Useful information on air travel in the third trimester and advice to help make flying during pregnancy a more comfortable experience.
The majority of airlines allow you to travel up to the 36th week of your pregnancy as long as you can verify that you are in good health - many airlines will only allow you on board if you can produce a doctors letter stating that you are fit for travel. However, some do have lower restrictions for long distance travel.
Air travel during pregnancy poses little risk to you or your baby. The main reason for airline restrictions is so as to avoid mid-flight deliveries as air stewards have neither the space, equipment or experience to cope with this.
Regulations relating to pregnancy differ between airlines so it is important to check the associated policy before you book your tickets. You should also take into consideration the date of your return flight as if it falls over the restriction date you may have to find an alternate way home.
Comfort is a big factor during the final months of pregnancy so being prepared can help a lot. You are likely to experience fluid retention and swelling during the flight so wearing loose clothes and comfy shoes that leave room for expansion is a good idea. It is a good idea to dress in layers so as to accommodate for variations in temperature due to air conditioning and a Pashmina scarf can come in useful as a mini blanket or pillow.
You should ask for an aisle or bulkhead seat so that you can have more room to stretch out. If you find the seat belt provided is too tight you can ask for an extension as these are often available. Seat belts should be worn low across your pelvis rather than across your stomach. Why not try asking for an upgrade as there will be more space and comfier seats and if there are available seats the airline may be accommodating (always worth a try!).
As you approach your due date your blood chances in consistency so that it has a greater ability to clot. While this will help prevent you loosing too much blood during labour it does mean that you have a slightly higher risk of developing deep vein thromboses. As a precaution you should move around as much as possible during the flight - try to get up and walk around at least once an hour, stretch out your legs and feet every half an hour and wearing compression stockings may also help - this will help to keep blood circulating around the legs.
The air in an airplane can be very drying so it important that you drink plenty of fluid to remain hydrated. Taking your own snacks can be a good idea if you suffer from indigestion or heartburn and can't be sure how you will react to food served on the plane.
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