Is Flying Harmful During Pregnancy?

Women often wonder if they should fly during pregnancy. Women who are healthy and undergo a normal pregnancy can fly if they want to. “Women should not fly after the 36th week of their pregnancy”, is what is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Restrictions to flying are made for some pregnant women who have diabetes, sickle cell disease, placental abnormalities, hypertension etc. Airlines also have their own restrictions. Some Airlines don’t allow pregnant women to fly 30 days before their due date and in some cases 7 days. Check with your agent about restrictions and also tell him or her your pregnancy details like due date, complications etc., before booking a flight.

Flying In The 1st Trimester
Whether it is your 1st trimester or third, the best way to be safe is to discuss flying with your physician before making any travel plans. Flying in the 1st trimester is safe, provided you are capable of coping with pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, nausea, dizziness etc.

Flying In The 2nd Trimester
Most women also consider the 2nd trimester to be a safe period to fly. Reduced morning sickness and lowered chances of miscarriage and premature labor make it extremely comfortable for women to travel at this time. If you are flying in your 3rd trimester, chances of premature labor are high. Before leaving, having a health checkup is mandatory. Carrying health insurance documents is important. The onset of any labor signs must be communicated immediately to the crew members. Also, due to the change in cabin pressure, a rise in heartbeat and blood pressure may occur.

How To Have A Comfortable Flight

  • If possible, put your feet up during a flight. As you get bigger sitting becomes a little uncomfortable. Request an aisle seat. Using a seat belt throughout the flight is advised.
  • You always need to be careful about blood circulation problems while flying. You must wear loose clothing and compression stockings, not cross your legs while sitting and drink a lot of water (to avoid dehydration).
  • Walking a little every hour is very helpful.
  • Flex your feet, wiggle your toes and rotate your ankles every half an hour.

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