Is it safe travelling by plane while pregnant?
It is a true story – my mother being eight-months pregnant was flying from Los-Angeles to New-York. Somebody may say crazy, someone may praise, and another one may show surprise.
It goes without saying that there is not always a positive answer to the question – “may pregnant women travel by plane or not?”. This case is individual and depends on how the pregnancy proceeds, on gestational age, on the woman’s state in general.
According to some doctors’ opinion, it is not recommended to fly in the case if the gestational age is not above 12 weeks. Firstly, there is a high probability of termination of pregnancy and secondly, (for those who suffer pregnancy sickness) – these will be the most unpleasnt moments in their life.
If the gestational age is over 28 weeks – you should also avoid flying. This period is the one when woman’s body is preparing for birthing, that is why there is a great probability that contractions of false labor may turn into contractions of real labor.
It should be taken into account that the woman may suffer edema disease, varicosity and if we take into consideration the stress on takingoff and landing – probably, doctors’ opinion is worth paying attention. In case when the first trimester of pregnancy is away there is much time before birthing and the woman feels perfect, the doctor, probably, will wish her a pleasant flight.
Also, answering the question wether pregnant women may fly, the doctors pay attention to such factors as pressure bumps (they may cause amniorrhexis), insufficient oxygen concentration and relatively dry air in the aircraft cabin. Besides, we should add some more factors here, such as emotional pain and fear caused by flight and uncomfortable seats for future mothers. We should mention though suppositional but a danger which is connected with the solar radiation.
All these factors take place, but they do not matter to those who must fly. Certainly, there is no need to fly for those pregnant women whose pregnancy is abnormal (placenta pathology, anaemia, arterial tension variability and other symtomps).
Rules of Airline Companies
Each airline company makes its own individual rules referring to the conveyance of women in a delicate situation. For instance, there are companies that allow flying without declaring a certain certificate of pregnancy up to 36 weeks. When the gestational age is heavier there is a need of enabling document certified by the gynecologist (take into account that you should consult the specialist not later than a week before your flight).
In other airline companies, besides the doctor’s certificate, it is necessary to declare the prenatal record. But, anyhow, it is better to find out all the restrictions and rules of pregnant women’s conveyance beforehand at the company you are going to be served.
It is necessary to mention that american companies are more permissive in the situation with pregnant women’s conveyance. There are not any special rules and restrictions, and if it is necessary the stewardesses can provide obstetric care
If you have to fly after all…
Who cares that you are pregnant? What of it? – Yet you have to fly! – somebody may think.
In oreder to have a very comfortable flight – choose the bulkhead seat (the back seats are not good for there is less fresh air). Business-class will delight you with wide seats, you can book a seat in the front row or the aisle seat in economy class.
You should dress accordingly – loose and comfortable clothes that allow to move will be very helpful. Also, you should care to have a small pillow that you will put under your head.
You may always ask stewardess for the travelling rug to put it under your lower back. Moreover, compression stockings will be of great use (for preventing edema).
You should also keep in mind that it is better to fasten the safety belt under the bump. In order to have a possibility to do leg exercises and not “to mash” the underbody, you should walk in the cabin every 30 minutes – in this case the flight time will pass quicker.
The pregnants who suffer aerophobia are allowed to take depressants on flight.
Have a nice flight!