Flying During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

Are you in a big confusion about flying during pregnancy? A host of questions will pop in your mind, such as, is it safe to fly? Is there any thing that can harm your baby? What to do if the labor starts? Don’t become frighten, it is completely safe to travel during pregnancy and don’t change your travel plans.

Who can fly during pregnancy?

Normal and a healthy pregnant woman can safely travel the skies. But, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggest that it is not safe to travel when you are over 35 weeks pregnant.

Flying During PregnancyBut, some airlines have restrictions on the pregnant women based on domestic or international travel. Some airlines restrict you traveling 30 days before the due date.

Some airlines won’t allow you aboard if the due date is less than a week. So, before booking the ticket, ask the travel agent about the restrictions.

If you have complications or high risk pregnancy, then you should not travel. Some of the complications include: uncontrollable diabetes, hypertension, sickle cell disease, risk of premature labor and placental abnormalities.

While flying, exposure to natural radiation can increase the risk of miscarriage and other abnormalities in your developing baby. Decreased pressure at high altitudes reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood, but your body can adjust to it naturally. For occasional travelers, it is not that much problematic.

It is better to talk with your healthcare provider about your travel plans. Flying during early stages of pregnancy is safe. However, during the first trimester, flying makes your morning sickness worse.

Second trimester is the safe period to fly and most of you feel comfortable. At this time, morning sickness will disappear and there is less chance to go into preterm labor. But, circulation is the problem in all trimesters. While flying, there is greater chance for blood clots.

Here are some tips to keep the blood flow normal

  • Compression stockings help to flow the blood from the ankle to your heart and lungs.
  • Don’t keep crossed legs.
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing.
  • Drink more and more water to avoid dehydration.
  • Go for a walk every hour.
  • Flex the feet, wiggle the toes and rotate the ankle.
  • Choose an aisle seat near the front of the plane for more space and comfort.

Fasten the lap belt under your abdomen and across the tops of your thighs.


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