Tips & Advice So You Can Travel Safely

If you’re expecting a new arrival and love to travel, you may be wondering about plane rules while pregnant. Flying with a child is notorious for not being easy, but flying with a baby who hasn’t cried yet and doesn’t need to be entertained or ringing in the ears is kind of a dream come true. There’s no long travel checklist of what to bring when you’re pregnant – it’s probably the most relaxing thing you’ll be on a plane for years to come. am.

Whether you’re looking to “babymoon” with your partner or meet far-away family and friends before this big life change, 9 months is all about taking in the jet setting. It may feel like barely enough time to. I hope But while flying while pregnant is definitely possible for most pregnant women, there are some basic safety information to keep in mind to make sure the trip goes smoothly for you and your soon-to-be baby. (Of course, it’s always a good idea to talk to your own doctor and prenatal care team.)

early pregnancy flight

Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, flying in the first trimester of pregnancy is safe for most people. “In early pregnancy, the bony pelvis protects the uterus until it emerges in the abdomen at about 12 weeks,” she explains OB-GYN’s Dr. Maureen Whelihan. However, during pregnancy there is an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), which can travel to the lungs and brain where they can be very dangerous.To avoid the risk of DVT, Dr. Whelihan recommends giving pregnant or at least she recommends getting up and walking around the plane every two hours.

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When to stop flying while pregnant

A general guideline is 36 weeks and it should stay on the ground. “Most commercial airlines allow pregnant women to fly up to 36 weeks’ gestation, and most obstetric care providers would agree with this advice,” said family physician Dr. Sonal Patel. I will explain. However, if you have risk factors for premature birth or have a history of premature birth, you should discuss your flight plan with your obstetric provider. “People with medical or obstetric complications may be contraindicated to fly at any time during pregnancy,” says Patel. She also said that flight attendants and very frequent flyers may be at risk of ionizing radiation and should discuss with their providers whether they are recommended to fly less frequently. I point out that there is

Tips for comfortable flying during pregnancy

Airplane seats can feel very snug even at the best of times, and pregnancy can be painful even when you’re on the ground. I can’t say I’m a winner when it comes to figuring it out. Some tips are:

  • Wear compression socks. These not only help prevent blood clots, but they can also prevent swollen legs, which unfortunately are common during pregnancy.
  • Stay hydrated. Your body uses more water during pregnancy and air travel is dehydrated to begin with. Taken together, these two facts make having a water bottle nearby very important.
  • Please bring me a pillow. A neck pillow might be part of your standard packing list, but a small pillow that you can place behind your back to relieve pressure on your joints might help make your ride a little more comfortable. I can’t.
  • Ask for a bulkhead seat, or at least an aisle. First class tickets are great if you can swing, but an exit row or bulkhead seat gives you a little extra space. This is probably not the flight to opt for the supersaver middle seat, especially considering you have to move up and down to stretch your legs.

Preparing to Fly While Pregnant

Even if you’re traveling before 36 weeks gestation, you don’t always get the reminder that your baby is coming on your own schedule and you shouldn’t be standing at the grand entrance just yet. Preparing for the possibility of a premature baby (her 1 in 10) can prevent you from being caught off guard. Whelihan suggests that pregnant women keep a card in their wallet with the following information: You should also be prepared to receive care at your destination. “Especially when traveling to remote mountain huts and other destinations, one should be aware of the availability of medical resources at destinations such as maternity hospitals,” he adds. When you’re approaching 36 weeks pregnant, it’s probably not a good idea to stray too far from the grid.Birthing deep in the woods can turn a relaxing prenatal trip into something entirely different.

You should not fly while pregnant if…

  • you are over 36 weeks
  • You are under 36 weeks but have a high-risk condition and your doctor does not recommend it
  • You have a history of risk factors for premature birth – this depends on how advanced you are.

When pregnant, there is often no one-size-fits-all answer. My advice in summary is to talk to your doctor and let them know you want to travel. They can assess your individual health and pregnancy status and advise you on the best course of action so you can have a fun trip under your belt before your little one arrives.


Dr. Sonal Patel, M.D.

Maureen Wellihan, MD, OB-GYN

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