Travel and trips

Essential information to rememberYou must wear your seat belt throughout your pregnancy. The lap belt should be worn snug around your hips, below your belly.

Photo: Dominique Belley

Car safety

The Highway Safety Code stipulates that all occupants of a vehicle must wear a seat belt.

A properly-worn seat belt can prevent injury in the event of an accident. It protects the mom-to-be and is the best protection for the fetus.

Air travel

Pregnant women can travel by air. There are no international regulations preventing them from being on board a plane. However, each airline has its own rules, so it’s a good idea to check with the airline you wish to fly with before buying your ticket.

Bring a signed note from your health professional with you to the airport indicating your due date and a brief overview of your health and pregnancy status, as the airline may require you to present it.

Overseas travel

Before planning a trip abroad, you should talk to your prenatal care provider about your destination, how long you plan to stay, and any vaccines that may be required. Your prenatal care can be adjusted as needed.

Your health professional may also refer you to a travel health specialist.

For more information on safe travel and destination specific advice: travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.

Zika

Information to which special attention should be paidBefore planning a trip abroad, you should talk to your prenatal care provider

Before traveling abroad, get information on the risk of infection by the Zika virus. It is recommended for pregnant women to postpone travel to Zika-affected areas.

The Zika virus is transmitted through bites from infected mosquitoes. It can also be transmitted between sexual partners via the sperm or vaginal fluid of an infected individual. Most people who are infected don’t realize it because they don’t have any symptoms.

Zika infection during pregnancy poses a serious threat to the baby. It can cause birth defects like microcephaly (abnormally small head), resulting in serious mental retardation.

Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant and their sexual partners must take precautions if they are staying in a Zika-affected area. That means using a condom, for instance, or abstaining from sexual contact until the risk of transmission has passed.

For information on the duration of the transmission period and recommendations on the Zika virus, consult your health professional and the following websites: quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/zikavirus/ and canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/zika-virus.html.

Check back often because these sites are updated regularly to keep up with the latest scientific research.

Insurances

Check that your insurance policy covers your medical costs in the event you have to be hospitalized or give birth in another country. Also check before you leave that your baby is insured too.

This coverage is even more essential in the event of a premature birth, as a stay in intensive care can be very expensive.

Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec reimburses an amount equivalent to the cost of the care you would have received in Québec. Since such care can be more expensive outside of Canada, you (if you and your baby are not insured) or your insurer could end up with a big bill to pay.


Fetus: Developmental stage of a human being in its mother’s womb, from 10 weeks of pregnancy until birth.