm glad we went because life as we knew it was never the same again and it meant the world to DD1.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow · 23/03/2017 10:10

I would definitely go, all three of mine have been late. I had awful SPD all three times though so the car journey wouldn't have been great- I'd have gone on the train instead and hire a car at the other end.

Take your bags and carseat and have a great time Smile

welshweasel · 23/03/2017 10:15

I had DS at 35 weeks too (unhelpful!). It's not a ridiculous plan if you're the sort of person who wouldn't be fazed by giving birth somewhere unfamiliar. I'd probably have planned to take a train though, I struggled with needing the loo fairly frequently in the third trimester.

NameChange30 · 23/03/2017 10:18

I wouldn't go for the very simple reason that the nearest maternity unit is more than an hour away and you're obviously not familiar with the route. Plus you say your partner is an inexperienced driver - how would he feel about driving along unfamiliar country roads for an hour, possibly in the dark, with you in labour?

It's unlikely that you'll go into labour while you're there but it's still possible, and it would be so stressful.

How far along are you now and has it been a low risk pregnancy so far? No possible reasons for an early induction?

FurryGiraffe · 23/03/2017 10:23

It's the driving that would worry me. First, it's a lot of time sat in a car even as a passenger. I'd have been in quite a lot of pain at the end of that. Second, by 37 weeks actually doing the driving was pretty uncomfortable- in fact I had friends who literally couldn't fit behind the steering wheel at that stage so it would have been impossible! Finally, if your partner is an inexperienced driver, will he be ok driving an hour long trip to hospital on unfamiliar roads if you go into labour? Because you obviously won't be able to drive and if you go into labour the absolute last thing you need to be worrying about is whether you're going the right way etc.

MontePulciana · 23/03/2017 10:25

I wouldn't go, not a chance. I know plenty of babies born before 37 weeks - it's not uncommon. Stay close to your care providers for the sake of you and your baby.

randomsabreuse · 23/03/2017 10:25

Long car journey at that point = miserable regardless of frequent need to wee.

Devon is pretty rural - full sized maternity units at Barnstaple (under threat), Exeter and Plymouth, some MLUs but all under threat of being downgraded to daytime only birth centres. Roads aren't great, nice and bumpy which is "fun" when in labour.

Definitely take car seat plus notes and have bag stuff handy although shops can solve clothing issues.

Major issue for me would be the long journey - see how you get on in the car up to that point. I was generally ok in the car apart from needed to wee all the bloody time but others were really uncomfortable once the baby's head engaged.

DelphiniumBlue · 23/03/2017 10:26

I wouldn't. What if you need an emergency CS? How would you get home then?

babyunicornvomit · 23/03/2017 10:26

I'm in a similar position. Five weeks befote my due date I'm also going to Devon, we're driving from the NW so around 6-8 hours.
I'm determined to go as it's with all DP's family who I adore, it'll be great and very chilled out as we're staying in a cottage and I know once I'm there they'll let me kind of laze around if I need it, but also join in whatever is going on that day.

My tips are (what I'm going to follow)

  • make sure you have all the details for nearest hospital and all your notes about the pregnancy
  • obviously if you start feeling unwell or like it could be happening leading up to the trip, don't go
  • take lots of comfy stuff for the car
  • be willing to stop as often as every hour for rest breaks - it's not good to sit still for that amount of time
minipie · 23/03/2017 12:23

It's unlikely I'd be early by that much isn't it?

It's actually really common. 1 in 9 babies arrive before 37 weeks in the UK. That's a lot. 60,000 a year.

And you're talking about at 37 weeks, not before! That's not even pre-term, that's term! I don't know how many arrive at 37 weeks but I imagine a hell of a lot.

There is a really big chance you will give birth in Devon. So if you would be happy to give birth in Devon, spend time in hospital there, and have to do the drive back with a newborn then by all means go (and take all the baby kit). If you wouldn't be happy with that then I don't think it's worth the risk.


Don’t want to miss threads like this?


Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

User323296969 · 23/03/2017 12:23

No way would I go with all those factors involved at 37 weeks (considered full term). All mine have been born over 40 weeks and even in this pregnancy I would no way risk it, I'm mindful this one could still come any time from 37 weeks.

As others have said, a seven hour return trip alone (let's be clear - you'd be mad) would rule it out. But being over an hour away from an unknown hospital, in an unknown location, with a nervous driver??

And then if you happen to need to stay in you'll be seven hours drive away from home, your usual doctor, and presumably friends and family. If (god forbid) baby needed to stay in NICU, being that far from home could be very stressful, especially if your partner needed to return to work or other commitments while you were there.

You could go and it'd be fine, but after several labours (one which was very quick) no way would I risk it.

Caterina99 · 23/03/2017 13:36

Normally I'd be up for this kind of thing as I had a very straightforward pregnancy and DS was born on due date (by emcs though) but I think being 7 hours away is too far and I wouldn't go. A few hours away, with an experienced driver DH and a nearby hospital I'd say go for it, but that trip just sounds too risky personally.

thumbsupforthesixbillion · 23/03/2017 14:08

I'd be more concerned about the potential of a 7 hour car journey home with a newborn even if you happened to go in to labour and manage to navigate the long journey to hospital, birth in an unfamiliar place, and all the other possibilities along the way.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.