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Air Travel During Pregnancy

4 min read

During your pregnancy it’s quite normal to be concerned about your baby’s health particularly when it involves travelling -whether by train, car or plane. Travelling while you are carrying your precious little life within you can bring its own set of challenges for you. However expectant mothers are seen in more dilemma about the clarity on how safe it is to travel by air when you are pregnant. Here are few important points which can help you in planning your air trip.
Air travel during pregnancy

What Is The Safest Time To Travel During Pregnancy?

As long as everything is normal and healthy and you don’t have any complications in your pregnancy then you may find that your second trimester – between 14 to 27 weeks – is the best time to plan your air travel. By this time you are free from morning sickness, there are very less chances of any miscarriage and thus the second trimester is considered the best time to travel. After experiencing a low energy period in your first trimester the second one will keep bring all the charge you need especially as this the time for you to experience the famous pregnancy glow.
Though travelling in your second trimester is quite safe and recommended but still you should discuss your trip and health conditions with your obstetrician before booking your tickets for your flight. It may be possible that she may not permit you to travel if you are have a high risk pregnancy. Also it’s advisable to research properly about the place you are visiting so that if in case of any emergency you can visit the nearby hospital. Try not to choose any adventurous place; instead try a place which can help you in relaxing.
Also, unless your doctor advises, do not travel after crossing your 36th week of pregnancy.

Air Travel During First Trimester Of Pregnancy

Though safe, many women avoid travelling during their first trimester of pregnancy owing to nausea and fatigue that kicks in around 6 or 7 week. It could leave you uncomfortable and pretty irritated. If you have to travel, ask your doctor to prescribe some anti-nausea medicines that canhelp you keep your calm during the flight.

Is Medical Certificate Is Required For Air Travel During Pregnancy?

While flying via domestic airlines you can travel without any restrictions in your first and second trimesters but If in case you are planning a foreign trip then you will need a “fit to travel” certificate from your doctor even if it’s your second trimester. Each airline has its own set of rules and regulations but most of them ask for this certificate after you have completed 22-23 weeks.

What Should I Consider When Booking My Tickets For Air Travel During Preganncy?

While booking your tickets via travel agent tell him in advance that how far along you are pregnant and then ask him to find out the policies of airlines regarding pregnant women. If it’s possible then recheck yourself with airlines you are travelling with. Plan your return trip well in advance before your due date as many airlines won’t allow you to travel in third trimester even with your “fit to travel” certificate.
Also keep in mind that more pregnant you are the tougher it will be for you to sit for a longer period of time. So while deciding the destination think about how many hours flight will it be.
Air travel in pregnancy

Flying During Pregnancy – Important Points
  1. Cabin pressure and Humidity: While flying pressured cabin and low humidity inside aircraft can be a cause of discomfort for pregnant women, so in order to stay relaxed throughout your journey. It is very unlikely that the fetus will be affected by the change in oxygen levels, which actually is negligible
  2. Seat belts: Most of the time cabin crew of airline will ask you to wear seat belts throughout the journey. So it’s advisable to wear seat belt below your abdomen to avoid any kind of uneasiness
  3. Choose your seat wisely: Pregnancy can increase your visits to the bathroom so book an aisle seat for yourself so that your getting up and sitting down can get easier. Try taking a seat close to the restroom as the frequency is more
  4. Try doing small exercises: Flights with long duration can pose you risk of thrombosis in legs so try some small exercises of calf to improve your blood circulation and if possible take occasional walks. If you cannot walk, stretch your ankles every now and then
  5. Keep yourself hydrated: The low cabin pressure can cause dehydration during pregnancy, and hence
  6. Stay away from gas producing foods: Gas can be troublesome during pregnancy. Try to avoid foods and drinks that produce gas before and during your flight.

Women who do not have any serious medical problems usually have no trouble during air travel. You just need to little bit careful and prepared while going for vacations. Before you leave for vacation pack the copy of all your prenatal charts so that consulting a doctor in a new place can be easier. Make a separate folder of your ultrasound and pregnancy related lab test so that you can find them easily.
If in case it’s your first baby then going on nappy free vacations can be your golden opportunity to enjoy some time alone with your partner. It can be your one easy trip where you can travel light (imagine going on a trip with diapers feeding bottles and toys). So make the most of it and enjoy.
Read more about travelling during pregnancy here.

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