You may have just become pregnant, or maybe some months have already passed during your pregnancy. Now you need to fly for a business trip or to visit some relatives or friends. Or, perhaps you and your partner have decided to fly to a remote part of the country or another continent to hold your babymoon together.
In these situations, you may ask yourself, is it safe to fly while pregnant?
In general, there is no problem with flying while pregnant. Still, it is necessary to keep a few points in mind before booking the ticket. If necessary, you need to get confirmation of the safety of the flight from your doctor.
Although different airlines may have different rules regarding pregnant women customers, there is usually no prohibition for you to fly. Unless you have unique and dangerous pregnancy conditions, you can enjoy high latitudes in your pregnancy, too.
Misconceptions about Flying When Pregnant
You may have heard about some old wives' odd beliefs about pregnant women using airplanes and harming the fetus. For example, while flying from the beginning to the end of pregnancy is not prohibited for most women, some believe that one should not fly during the first trimester.
Of course, it may be better to fly in the second trimester of pregnancy for some reasons. Because at this time, you have passed the initial heated period of the formation and growth of the fetus. After the first trimester of the pregnancy, the physical situation of the mother has stabilized to a large extent, and problems such as morning sickness or lack of energy are less common.
Some people also think that things like noise vibration or cosmic radiation may have adverse effects on the body of pregnant women, but this is not the case. The pressure inside the airplane cabin does not threaten pregnant women, and the application of security equipment such as metal detectors will not pose a risk to the fetus.
Things to Consider While Flying Pregnant
You may ask how late in pregnancy can you fly? Most airlines allow pregnant women to fly from the beginning to the 36 weeks of pregnancy. However, check with your OB-GYN or midwife before purchasing a ticket, especially if you have bleeding, blurred vision, or sudden pain in your stomach.
Another important thing is to buy travel health insurance. These days when the corona disease is still lingering around, it is best to learn about the latest restrictions and flight rules in this regard.
It is generally forbidden to fly for pregnant women suffering from preeclampsia, premature rupture of membranes, or women with the possibility of preterm labor.
But what is it like to fly in each trimester of pregnancy?
Flying in Each Trimester of Pregnancy
For flying in the first trimester of pregnancy, it is enough for you to follow the same general rules which apply to general passengers. The only thing you should pay more attention to is the possibility of blood clot formation during the flight.
Pregnant women are seven times more prone to this problem than others, especially if the flight distance is long.
To solve this problem, you can book an aisle seat to prevent clot formation in your body and have enough space to walk.
Due to the strong hormonal changes in the first trimester of pregnancy and the constant feeling of nausea, it is good to carry anti-nausea medicine with you, too.
The best time for pregnant women to fly is their second trimester, which is between 14 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. By this time, your body has adjusted to the initial changes, so you experience fewer headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
Plus, your energy is back to pre-pregnancy levels, and sitting for long periods won't bother you. But there is still a risk of blood clot formation. You can use support stockings to prevent it from happening.
Flying at this time is not an obstacle for pregnant women who are not threatened by pregnancy risks such as gestational diabetes, sickle-cell disease, or placenta previa.
They can safely fly up to the 36 weeks of pregnancy. Of course, flying is better only if you have an urgent business or a personal trip.
Generally, in the last months of pregnancy, the closer you are to your home on earth, the better. Pregnant women are advised to be careful about their due dates and refrain from flying in the last weeks as they need health care more than ever.
It will not be the best time to travel for them, definitely not the international travel time.
Tips for Flying While Pregnant
Read these tips to have a more comfortable flight as a pregnant mother.
Select a comfortable seat to reserve
To be able to walk comfortably through the plane aisle or have faster access to the restroom, the best place to sit is on the aisle seat.
If the plane's bumps scare you or you feel nauseous, consider booking a seat on the wings. If you like to move your legs freely, choose bulkhead seats.
Consume light and healthy food and drink before and during your flight
Flying and being at high altitudes will cause you to experience gas expansion in your digestion system. It will cause stomachache if you eat certain foods and carbonated drinks that produce gas.
Among such foods, we can refer to beans, corn, pasta, whole grains, and milk (due to having lactose).
In addition, one of the other digestive problems that can occur is diarrhea. Getting diarrhea medicine from your doctor is good if you are traveling internationally.
Bring your latest medical documents with you.
Suppose you have particular physical conditions or think that certain conditions may happen to you during the flight. Besides being visited by an obstetrician or gynecologist before the flight, you should bring the latest tests and medical report documents.
Also, research the location of hospitals in the destination so that you can quickly go to the hospital should an emergency arise and you need to receive medical care.
Find out about the need for vaccination in advance
You may need to receive a particular vaccine depending on your air travel destination. In this case, read The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) travel medication and vaccination guidelines beforehand.
The vaccination may be related to your immunization against diseases (such as influenza) or food-borne diseases.
Drink water to stay hydrated!
The interior airplane cabin usually has low humidity. So drink water to keep your body hydrated.
Can pregnant women fly? The answer to this question is generally yes, meaning pregnant women can safely travel during pregnancy. Most airlines have no restrictions on pregnant women’s flying, but you must observe some precautions before reserving your ticket.
As we discussed, you must visit your doctor or health care provider before buying your flight seat. The next step will be purchasing health insurance. Also, the flight conditions in each pregnancy trimester change slightly.
Pregnant women can adjust their flight schedules according to the specific recommendations of their chosen airline and the recommendations provided by authorities such as ACOG.
You may ask when should pregnant women stop flying? Well, the answer is you may need to avoid air travel if you have complications such as gestational diabetes, bleeding, and preeclampsia.