Flying Rules During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant, you need to know where and when you can travel, so that the travelling doesn’t negatively affect your baby, or your chances of conceiving one. Generally, most pregnant women can travel easily to any place they want, including exotic countries. However, it is essential that you take care of things such as medicines, insurance and vaccination prior to travelling. Moreover, pregnant women need to take care of themselves to make the flying trip more comfortable. Read on to learn flying rules during pregnancy and how to make yourself more comfortable during flights.

What to Do Prior to Flying During Pregnancy

1.      Get Your Doctor’s Permission

If you are pregnant and are thinking of travelling to some place, then you need to first consult your doctor and ask her whether she permits you to fly. The majority of midwives and doctors advise their pregnant patients to avoid flying after they have reached their 36th week of pregnancy. Most airline companies follow the same rule as well. This is because if you go into labor while you’re flying, you will be miles away from a hospital and can have problems during delivery.

Do not forget to get the contact information of a doctor close to your destination in case there is an emergency. Also, take along your insurance and other medical certificates with you.

Avoid travelling to countries and places where you won’t be able to find emergency health care services easily.

2.      Discuss Those Things with Your Doctor

Prior to embarking on any trip during your first, second or third trimester, you need to discuss some important things regarding your trip with your doctor. These include activities you will be involved in during your trip, the duration of your flight, the location of your destination and your physical and emotional health. If you have experienced any complications lately, including diabetes or high blood pressure, chances are that your doctor won’t give you a green signal to travel.

3.      Do Research on Airline Regulations

If your doctor does allow you to travel, you need to ask your airline company regarding any limitations they have set for pregnant women while flying. Moreover, you can also request them to give you a bulkhead seat to relax properly and a belly room if possible.

4.      Know the Best Time to Travel During Pregnancy

The second trimester that exists from your 14th week till the 27th week is generally the easiest time to travel for most women. Many women have outgrown their morning sickness and their energy levels are also better. If you are going on a business trip, you will feel that you are able to handle tight meeting schedules easily. On the other hand, if you are on a holiday trip, you can enjoy travelling without any toys, baby clothes or diapers.

Flying Rules During Pregnancy

You need to take care of the following things while flying; pregnant rules should never be neglected. 

1.    Travel Insurance

Generally, your travel insurance does not permit you to travel throughout your pregnancy. Most of the policies will cover you till your 28th week, but travelling after you’ve reached your 30th week is not allowed. There are certain policies that take care of you during the last weeks of your pregnancy, but advise you to return from your trip at least 8 weeks before your due date. Some insurance policies are happy to cover you till the time you deliver your baby if you have travelling permission from your doctor and airline.

Most insurance companies have policies that keep on varying, so it is better to consult your travel agent whether or not you need a ‘pre-travel health statement’ for flying. This document can be easily obtained from your doctor. Insurance companies normally do not cover your maternity care that starts during the 9th month of your pregnancy.

2.    Airline Policies

If you are pregnant and you have never had a complicated pregnancy, then it is safe for you to travel up to the 36th week of your pregnancy, but some airline companies are reluctant to allow women to fly who are over 28 weeks pregnant as there is always the risk of a premature labor.

Ticket agents normally do not question you regarding your pregnancy when you book a seat, but your due date can be asked at the airport gate.

Travelling policies generally vary with each airline company, so do get a thorough knowledge about your airline’s travelling policies during pregnancy. Try to avoid flying in small planes, as they do not contain any pressurized cabins.

Airline, including Virgin Atlantic demand you to produce a letter from your health care practitioner that allows you to travel after your 28th week of pregnancy. Mexicana demands the same letter after you have completed your second trimester. Airlines have faith in you that you will inform them of your correct due date.

Here we found some references on flying rules for the pregnant in major airlines for both demestic and international flights. 

How to Be More Comfortable When Flying During Pregnancy

You need to consider your physical and emotional health as well apart from the airline policies prior to flying. You can easily get uncomfortable in a small airplane seat when you’re carrying a baby. If you have evaluated everything and have decided to travel, then you need to take care of certain things so you can relax during your flight.

  • Ask the airline company to give you a seat in the middle of the plane, so you can have a smooth ride. Moreover, you can also request for a bulkhead seat. Alternatively, you could try to get a seat on the aisle, so you can easily go to the ladies room whenever you need to urinate.
  • When you sit in your seat, take off your shoes and stretch your legs a bit, so they don’t get numb.
  • Do take a couple of visits to the bathroom as sitting in one place for a long time can result in the swelling of your ankles and feet. If there is nobody sitting on the seat next to yours, you could put your legs up on it and relax.
  • Do take strolls along the aisle, so you have a healthy blood circulation in your body and can reduce your chances of getting thrombosis.
  • When you are sitting, stretch your leg and relax your calf muscles. Then rotate your ankles slowly and wiggle your toes to unwind the tension lodged in them.
  • If the airplane is experiencing any turbulence, make sure you are sitting down. Apart from that, keep your seat belt fastened below your belly bump and keep it low on your hips.
  • Moreover, you need to drink many fluids while travelling in an airplane. Try to avoid drinking caffeine-enriched beverages.
  • Try to refrain from consuming any meals or beverages that produce gas as the trapped gas in these foods tends to expand when you are at a high altitude and makes you uncomfortable.
  • You need to wear light and comfortable clothes, so you don’t feel suffocated during your flight. It is best to wear a dress or a top with pants or skirt, so you can easily visit the bathroom. Moreover, dress up according to the weather.
  • Do not forget to wear comfortable shoes that provide enough room for your toes to relax. If you have swelling, then wear maternity support panty hose that helps in reducing the swelling.

The following video explains more flying rules during pregnancy: