In just nine months, your whole life is about to change! But there’s a lot to do between now and then. Perhaps you still need to travel for work, or maybe you want to fit in one last holiday before bub arrives.

In these cases, you’ll be considering travel insurance; but how does your pregnancy affect your cover?

The big question: can you get insured when pregnant?

Here’s the good news: you aren’t expressly barred from getting travel insurance if you’re pregnant…depending on how far along you are.

Others may just need a note from your doctor before they sign you up for cover. This is generally fine, because you should see your doctor before you travel regardless, to make sure it’s safe to do so.

Common reasons why you wouldn’t be covered

  • You conceived through an assisted reproductive programme.
  • You need to claim for expenses related to childbirth or the healthcare of a newborn.
  • You’re doctor advised you not to travel.
  • You’re having multiple babies.
  • You’re planning to travel after your ‘maximum weeks of pregnancy permitted’ (typically during the third trimester, but this will vary by insurer).
  • You’ve experienced complications with your pregnancy (including prior miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, or premature labour).

Carefully read through the product disclosure statement before signing up to a policy to determine if you’re covered. Similarly, check with your airline/cruise operator to ensure they don’t have their own restrictions for pregnant women.

When you need insurance while pregnant

First trimester (i.e. the first 12 weeks)

The first 12 weeks of your pregnancy are crucial for their development, and you’ll finish it with a maternal blood test and an ultrasound. While it’s typically a safe enough time to travel, you may be experiencing some regular morning sickness during this trimester. Because of this, consider scheduling any trips after the 12th week.

Key developments:

  • 6 weeks. Your baby is an embryo, and is roughly 3 mm tall.
  • 7 weeks. The heart is beating!
  • 10 weeks. Your baby (now a fetus) is now 2.5 cm tall, has all its bodily organs, and has brain waves.

Second trimester (i.e. 12-24 weeks)

Now is a great time to have a Babymoon, because the second trimester is the safest time for you travel (so long as you’re not experiencing any complications). Consult your doctor before you make any travel arrangements, as they will be able to give you the best advice for your situation.

Key developments:

  • 13 weeks. Your baby has nearly tripled in size to 7 cm in length, and is swimming in the womb.
  • 16 weeks. Your baby has eyelashes, eyebrows, and tastebuds.
  • 18-20 weeks. An ultrasound can now discern the sex of your baby.

Third trimester (i.e. week 24 and beyond)

Some airlines may not let you fly after a certain time, or if the flight time exceeds a certain length (e.g. four hours). Even if they do allow you to fly, you may still need to produce a note from your doctor.

Key developments:

  • 32 weeks. You child is probably asleep most of the time (behaviour they’ll no doubt repeat as teenagers). In preparation for the birth, it’ll likely have its head down.
  • 36 weeks. The baby is now likely to be about 46 cm tall, and has an excellent chance for survival if born now.
  • 40 weeks. It’s time for the baby to be born. Good luck Mum!

What to be aware of when travelling while pregnant

You should be wary of travelling to developing nations with poor healthcare infrastructure, and be aware that it’s not recommended you be vaccinated with any live viruses (e.g. measles shots). The influenza vaccine is considered safe (and important) to take.2

Next, you’ll need to look for family insurance policies! We look at those types of insurance policies in another guide.

Sources

  1. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/pregnancy-week-by-week
  2. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/pregnancy-and-travel