IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

How to travel while pregnant

Travelling during pregnancy can be stressful, especially when you’re going to a country where health care, particularly prenatal care, is limited. Travel to these areas may increase your risk of contracting infectious diseases, insect-borne diseases, and food- and water-borne illnesses. Your body will also respond to travel and stress differently while you’re pregnant.

Before you travel, research the health care situation at your destination in case of an emergency. It’s also important to consider vaccinations, malaria prevention, and travel insurance when planning your trip. Make sure you understand the restrictions placed on pregnant travellers by airlines, cruise lines, and insurance companies. Discuss your travel plans with your physician and if possible, always travel with a companion.

Top tips for pregnant travellers

Pre-travel check-up and vaccinations

Your pre-travel check-up should include:

Travel medicine kit

Ask your physician to recommend items for your personal medical kit, including:

Always keep your personal medical kit in your carry-on luggage.

Travel insurance

Did you know that you may not be covered by your insurance policy if you need emergency medical care for being pregnant? Many insurers have exclusions and limitations when it comes to pregnancy, which the insurance industry views as a risk to your health.

Here are some events that may not be covered by travel health insurance:

Do your research before booking your trip and call the insurance company if you have questions about how their policy applies to pregnant travellers. If you’re asked to fill out a medical questionnaire, disclose everything and ask your physician for assistance with filling in medical details. You can learn more about travel health insurance here


Malaria is especially severe in pregnant women. Contracting malaria during pregnancy is an emergency and can have serious consequences for both mother and baby.

Avoid travel to malarious areas for the duration of your pregnancy. If travel is unavoidable, meet with your physician to discuss which suppressive regimen is best suited to your needs. This will depend on the area you are visiting and duration of your stay in the malarious area. Make sure to use meticulous anti-mosquito measures from dusk to dawn as the carrier of malaria is the nighttime-biting Anopheles mosquito. This mosquito does not hum and you will not feel its bite – so you are vulnerable during your sleep.

Anti-mosquito measures include sleeping under a mosquito bed net, using insect repellent with DEET, staying indoors between dusk and dawn, and covering exposed skin with lightweight clothing. Repellents containing up to 50% DEET are safe for use during pregnancy.

More key tips for pregnant travellers

More information

Last reviewed and updated: December 11, 2020.

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Travel Health Journal