Flying While Pregnant

Many women are apprehensive about flying when they are pregnant. Many women travel by air while they are pregnant for any number of reasons. Some even worry that their unborn child may be exposed to harmful radiation from the sun. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove that the sun’s radiation has any adverse effect on the unborn child. This article focuses on the risks  of flying during pregnancy and gives you tips on how to travel without worry.

Flying While Pregnant – Risks

  • Flying during pregnancy is safe provided that the mother-to-be is having a normal pregnancy.
  • Women who are diagnosed to be in the category of “high risk pregnancies” should not fly at all.
  • A woman who is pregnant and experiencing sickle cell disease, hypertension and diabetes should not fly.
  • It is advisable for pregnant women who are prone to some placental abnormalities not to fly at all.
  • During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, for a number of medical reasons, it is advisable not to fly.
  • Flying during pregnancy is believed to be safest during the second trimester i.e during the period from 18 to 27 weeks.
  • Pregnant women should not fly at least from 35 weeks onwards. Many airlines will decline to accept a woman who is more than 35 weeks pregnant.
  • If the woman has a multiple pregnancy then she should not consider air travel from fairly early on in her pregnancy, depending on the advice of her doctor.
  • Sitting for long periods of time during the flight increases the chances of thickening the blood and forming blood clots risking thrombosis.

Flying While Pregnant – Tips

  • Wear loose clothes. In order to maintain a normal blood flow pressure stockings may be used if your doctor advises it. Your feet may swell during the long hours of sitting so wear shoes which have adjustable straps.
  • During the flight, eat fresh fruits which are rich in vitamins. Do not eat heavy meals because that may result in heavy cramps and possibly even pain.
  • Do not cross your legs while sitting. Do not sit for long stretches of time. At regular intervals when there is no turbulence, get out of your seta, stretch and walk around the cabin. This will help reduce the chances of formation of blood clots.
  • Do not take sleeping pills while flying. As far as possible rest as much as you can during the flight. To help you fall asleep try using ear plugs and an eye mask.

While booking your ticket, make sure that the travel agent is aware that you are pregnant because the rules for flying during pregnancy vary from airline to airline. Before you make your travel plans consult a doctor and if necessary, obtain a letter from your doctor to show that you are medically fit to fly.

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