Should I travel by flight during pregnancy?

“Should I travel by flight during pregnancy?” This is a question that comes to the mind of every mother when she is about to become a mother but she loves traveling and exploring new places. Or they have to travel by plane for their professional work. But this requires great caution in terms of health and safety. Being pregnant is a wonderful feeling. And you have to take good care of your mental and physical health for 9 months.

Should I travel by flight during pregnancy?

It is believed that if you visit new places during pregnancy, it has a very good effect on your health due to which your future baby will be very genius. But you might also be wondering, should I travel by flight during pregnancy? What kind of planning will need to be done for this? And will it be secure or not? So let us know all these things in depth.

Is air travel safe during pregnancy? (Should I travel by flight during pregnancy?)-

Women have to take many precautions during the last two months of pregnancy. Unless you’re close to your due date, or your doctor says you or your baby don’t have any medical conditions, you can travel by air during pregnancy. But plan the air travel keeping in mind the physical and mental health of the child so that there is no pressure on the visiting child.

If your due date is close, it is safer for you to stay at home. Most healthy pregnant women can travel by flight approximately one to two months before their due date.But if you are facing heart disease, diabetes or complications of pregnancy. So air travel during pregnancy can be a little risky.

When to travel during pregnancy –(Should I travel by flight during pregnancy?)-

First Trimester (0-3 Months) (Should I travel by flight during pregnancy?)-

During the first few weeks of pregnancy, you are facing excitement and anxiety. Not only is there excitement over the arrival of a new guest, you are also immersed in worry. Because sometimes things do not go as per your expectations. So if you are thinking of air travel then there is a risk of miscarriage due to any trauma, which mostly happens in the first three months of pregnancy.

Health related problems occurring in the initial days of pregnancy like nausea, fatigue, dizziness etc. cannot be ignored considering them normal. You should also consider this before traveling for your air travel convenience. If you have any other medical conditions, be sure to consult your doctor about these.

Click here for- Air travel with Baby: Parent FAQs | A Complete Guide

Second trimester (3-6 months) (Should I travel by flight during pregnancy?)-

If you are pregnant during the middle three months of your pregnancy, then air travel will be the safest months for you. During these intervening three months, your risk of miscarriage is reduced and there is no risk of complications like premature delivery. However, if you have any medical conditions or pregnancy-related complications, you should discuss health complications during pregnancy with your doctor before traveling by air.

Third Trimester (6-9 Months) (Should I travel by flight during pregnancy?)-

As the last trimester of pregnancy begins, the weight of the baby also begins to feel heavy. Due to this the chances of having a child gradually increases. Therefore, some airlines do not allow travel after 34 weeks in order to travel during this time! (Yes, this includes return flights!).

This is because they do not have cabin crew who can handle pregnancy emergencies. Between 28-36 weeks, some airlines allow pregnant women to fly, but they require a doctor’s certificate proving that there are no complications and that the date of delivery is confirmed. It’s over. Among the difficulties which may prevent travel are the possibility of the birth and delivery of twins.

Specific problems associated with flying during pregnancy(Should I travel by flight during pregnancy?)-

Blood clots: Pregnancy increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis. It is well known that thrombosis is linked to prolonged sitting; For example, as one does on a long plane ride or other type of travel. The risk of thrombosis can be reduced fairly simply by:

  • Stay well hydrated– Carry a water bottle with you and keep drinking water every once in a while.
  • Keep your calf muscles active – this will help blood circulate safely.
  • Use compression socks- It is considered beneficial to wear them before the journey and keep them during the flight.

Should I travel by flight during pregnancy?

Using aspirin during pregnancy to prevent blood clots is generally not recommended. If you’ve already had a thrombosis, your risk of getting another one during or after a flight is higher.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ 2001 guidelines recommend that pregnant women at high risk of thrombosis should be treated with injectable anti-coagulants before air travel. If you are at high risk of thrombosis, you will need to arrange treatment with yourself. Consult your doctor well before the date you plan to travel.

Swelling in the feet:

Swelling in the ankles is common in the later months of pregnancy and sitting for long periods of time can also cause swelling in the feet. Again pumping your calf muscles and using compression stockings will help. Consider not removing your shoes during your flight, as you may not be able to wear them again.

Indigestion:

This is common in pregnancy and may be noticeable during air flying. It’s best to avoid fizzy drinks and gassy foods in the days before a flight. During air flight, the pressure in the cabin reduces slightly due to which gas expands in the stomach.

Pregnancy complications:

If you have had any complications during this or a previous pregnancy you should discuss them with your doctor before traveling. Failure to do so may invalidate your insurance policy if problems arise during the journey or at your destination.

Infectious diseases:

You should consider your destination carefully. The biggest matter of concern is the threat of malaria. Malaria during pregnancy poses a serious risk to mother and child. There is also the question of the safety of the anti-malarial drug on the developing child.

Some countries require a certificate of vaccination, meaning live vaccines (e.g. polio and yellow fever). You and your doctor will need to decide together whether the benefits of these vaccines outweigh the risks for your individual situation. However, it is better to avoid traveling to countries with these diseases if possible.

Medical Services:

Although most pregnancies proceed smoothly and have pleasant outcomes, sometimes problems arise. The prudent traveler will consider these when planning his or her journey. Abortion or premature delivery in a remote, poorly serviced country can have major health implications. If in doubt, discuss your destination with your GP. Timing is also an issue: The further along the pregnancy goes, the greater the risk.

Infants:

Air travel is not permitted during the first two days after birth and is inappropriate for the first week of an infant’s life. This is because the lungs are not mature enough to maintain oxygen levels in the low cabin pressure that occurs at high altitudes. There is some concern that air travel during the first six months of life may be linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), formerly known as “cot death”, but this has not been conclusively proven.2

Summary (Should I travel by flight during pregnancy?)-

Air travel needs to be carefully considered during pregnancy. It is worth considering:

  • How important is your visit? Is it important for work or personal reasons, or is it for entertainment?
  • What kind of flight are you planning? Is it a long distance or short distance flight? (Long trips have a greater impact during pregnancy)
  • What kind of medical facilities will there be at your destination? Will they be enough if problems arise with your pregnancy?
  • Are there infectious diseases in the country that require vaccination? (If so, you will need to discuss the benefits and risks of these vaccinations for you and your baby)
  • Does the country you are moving to have reciprocal health agreements with the UK? (If so, you may need form E111, available from your local post office – UK)
  • If you must travel by air, the middle three months of pregnancy are the safest and most comfortable for flying.
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