Flying While Pregnant: Is Air Travel Safe?

Flying via plane is a standard part of many people’s lives, but what happens with this mode of travel when you're pregnant?

After getting pregnant, the body goes through many changes and both mom and baby are at extremely vulnerable stages in their lives. Moms might wonder how their pregnancy will affect their experience with plane travel, or whether they should fly at all. In fact, the answer differs depending on what stage of pregnancy a woman is in, and in some cases, airlines disallow flying while pregnant. So what’s what?

On the whole, it is safe to fly during pregnancy. But there are some challenges to consider when deciding whether or not one really wants to make the trip. For example, morning sickness in the first trimester may contribute to a very unpleasant experience. That is also the time during pregnancy where the risk of miscarriage is highest.

A little more frightening is the risk of developing a blood clot. Both pregnancy and riding on a plane increase a woman’s risk, so putting the two together isn’t the right decision for everyone. Altitude, however, is not as much of a risk as many people might believe. As it turns out, oxygen available to the fetus remains the same if the mother’s drops.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1026"] Via Baby Center[/caption]

Although at most points in her pregnancy, a mom will have to weigh the pros and cons of flying, there is a time where many airlines draw the line. Airplane travel is not recommended in the last few weeks of gestation. That’s simply because it becomes probable for a woman to go into labor while in flight--a highly undesirable and even dangerous situation for all involved. Some airlines require a doctor’s note okaying airplane travel at any point during the third trimester, while others simply restrict pregnant women from flying as she gets within a month or so of her due date.

Flying may cause discomfort and stress for a pregnant woman, but on the other hand, a babymoon to relax and celebrate this momentous life change might be exactly what she needs. Whether the travel difficulties are worth it is up to the mom, as long as she stays within the airline’s restrictions.


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