The U.S. Air Force has stated that they will allow pregnant aircrew members to fly without obtaining a specific medical waiver. The decision was made because the military wants to continue empowering women, and they believe limiting capable staff because of their pregnancy is wrong.
In the past, pregnant aircrew members could not fly while pregnant. If they did, they needed to be cleared before taking-off, and they were required to sign a medical waiver. With the number of women who have proven to be capable of flying despite having a baby in their belly, the Air Force realized that the requirements are quite limiting and disempowering. Now, they have chosen to keep their staff in the air if they want to keep flying.
The new regulation lengthens the time women can fly while pregnant. They will no longer need a waiver, granted that their pregnancy is not causing any complications. However, they will not be forced to fly if they do not feel comfortable being in the air while pregnant. Those who chose to fly are allowed to change their mind at any time, especially because many different things can happen during pregnancy.
While the move is praised for allowing women to continue working, many are concerned for pregnant Air Force crew. Piloting planes and jets requires a lot of physical and mental strength, so the military needs personnel in the best shape; some may argue that pregnant women aren’t at their A-game. However, it’s important to note that no mother will put their baby at risk, and each pregnant aircrew member will work closely with their doctor to keep everyone safe. The second it becomes dangerous to operate a plane while pregnant, pregnant pilots will know it’s best not to fly.
The revision of regulations also aims to eliminate some pressures that come with becoming a parent. Military personnel sometimes feel that they need to choose between their service or starting a family. With new regulations, women don’t have to feel like they have to choose between two duties. Given that they’re in good shape, nothing should limit them from reaching for the stars.