Is it Safe to Fly during Pregnancy?

Air traveling while pregnant

It is sometimes unavoidable to avoid air travel during pregnancy because of one reason or another. Many expectant women are clueless about whether it is safe to fly during pregnancy. While they remain uninformed, they avoid air travel in some instances when they would be perfectly safe to fly during pregnancy.

Usually, it is safe for an expectant mother to fly before 36 weeks of the pregnancy. The pregnancy will still be healthy and you will not put your unborn child in unnecessary risk. After 36 weeks, both airlines and healthcare providers restrict your travel.

The consent of your healthcare provider before air traveling

Every expectant woman is different, and every pregnancy is different. It may be that it is safe to fly during pregnancy before 36 weeks of pregnancy but that may not be the case for you. Your healthcare provider might have a different opinion.

The first thing that you should do when you want to fly during pregnancy is to consult your healthcare provider. If your healthcare provider approves, then it is well good. You should travel during the second trimester. In this period, the risk of common emergencies is low. If your healthcare provider does not approve, do not take any chances.

Prevent complications

In case you are experiencing pregnancy complication or having a high-risk pregnancy, it is not safe for you to fly during pregnancy. The situation could become worse because of the air travel and you may end up requiring emergency care. But before it gets to that, your healthcare provider will caution you against the travel so if you choose to go ahead it is in your discretion.

Things to do when you intend to fly during pregnancy:

  • Always check the airline’s policy about air travel during pregnancy because policies differ from one airline to another
  • As you fly, fasten the lap belt under your abdomen. Make sure you buckle up.
  • In order to promote circulation, take walks up and down the aisle. If you have to remain seated, ensure that you flex and extend your muscles frequently.
  • Avoid wearing restrictive clothing to avoid blood clots. Compression stockings could also help with that.
  • Drink plenty of fluids since the low humidity in the cabin could easily lead to dehydration
  • Avoid gassy foods and drinks before your flight because entrapped gases expand at altitude. This could be very uncomfortable during the flight. Such foods are like broccoli and carbonated drinks.
  • Make a contingency plan on how you will obtain obstetric care during your travel.

Factors to consider before you air travel

  • The duration of travel

How long will the flight take? The longer the flight the more uncomfortable you will be. Minimize your travels to only short trips.

  • Your health condition

As mentioned earlier, you should not fly during pregnancy if you have any complications

  • The type of air ticket

In most cases, economy class tends to be restrictive. If possible, choose a business class ticket. Remember that you need some leg space to flex your legs.

In conclusion, flying during pregnancy is safe if it is before 36 weeks. The underlying factor is whether your healthcare provider approves of it or not.


Have you announced your pregnancy yet?

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