Reserved an air ticket already and expecting a baby? Is it safe for you to take an airplane while you’re pregnant? Let’s look at what destinations are suitable for a pregnant you, whether you should get travel insurance, what you should be careful about, what you need to note, and soon you can be on your way.
Is air travel during pregnancy really ok?
Traveling in your second trimester is fine if your practitioner gives you the green light to go ahead. If you’re looking at a long haul flight, you can go ahead with your plans if the airline company allows you to go on board – note that most only take pregnant women who are not more than 7 months pregnant.
When you’re in the plane itself, the air pressure in the cabin doesn’t affect the fetus, but you’ll have to drink up to prevent yourself from dehydrating (since the interior of the cabin is dry and has low humidity). Also, sitting for too long isn’t good for you, so make sure you stand up and stretch from time to time.
Air travel during pregnancy: Avoid flying if your condition is not good
Try to avoid flying if you have any abnormal bleeding, lower abdominal pain or if any other complications arise because you might not get to the doctor in time. Get your practitioner’s advice before even considering getting on board a flight bound for a destination far away.
If you have had a preterm birth or have had given birth to many children, it’s best that you also refrain from flying unless your practitioner gives you their approval.
Potential problems of air travel during pregnancy
Turbulence and weather
Air turbulence, or taking off and landing can cause the plane to shake violently. Weather can cause flight delays and make the flight uncomfortable. That can, in turn, make you feel uneasy and uncomfortable. If you feel unwell, tell the flight attendants about it; don’t keep quiet!
Feeling unwell all of a sudden
You might suddenly feel unwell during the flight. The first and foremost course of action you should take is to inform the cabin crew that you’re not feeling too great, then continue to keep them updated on your condition. The flight attendants can not only appeal to doctors on board to step forward and provide medical assistance, they can also help make the necessary arrangements to get you to a local hospital after the plane touches down.
Air travel during pregnancy: Things to note
Choose your destination well
Forget country-hopping; choose a destination and spend your time chilling there. Aim to go somewhere that doesn’t take more than 5 hours by plane. Any longer than that, and sitting for long periods of time can put you at risk of the economy-class syndrome (known medically as deep vein thrombosis) – having blood clots in your legs from sitting for too long. It is said that pregnant women are actually 6 times more at risk of getting the economy-class syndrome more than others due to their physical condition. So, make you sure that you stretch and drink enough water.
When you reach your destination, note the local weather and make sure you don’t fall prey to any weather-related illnesses.
Air travel insurance
It’s recommended that you get insurance that covers delivery, a preterm birth, a miscarriage, other emergency surgeries or medical check-ups that could happen. You never know what can happen and it’s best to be prepared. You don’t want to face the music (or the bills) later for being unprepared.
Letting the airline know
After making your reservation, you might want to drop the airline a message to inform them that you’re pregnant. You never know what kind of special service they can provide for you. Most airlines also require a letter from your general practitioner confirming that you’re in good health if you’re past 28 weeks pregnant.
You might think it’s a hassle to inform the airline company about your pregnancy, but even if you’re not doing it for the perks, you should do it because informing them in advance will allow the airline to be prepared to handle any emergencies.
Rest, relax and prepare for a life with Baby
Since you’ve taken all the time and trouble to go somewhere by airplane to rest and relax, make sure that’s what you do! Rest well and indulge yourself if that’s what you need to help give you a mental and physical boost and get you back into the pink of health. Take time to ruminate over things that have been weighing on your mind, then get rid of your worries and refresh yourself.
Since you’ll probably not be going anywhere by airplane after the delivery, let your wanderlust take over for now and have a good time preparing to welcome Baby into your life!