Air Travel: Should You While Pregnant?

Cause for travel can come up at any point in life, and while you are pregnant there is no exception. This travel could be planned, such as a family vacation you have been planning for months, it could be a last-minute getaway before baby is due to arrive, or it might be a trip due to a family emergency. Regardless of the reason for you flight, the American Pregnancy Association states that it is generally safe to travel throughout your pregnancy.

Of course, there are times when you will be advised not to travel. If you have had any complications with your pregnancy, have high blood pressure, have had any bleeding, or any other notable issues, then your doctor will tell you not to fly. Otherwise, you are free to travel. It is important to be aware that most airlines have a policy that allows pregnant women to fly up until their eighth month, but they will generally allow you to fly in your ninth month if you have a signed notice from your doctor allowing you to fly.

When flying during pregnancy, there are a few things to keep in mind. Try to get an aisle seat so that you can stretch your legs and back. If you can get a bulkhead seat that is even better because you might be able to stand up and walk a bit. This is important, especially on long flights. Sitting in the aisle also makes it easier to get to the washroom more easily.

Now for the washroom discussion. The aisles and washroom on an airplane are small and cramped, which will make it more difficult for you to maneuver. It is important to hold on to the backs of seats or the hand rails in the bathroom. When pregnant your center of gravity is different and balancing is more difficult. You need to be prepared if you are standing when turbulence hits.

Another thing to note when flying is that dehydration can happen more easily. Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your flight so that you can remain fully hydrated. While this might mean more frequent trips to an awkward washroom, it is better for you and baby.

You should also always travel on major airlines that have pressurized cabins. If you must travel on a small airplane, then be sure not to fly above 7,000 feet. You should also be sure to find out the regulations of the airline with which you are flying because you will need to know ahead of time if you need a note of permission from your doctor. Many airlines require this note to have been written within 48 hours of departure. Do not rely on the travel agency to inform you of these details as they often do not know them.

All in all it is safe for pregnant women to fly throughout their pregnancy. Of course, if you are close to term, you might want to consider if you want to risk having your baby on an airplane. Flying in your ninth month does pose the risk of going into labor on the airplane. You, with your doctor’s or midwife’s input, are your own best judge of your body, your pregnancy, and your situation. Whatever decision you make, enjoy your travel and enjoy your destination.

Leave a Reply