Flying during pregnancy is considered to be no problem if the mother is less than 36 weeks pregnant. Ideally an expectant mother should travel during her first or second trimester. Traveling in the first or second trimester is to avoid more serious complications that may occur in the third trimester such as preterm birth.
What to discuss with your doctor
Discussing your travel plans with your doctor is important so you can avoid any potential complications. The following topics are a good starting point –
Duration of trip
Location of trip and any health warnings in those areas
Activities performed on trip
How remote the location is
Review of pregnancy complications and how travel may affect those complications
It is also important to research the airline’s pregnancy policy to make sure you are aware of any guidelines about travelling while pregnant. A doctor’s letter is often required to board a flight after 32 weeks.
If you have plans to fly, the following suggestions may help make the flight a more comfortable experience.
Fasten the lap belt under your abdomen.
Wear compression socks and do exercises to increase circulation. This may include stretching or walking in the aisles if it is safe to do so.
Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Avoid gassy and carbonated beverages.
Have a contingency plan for when you land in case you have to obtain pregnancy care at your travel destination.
Other issues you may face when flying whilst pregnant include –
Swelling of the legs due to fluid build up.
Long Haul flights of 4+ hours can potentially cause blood clots/deep vein thrombosis.
If you are planning to fly throughout your pregnancy, it is important to speak with your doctor first. This can help insure both you and your baby have a safe and comfortable
The above information does not take the place of a medical consultation and is intended for informational purposes only.
This post was written by Dr Anu Kaur