baby

These are the potential problems with booking a late term babymoon.

Babymoons are a great way for expectant parents to relax before bringing a child into the world. But if you’re thinking about your trip and are planning to head overseas, there are a couple of things you should know before you book.

Well for starters, it turns out that they’re probably more common than you think. New data from a finder.com.au survey of 2,000 parents shows that one in five expectant parents squeeze in one last trip in their third trimester before their new baby is born.

While 16% of parents-to-be decide to travel only within Australia, there is still a fairly big number (5%) who actually head overseas. This can be potentially problematic for those who are in their third trimester – as these parents are.

So what’s the problem?

For starters, you might not even be allowed on the plane. Australia’s major airlines all impose restrictions around flying when pregnant, especially during the later stages. Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Qantas all require medical certificates if you are flying after the 28-week point, and typically, you’ll be cut off from getting on the plane after 36 weeks. As well as this, those pregnant with twins or triplets (or more) will have earlier cut-off dates than those who are only having one baby.

There are also issues with travel insurance when travelling pregnant. Many policies won’t provide cover for the entire duration of your pregnancy, with some even cutting off cover during the second trimester. Typically, the cut-off dates kick in between around 18 and 32 weeks. So while you may still be able to fly until the 36-week mark, you may not be insured if something does go wrong and you’re that late in your pregnancy. More information on the pregnancy restrictions of a number of travel insurance brands can be found here.

LISTEN: Rebecca Judd and Monique Bowley deep dive on the magic of a babymoon, on our pregnancy podcast. Post continues after audio.

Travel insurers will also typically restrict cover for certain pregnancy-related complications. Pregnant women with babies conceived via IVF or other assisted reproductive technologies usually have a harder time getting covered than those with natural conceptions. This is due to the potentially higher risk for IVF pregnancies when travelling and the various airline restrictions.

At the end of the day, although a babymoon is your last hurrah before your life changes drastically, it’s important to take any potential issues and risks into account before planning your trip.

For those still concerned, take a look at this stress-free babymoon checklist:

  • Check with your medical practitioner that it’s safe for you to travel before booking your flights. If you’ve been given the all clear, request a medical certificate stating that you’re fit to fly before heading to the airport.
  • If you are planning on jumping on a plane either interstate or overseas, look up the airline cut-off dates and restrictions for flying while pregnant before you book. This cut-off date can change depending on the duration of the flight, whether you have had any complications, whether you are having more than one baby (twins, triplets, etc) or if your child was conceived via IVF.
  • Purchase a travel insurance policy that will cover pregnancy-related issues overseas. Many insurers will cover up to 32 weeks but some cut off at 18 weeks, so it pays to compare policies.
  • Consider buying flexible flights or accommodation that you can cancel up to 24 hours beforehand. That way you have more flexibility if you need to cancel your trip.

LISTEN: The Nailed and Failed of Parenting – On this special episode of This Glorious Mess, our podcast about family life, our listeners share all the moments they got right or wrong in parenting.

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