Pregnancy and Air Travel: How Late is Too Late?

Air travel during pregnancy is a major concern. You may need to do air travel during your pregnancy because of a number of reasons like business, family, vacations or emergencies. But have you ever wondered, How Late is too Late?

Well, unless a pregnant woman has some special medical conditions that prevent her from air travel during pregnancy, she can fly during most of the pregnancy period. Normally, air travel before 36 weeks does not pose any problems for pregnant women.

Generally, the best time to fly in pregnancy is somewhere between the 14th and 28th week. This is the period when the difficulties of the first trimester are almost over and the expectant mother is full of energy. However, the doctors do not recommend flying after the 36th week. This is the time when unexpected labor is a possibility and most of the airlines do not allow pregnant women to fly during this period. It is definitely risky for the mother and her baby, and of course for the airline company. It might also cause inconvenience to other passengers as well.

The rules can vary from company to company. Some companies have a policy that restricts air travel for pregnant women, even in the early stages of pregnancy. While there are some that can even give a relaxation for single pregnancies up to the end of the 40th week if the travel time is less than 4 hour. Some won’t let pregnant women to fly if they are in the third trimester (28 weeks or more) and even in case if they do, the pregnant woman is required to produce a certificate from a registered doctor stating that she is fit to fly and the possibilities of labor in the next 72 hours are nil.

At any Stage of Pregnancy, you should avoid Air Travel in the following cases:

  • If the woman is having twins or multiples
  • Women with diabetes and high blood pressure
  • In case of placental abnormalities or bleeding
  • If the woman is suspected to have preterm labor and is under monitoring
  • If the woman is prone to thrombosis (blood clots)
  • Previous early birth
  • Women with the issues of varicose veins

In these cases, it is best to avoid air travel at any stage. If it is absolutely necessary for the pregnant woman to fly with any of these conditions, she would need to get clearance from her doctor. Even then also, some airline companies might not allow such cases on board.

There is no reason why a pregnant woman should not fly if she is having a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy. However, it would be a good idea to avoid air travel in the final weeks of pregnancy in order to minimize the risk of complications. These complications can develop any-time during flying due to the changes in altitudes and air pressure leading to labor and delivery mid-air! In any case, air travel during pregnancy should not be very frequent.

Air travel during pregnancy is not easy but with sufficient information, preparation and complete knowledge, you can ensure a healthy air travel.

We wish you all the very best and a healthy life ahead! 🙂

Categories: Health & Fitness,Pregnancy

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