Flying during pregnancy

Don’t let bub stop you from tripping off to that much needed holiday you’ve been so looking forward to! Airline travel is generally safe for women with uncomplicated pregnancies, but there are just a few things to be aware of before you head off. So add these to your packing list!

Firstly, have you discussed your travel plans with your obstetrician? This is important particular in the later stages of pregnancy. This allows your doctor to brief you on the dos and dont’s when travelling, as well as just being aware of your whereabouts should anything go pear shaped!

Have you checked the pregnancy travel policies with your airline of choice? Most airlines will allow women to fly up to 36 weeks gestation, however some airline guidelines vary. After 28 weeks of pregnancy you will require to carry a letter from your doctor outlining the estimated due date, single or multiple pregnancies, the absence of complications, and your fitness to fly for the duration of the flights booked.

Have you chosen your plane seat carefully? It is so easy to become uncomfortable on a plane flight without being pregnant, let alone when you’re carrying a child! Try and book an aisle seat, as this provides more space and comfort.

Remember to exercise your calf and foot muscles regularly throughout the flight to reduce the risk of venous thrombosis. Be sure to bend and straighten your legs, feet and toes as much as you can. In addition to this, walk the aisles every hour or so, to increase blood flow and circulation in your legs.

Consider using compression stockings and avoid restricting clothing.

Make sure you maintain hydration throughout the flight. This is so important to maintain your body’s normal functioning and blood flow. Drinking plenty of fluids will prevent headaches, nausea, cramps and dizziness throughout the duration of your flight.

Have you thought about the chance of early delivery? After 25 weeks of gestation the baby is considered ‘viable’ for delivery. Therefore traveling after this time is a bit risky as the membranes can rupture at any time. If they do, you would then essentially be stuck wherever you are until the baby is term (ready to be delivered). This could be in a foreign country, without support networks with you like your friends, family and doctor. You could find yourself feeling quite isolated, stressed uncomfortable and scared. Along with this, insurance policies generally won’t cover you for such a situation. You would have to look into your insurance cover to see what you would be covered for.

So that’s that! Just a few things to consider before booking/leaving for a holiday to make sure you are well prepared for your journey ahead. Bon voyage!