Pregnancy changes a lot of things about everyday life, at least from People are generally aware that getting pregnant means that you need to make some adjustments. Say you’ve got a vacation coming up that you planned several months ago. You know, the one you had your heart set on before you got pregnant?
Before you go ahead and cancel your travel plans, you may want to educate yourself on how your pregnancy affects how you travel, especially on an airplane.
The Best Time to Fly
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists attest that pregnant women who are healthy can board an airplane and fly safely until they are 36 weeks into their pregnancy. Between the 18th and 24th week is optimal, however, because this window typically carries the lowest risk of preterm labor or miscarriage.
Preparing For Your Flight
During the first trimester, you may be experiencing symptoms of nausea and vomiting, which can make travel uncomfortable and nerve wracking for you and those you travel with. Be sure to book a ticket near the aisle or, better yet, the bulkhead, since these are closest to the restrooms. You’re going to need easy access to the toilet, and you don’t want to have to wait in line.
It’s also important to note that the metal detection scanners used at the airport are safe for you and your baby, no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy.
Keep the Blood Flowing
Flying often exacerbates medical conditions that affect blood circulation, and pregnancy is one of those conditions. It’s important to stretch regularly and keep blood flowing by walking around the cabin area. When you’re sitting in your seat, keep moving by rolling your ankles, flexing your feet, or lifting your knees. You can also wear compression stockings and loose-fitting clothes on board the plane.
When You Shouldn’t Fly
Some women may be diagnosed by their OB GYN as having a high-risk pregnancy, which means they also have hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, anemia, placental abnormalities, or other illness that makes their pregnancy complicated. Also women who are at risk for preterm labor should not get on board an airplane.
As you approach your 36th week of pregnancy, the ACOG recommends that you don’t fly: the risk of you going into labor during the flight is greatly increased. However, if you simply must fly at this late stage of pregnancy, be sure to bring your medical records with you. Also, ask your health care provider to give you a medical referral within minutes of your destination.
Your airline may also have restrictions regarding pregnant passengers, and may require you to provide a doctor’s not that indicates that you are clear for air travel.
Be sure to ask your health care provider for more travel tips and advice before you get on a plane, to ensure a safe and comfortable flight.