If you are pregnant, you may be wondering if flying during pregnancy is safe.

traveling while pregnant

It is a valid question because after all, you want to do all you can to protect your unborn child. The general answer is, yes it is considered safe to fly before week 36 of pregnancy. However, it is always a good idea to check with your doctor or health care professional before you decide to fly.

Traveling While Pregnant

Women who have a normal, healthy pregnancy, should have no problems flying during most it. However, there are certain high-risk situations that may prevent your doctor from giving you the thumbs up when it come to air travel.

There are some pregnancy complications that might worsen during air travel. Cases that may require emergency care for instance, would be deemed unsafe. Also, flying after 36 weeks pregnant may not be advisable, as the possibility of going into labor on the plane would make air travel risky.

The second trimester is considered the best and safest time to fly while pregnant. Not only have the first trimester pregnancy symptoms subsided, but it is the lowest risk trimester for pregnancy emergencies.

If your doctor has given you the go-ahead and you’re going to fly while pregnant, here are some traveling tips:

  • Wear your safety belt – make sure the belt is fastened under your belly.
  • Improve circulation – be sure to take occasional walks up and down the aisle. If it’s not safe to get up, you can flex and extend your ankles and move your legs as much as possible to prevent blood clots. Also, don’t wear clothing that is restrictive.
  • Stay hydrated – be sure to drink plenty of fluids, water preferably. Stay away from carbonated or caffeinated drinks.
  • Check with the airline – each airline has it’s own policy when it comes to pregnant women flying. Be sure you know the restrictions.
  • Have a plan – be sure to have an obstetrician or medical facility in mind at your destination in case you would need any medical care while away from home.

Following these tips will help make your travel experience more comfortable and safe, while pregnant.

Flying When Pregnant – Common Concerns

A common concern is whether or not it’s safe to walk through the airport screening machines while pregnant. The answer to this is yes it is safe. The machines that screen for unsafe objects use a very low-energy radio wave, magnetic field, or small dose of X-ray. The amount of energy used in any of these is too low to be harmful to your unborn baby.

Another common question is, will the changes in altitude make morning sickness worse? The answer is yes, these changes can trigger nausea. You may feel it while on the plane flying, but the effects can last a few days after air travel too, especially if you’re headed to a hot or high place. You may feel the need to take is easy and slow for a day or two after getting off the plane. Be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

If at anytime you have questions or concerns about the way you’re feeling, contact your doctor.

Posted by Christiane Grau

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