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Travelling while pregnant
  • Town of 1770 Beach, The Whitsundays, QLD
  • Great Barrier Reef underwater tunnel
  • Relaxing on the Gordon River, TAS

Pregnant women frequently hear, “You should put your feet up while you can because once your baby is born, you’ll be too busy for ‘me’ time.”  While there is some truth to this, 'me' time can involve much more than sitting around waiting to pop. Instead, consider exploring the wonderful country you’re bringing your baby into, while crossing some items off your life’s 'to-do' list!

Now may not be the best time to try out every wild attraction available in Australia but letting your baby have their first adventures in utero doesn’t need to involve skydiving.

Maybe snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef is something you’ve always wanted to try. Or perhaps camel-riding through the vast red deserts of Central Australia, or cycling around Tasmania are musts on your ultimate adventure list. Enjoy some of what our exciting country has to offer now, and then when your baby is born – you’ll have even more reason to be proud about raising another little Aussie.

When to travel:
Common advice is to travel only in the second trimester. The reasoning usually involves concerns about potential miscarriages and morning sickness during the first trimester, or the risk of giving birth somewhere foreign (or on an aircraft!) during the third trimester.

This logic takes an overly cautious approach, especially if you are considering domestic travel. There are plenty of fascinating holidays you can enjoy throughout every stage of your pregnancy.

First trimester: During this phase, you may be feeling nauseous and worried about potential miscarriage. This is the ideal time to enjoy rejuvenating breaks close to home. For example, if you live in Victoria, you might want to consider visiting nearby towns in spa country for some pampering. Gorgeous holiday homes and a variety of spa treatments can help you take your mind off morning sickness and all the 'what-ifs' of your pregnancy and focus instead on making you feel indulged.

Second trimester: This is the best time to undertake longer distance travel. At this stage, many mums-to-be feel ready for adventure and can withstand lengthy drives or flights without feeling uncomfortable or needing to run to the loo every five minutes. Now is the time to bond with your partner over some thrills – hiking Cradle Mountain, exploring the Daintree rainforests, spotting crocodiles in Kakadu, and fossicking for opals in Coober Pedy.

Third trimester: Long distance travel becomes challenging as many airlines have restrictions relating to pregnancy at this stage, and will either prohibit travel or require a note from your doctor. Equally, you likely will feel uncomfortable enduring long periods in a cramped airline seat. Now is a great time for short breaks – where you explore places for only a weekend at a time. Delightful holiday homes and B&Bs are everywhere throughout Australia, so regardless of where you live, there is a fabulous break waiting for you close by.

Sunshine and pregnancy: Usually, a travel article about Australia will boast about all the romantic beaches and endless sunshine. Unfortunately, for many women, pregnancy and sunshine are not a good combination. The risk of developing discolourations of the skin called chloasma (or melasma) increase substantially due to the hormones involved with pregnancy and you may find yourself covered in brown spots after a week on the beach.  However, with some precautions, you could enjoy one of Australia’s many phenomenal beaches. Be sure to wear a broad-brimmed hat, make use of beach umbrellas, and slip-slop-slap with fervour! Now you can look forward to a romantic break in the Whitsundays or at the spectacular Bay of Fires without fear.

Travel insurance: One convenient aspect of travelling in Australia is that your normal health coverage spans the country. The same cannot be said for international travel – and even the best, most expensive travel insurance will not cover you for pregnancy-related claims while you are overseas. This means staying domestic may be your best bet, as foreign medical expenses overseas can end up costing you many tens of thousands of dollars, and may not be anywhere near the standard you expect in Australia.

Medical advice: Talk to your doctors about any holiday plans you’re considering, as they will be able to address any concerns relating to your unborn baby’s health while travelling. For example, some adventures will need to wait – downhill skiing and SCUBA may be too risky. However, if you have a passion for the snow or reef, cross-country skiing and snorkelling can provide thrills without the risk.

Finally - capture the moments: Be sure to have plenty of photos taken with you at each destination, so that some day when your baby is old enough to start asking about where they have travelled, you can show them their very first adventures!

About the Author
Kylie-Jane Degeling is a freelance writer who has lived in Adelaide, Yulara (Uluru), Alice Springs and Canberra, as well as five different countries throughout the world. After backpacking around Australia, she worked as a tour guide in Central Australia, before training for her Commercial Pilot License and working as a flight instructor, scenic flight and charter pilot. She later worked as a travelling IT trainer for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which involved spending time in each of their 16 District Offices around the country on a rotating basis.

Having experienced Australia as a backpacker, tour guide, pilot and business traveller, Kylie now enjoys family holidays with her husband Alex, and children Jezzy and Jordan. She says, “I have been lucky to see Australia from a variety of perspectives, and as a travel writer can use this experience to inspire others to find holidays they would enjoy.”  Kylie currently works as a travel writer in addition to being a government writer and columnist for two parenting magazines.


About the author
Find out more about Kylie at http://bit.ly/h_experts

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  Fantastic ideas and common sense information as my daughter is 19weeks pregnant and wanting to go to Rockhampton to visit her Nanna before she gives birth in late April 2011.
Posted on Nov 28 2010 at 19:33

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