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Flying when Pregnant

It can be stressful to fly while pregnant; however, if you have had a typical, low-risk pregnancy, you should have no problems. There is no major danger directly linked to flying while pregnant, and it will have no negative consequences even if you fly later in your pregnancy.

Even though flying is thought to have no negative effects on the mother or the baby, you should always consult your doctor or midwife before making any arrangements.
Some expectant mothers prefer not to travel during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy due to nausea and the increased chance of miscarriage.
Before purchasing a ticket, double-check with your insurance company and airline to ensure that you are eligible to travel with them.

For safety reasons your airline will have restrictions when you cannot fly.
The main cause for concern is preterm labor, which can occur at any time. As a result, it is suggested not to fly after the 36th week of pregnancy, in accordance with International Air Travel Association regulations.

Also, some physiological changes occur when travelling, which might cause additional pain for a pregnant mother, such as travel sickness. If you have morning sickness, it may influence your decision to fly.

Preparations for Flying when Pregnant

If you are traveling after 28 weeks of pregnancy, you must notify your airline’s customer care desk.
You’ll need to complete a “Fit to Fly” letter signed by your GP or midwife after the 28th week. This will have to be confirmed.

1/ Your anticipated delivery date
2/ That you are in decent physical condition
3/ That you had a healthy pregnancy

As a general rule, you are often unable to travel after:

  • If you’re expecting more than one child, the conclusion of the 32nd week of your pregnancy.
  • If you’re expecting a single child, the end of the 36th week.

Depending on whether you are pregnant with many babies or just one, you must schedule your return flight before the end of the 32nd or 36th week.
If you are unsure whether to fly, the RCOG Patient Information Committee offers the following advice:

“To help decide whether or not to fly, women should think about how many weeks pregnant they will be, what facilities are available at their destination, and whether it will increase their risk of medical problems.”

Travel Tips for Flying when Pregnant

1/ If your feet swell, use comfortable shoes.
2/ Wear compression stockings with elastomeric cuffs.
3/ Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
4/ For comfort and safety, buckle your seatbelt so the strap is below your bump. If you require one, your airline will offer you a seat belt extension.
5/ Sit on your seat and do ankle and calf exercises.
6/ When possible, walk around the plane.
7/ Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
8/ Caffeine-containing beverages should be avoided because they dehydrate you.
9/ Make a seat reservation in advance to assure an aisle seat.

Top Tips

  • When you travel, bring your pregnancy notes and any medications with you.
  • Travel insurance is a need. Check to see if your travel insurance covers medical services connected to pregnancy.
  • When visiting Gran Canaria, bring your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) card, which enables you to free medical treatment.
  • Remember that the EHIC card is not a substitute for travel and will only cover medical expenses while you are in Europe. It does not cover the costs of lodging or rebooking flights, for example, which may arise as a result of health difficulties or challenges during your stay.
  • Before you consume any tap water when you arrive at your destination, double-check. It is recommended that you consume bottled water to avoid stomach distress.

To travel with baby items on an airline please read Child Car Seat and Pushchairs

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