Useful information to help you with air travel during pregnancy including information on flying pregnant, pregnancy flight restrictions and airplane safety.
Studies show that for most passengers there is no increased risk in flying, however flying is still probably the form of travel which raises most anxiety.
If you plan to travel abroad while you are pregnant, try and do your flying between 15 and 28 weeks. There is a lower risk of miscarriage or labour during this time frame and you will probably feel betterin yourself, however you may wish to consult your midwife or GP before booking a flight.
Most airlines will not let you fly during the last few weeks of pregnancy, not because it is dangerous, but because they would prefer you not to give birth on the plane. As different airlines have different rules it is advisable to contact the airline you plan to fly with to find out their policy. Most airlines require a medical certificate after 28 weeks and will not let you fly after 36 weeks. The rules keep changing, so check before you book and remember to take into account the dat of your return journey.
Pack sensibly, if you can buy or borrow a suitcase with wheels then do so to avoid excess straub. Carry your medical details, a contact number for your GP, a note saying you are pregnant and any other relevant information in case you are taken ill.
During the flight
- Wear loose fitting clothes and comfortable shoes. Several layers of clothes are ideal so you can adapt to different temperatures. When you are pregnant, your temperature tends to be higher, but cabin temperatures can feel cool.
- Drink plenty of water before and during the flight, avoid alcohol, coffee, tea and fizzy drinks, which are all dehydrating.
- During the flight Get up and walk around regularly.
- Rotate your ankles regularly.
- Position the seat belt underneath your bump and tell staff you are pregnant when checking-in.
The extra fluid in your body during pregnancy often causes ankles, feet, wrists and hand swell. Long journeys make this worse, when possible sit with your feet higher than you heart.
Immunisation and high risk countries
Some vaccinations, especially those using live vaccines are not recommended during pregnancy. If you have to travel to a high risk area then vaccination may be safer than risking illness, so discuss this with your GP and midwife.
Your pregnancy is a 'pre-existing condition', check your policy to see if you will be covered. Hospital charges abroad can be enormous, a premature birth or medical problem are distressing enough without a huge bill at the end. The same level of medical cover as we receive in Britain is not available throughout Europe. Even when travelling in the UK consider insurance to cover costs such as cancellation or delayed return.