Flying While Pregnant | Tips for Traveling During Pregnancy

As long as you are having a healthy pregnancy, flying while pregnant is considered safe. In addition, the best time for pregnant women to air travel is probably the second trimester.

This makes sure that you do not have morning sickness anymore, and it is early enough to avoid unexpected surprises such as early labor during your euro hiking trip! Besides, later stages could make it difficult to move at the airport through many maneuvers.

Flying While Pregnant Tips for Traveling During Pregnancy

Still, if you decide to fly, then you should consult your doctor to get more information and tips for your particular case. If you get approval from your doctor, make sure you take some precautions in order to travel safely and healthy.

While flying pregnant in the first trimester is not too easy due to the morning sickness and nausea, most airline companies discourage traveling after 36 weeks or third trimester. Therefore, you may need to contact your carrier in order to get their policy for pregnant passengers. You may also need to take a note from your doctor showing your due date.

It is always a good idea to check your health insurance plan to clarify the procedure in case you need medical attention or unexpected early labor at your destination.

Those who are planning to travel out of the country, need to determine if they require to have a supplemental policy for coverage overseas.

Flying While Pregnant Tips Before Takeoff

  • Prepare for takeoff
    Consult your doctor before your flight to get clear about your air travel. Also, if you have any kind of chronic medical condition, then it becomes very important for you to get cleared for takeoff.
  • Have decompression stockings
    Long periods of inactivity such as sitting in an airplane might make the blood pool at your legs, which increases chances of clots forming in the legs, and later traveling up the bloodstream resulting in strokes or heart attacks. By applying constant pressure to the legs blood has a harder time pooling and forming clots. Ask your doctor if you need to wear decompression stockings. While they seem not fashionable, they support blood flow and help prevent serious conditions. 
  • Take some remedies for possible nausea
    Pregnant women, who are prone to motion sickness can take nausea remedies in order to prevent any symptoms while flying. This could be pregnancy-safe anti-nausea meds or home remedies, but it is better to have something and be prepared.
  • Remedies to prevent diarrhea and gas
    As the airplane increases its altitude, this can cause intestinal gas to expand and result in discomfort. The best option to prevent it from occurring is not to consume certain foods that may cause gas before the flight. Besides that, international travels may expose pregnant women to bacteria which can cause them to have diarrhea, so be careful what and where you eat once you do arrive at your destination.
  • See if you need any prenatal care
    Based on how lengthy the trip is, you may consider getting prenatal care at your destination. If you need it, make sure you decide who will provide it and iron out any insurance issues to avoid expensive surprises.

Tips During Flight

There are certain things you may need to be aware of during the flight.

  • As previously mentioned, it is better to avoid eating any gassy foods which may result in discomfort. These include beans, broccoli, cabbage, and fizzy drinks.           
  • Don’t forget to fasten your seatbelt during the flight. Make sure to fasten it appropriately according to the guidance of airline terms.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water during the flight prevents blood flow to the uterus from decreasing when you become thirsty. In order to get blood flowing, your doctor may suggest you to frequently walk while in a smooth flight. In addition, you can boost blood circulation while sitting by flexing and extending your ankles.
  • Aim to select an aisle seat which makes it easier for you to get in and out. Plus, if you want to have an even smoother ride, then try to choose the seat over the wing.

More About Traveling While Pregnant

Multiple pregnancies or pre-existing risks.
In general, it is not advised for pregnant women to take an international flight if they are carrying more than one baby, experience any placental issues, have vaginal bleeding, or any risk of a miscarriage.

Also, pregnant women who have a history of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, high blood pressure, premature labor, or diabetes are discouraged from international flights. Furthermore, your doctor will also probably warn you against traveling if you plan to visit high altitude destinations, and to the destinations with epidemic outbreaks.

Deep Vein Thrombosis, or blood clots in legs.
As mentioned before, sitting in one position for a long period of time while being pregnant can result in blood pooling in your legs, which can increase the chances of blood clots generation. The risk can also be increased by the recirculated cabin air and low humidity. However, you can lower the risk significantly by frequently moving around as much as possible.  

Blood pressure.
Flying while pregnant can increase your blood pressure and heart rate. However, according to the experts, this increase may not be significant enough to cause any lasting issues, and in most cases doesn’t warrant much concern.

Security Scans.
During air travel, you will go through body scans for security reasons at airports which are considered safe by the Transportation Security Administration. There are some that believe that the scanners use X-Ray, however this isn’t so and the scanners are quite safe for everyone. Still, if you are concerned, you may request to have a hand search instead.

Taking occasional flights does not generally pose any danger of radiation exposure for most pregnant women, or for anyone else for that matter. However, if you are a pilot, business traveler, or have to travel frequently for any other reason, you may want to consult your doctor about any possible warnings against the radiation limit.

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