If you are an expectant mother and are planning to visit friends or family, need to attend a meeting in another city or just go on a babymoon inspired by your favourite celebs before starting a new phase of your life; the only question in your mind would be – Is it safe to fly while pregnant?
All your doubts cleared right here!!
It is generally safe to fly while pregnant, except for the last few weeks of pregnancy. However, there are still some precautions you need to take depending on when you decide to fly, the duration of the flight, complications of your pregnancy, etc and several things you need to know before you decide to fly when pregnant.
According to majority of the airlines, flying up to 36 weeks of pregnancy is considered safe but only in the case of a healthy pregnancy. 36 weeks is the standard time in case of a single baby and for domestic travel. If you are carrying multiple babies or opting for international travel, the restricted time could be cut to anywhere between 28-32 weeks. You still should consult your OB-GYN before travelling. In case you are experiencing pregnancy complications like preeclampsia, premature rupture of membranes, preterm labour and similar medical conditions, flying can further worsen these conditions. So, simply just check with your doctor before you decide to fly when pregnant.
If your travel plans are flexible, it is advised that you plan to fly during your 2nd trimester. It is an ideal time as the morning sickness from the first trimester has subdued and the nesting instincts and discomfort haven’t kicked in yet. Also, this is when the risks of pregnancy-related emergencies are the lowest.
Before you decide to fly when pregnant:
- Before you book flights online, confirm with the airline about its pregnancy-related policy, it may differ based on the airline or destination.
- Buy a travel insurance, in case you have to miss your flight due to some emergency health issues.
- Get a medical certificate from your doctor, clearing you to be able to fly without any issues.
- Carry all your staples mainly your medicines in your carry on itself.
- Check out the nearest hospital or doctor from your place, beforehand, in case of an emergency.
- Carry printouts of your medical papers with you.
At the Airport & while flying:
- Carry your medical certificate with you. The gate officer might ask for it. In many situations, airlines have denied pregnant women boarding in case of uncertain safety.
- Opt for an aisle seat for more legroom and easy access to the restroom.
- Avoid gassy food and drinks pre-flight as entrapped gases can cause discomfort.
- Don’t worry about the metal detectors, they are pregnancy safe.
- Carry medicines for nausea, blood pressure, etc. with you as suggested by the doctor.
- While bucking up, fasten the seatbelt under your abdomen and ask for a belt extender if necessary.
- Take occasional walks in the aisle of your flight and keep on flexing your ankles even while sitting.
- Wear loose-fitted clothes to promote circulation and help in case of nauseous feelings.
- As low humidity at higher altitudes can lead to dehydration, so keep on drinking fluids.
Some important Tips for you to fly when pregnant:
- Each airline has a different pregnancy policy, call your airline beforehand to check for their policy and what documents you might need.
- Clearly check the difference between the policies for domestic/international flights and single/multiple babies.
- To prevent swelling in your feet, make use of compression socks.
- If you are skeptical about metal detectors at the airport, you can request a pat-down screening instead. A female officer will conduct your screening process.
- It is a good idea to pack your own healthy snacks according to your diet.
- If you are flying long distances, opting for a connecting flight with ample layover time is ideal. It will help you relax, stretch and calm yourself down.
The best time for you to fly is during your second trimester. Irrespective of the time at which you fly or flight duration, consulting and following the advice of a doctor is the most important. Do review airline policies before you book with them.
But amidst all this chaos and regulations, don’t forget to have a relaxed time if you are going on a holiday or a business trip.
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