Flying While Pregnant
Many women are unsure about flying during pregnancy. Is it safe to fly while pregnant? Is there anything up in those skies that can harm your baby? What happens if you go into labor? Rest assured that flying while you are pregnant is almost always completely safe, so there’s no need to change your travel plans.
Who Can Fly
There are some restrictions as to just who should and should not travel the skies when they are pregnant. Generally, women who are having a healthy, normal pregnancy are free to come and go as they please. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends women don’t fly after their 36th week of pregnancy.
Airlines have their own flight restrictions for pregnant women, which can vary according to whether you are flying domestically or internationally and which airline you will be flying. Some airlines won’t allow you to travel for 30 days before your due date, while others won’t let you on board if your due date is less than seven days away. Be sure to ask the ticket agent when you book your ticket just what their restrictions are since they probably won’t mention it otherwise. And don’t forget to consider how close your due date will be when you come back.
Women who are having any sort of complications associated with their pregnancy or who are considered to be ‘high risk’ should not travel. This includes women with poorly controlled diabetes, sickle cell disease, placental abnormalities, hypertension or those at risk for premature labor.
Whether you are in your first trimester or third trimester, it is always a good idea to discuss your travel plans with your health care provider before you leave. It may also be a good idea to obtain a doctor’s note saying that it is okay for you to travel, especially if you are in your third trimester. Not every airline requires a doctor’s note to let you on the plane, but sometimes it’s easier to take the extra precaution in order to avoid any possible hassles when you board.