Everything That You Wanted To Know About Flying When Pregnant

With summertime and the holiday season arriving soon, you may be considering travelling and going on an aeroplane whilst pregnant. You may be feeling a little anxious or unsure about flying during your pregnancy. Here’s what you need to know about flying when pregnant.


flying when pregnant


First Trimester


One of the things some pregnant women worry about during the first trimester is miscarriage. There is no evidence that flying when pregnant increases the risk of miscarriage. However, you should be aware that if something does happen during a flight, it’s likely that there will be no medical help available until the plane lands.

You may be feeling tired, and nauseous during the first trimester, which is something to consider when making travel plans.


Second Trimester


The second trimester of pregnancy or months four, five and six, are the safest time to fly. The risk of any pregnancy related complications is at its lowest during this time compared to the first and third trimesters.


Third Trimester


The third trimester is months seven, eight and nine, and the question of flying gets a little more complicated during this time. If you are having a single pregnancy, it’s considered safe up to 37 weeks. If you are having a twin pregnancy without complications, then it’s considered safe up to 32 weeks. After those dates, you could go into labour at any time.

Always check with the airline you plan to fly with before you book your flights. Many airlines have their own restrictions and guidelines, so make sure you know what they are, and if they require any documentation.

If you are unsure about flying in your third trimester, you can seek advice from your GP or healthcare practitioner.


Worries And Concerns About Flying During Pregnancy


Flying itself is not considered harmful to you or your baby if you’re having an uncomplicated pregnancy. You may feel uncomfortable if you’re flying during certain stages. You may find morning sickness, swollen legs, ear problems or nasal congestion are experienced during the flight.

You should discuss your travel plans with your doctor or midwife before you make any bookings.


DVT When Travelling


DVT, or Deep Vein Thrombosis is a condition where a blood clot develops in a deep vein in the body, usually in the leg. It can become dangerous if enters your bloodstream and travels to your lungs. The risk of DVT is increased when travelling for longer than 4 hours.


How To Reduce The Risk Of DVT When Flying


You can help to reduce the risk of DVT by:

  • Getting up for walks around the plane whenever possible
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Doing in seat exercises regularly
  • Wearing some compression or support stockings bought from a pharmacy to help reduce leg swelling


Tips For Flying When Pregnant


Make sure you take your pregnancy notes with you. Also make sure you have documents from your midwife or doctor confirming your due date, that you have no complications in your pregnancy, and they have no concerns about you travelling. Some airlines will request this from you, so always ask the airline before booking your flight.

If you have medication, make sure that you keep it in your hand luggage. Keep over the counter remedies, snacks and water in your hand luggage as well.

When you’re seated on the plane, you’ll need to fasten your seat belt. It should be reasonably tightened across your pelvis and under your bump. You can ask the cabin crew to help, or if you need a seatbelt extender.


Travel Vaccinations


You may need certain vaccinations if you are travelling to specific countries. Most vaccines that use live bacteria or viruses aren’t recommended when pregnant. Some anti-malarial tablets are also unsafe during pregnancy. Always discuss your travel plans with your healthcare providers and ask which vaccines you can safely have during your pregnancy.