Air travel during pregnancy: What you need to know

Air travel during pregnancy

Air travel in the third trimester

Air travel during pregnancy is already quite stressful and cumbersome, and therefore travelling by air in the third trimester when you are bulky can be even more uncomfortable.

Before you consider air travel as the mode of transport, consult your doctor and carry a “Fit to Fly” certificate from your doctor. This certificate must state your stage of pregnancy and that you are fit enough to travel by air, and are unlikely to go into labor at this stage of pregnancy.

Check your airline's policy before you book a ticket, because every airline has different rules for pregnant women flying. Also, make sure you arrange to get a similar letter for the return trip too. For the same, it is likely that you will have to arrange to visit a doctor at your destination location. At this stage of pregnancy, it is recommended that you always carry your case papers with you, no matter where you travel. That way it is much convenient to consult the doctor in case of emergency.

Most airlines in India do not allow pregnant women flying for expecting women after 37 weeks of pregnancy, because by this time, you are likely to go in labor in flight or at any time. A leniency may be granted in very exceptional cases only when the woman is examined by the airline medical committee.

Tips to have a safe and comfortable air travel during pregnancy.

If you do decide to take a flight travel during third trimester of your pregnancy, there are some things you could do to ensure a comfortable time. The air in the cabin is usually quite dry, so you may want to drink plenty of fluids thereby keeping yourself hydrated.

Follow our recommendations for an easier time during your flight:

  • Don’t stand or sit for too long, as it may cause swelling in your feet or ankles and leg cramps. Keep doing some stretches to avoid any cramps.
  • Take an aisle seat as it provides more legroom and allows you to go to the washroom easily without inconveniencing the co-travelers.

As your baby grows the increased pressure on your bladder results in your need to use the restroom more often. You are sure to appreciate having closer access to the restroom!

  • Arrive at the airport with plenty of time to go so that you don’t have to rush when it is time to board.
  • Wear comfortable and loose fitting clothes, and well-fitting flat heeled shoes for best comfort. Wear the seat belt below the bump.
  • Eat small meals to help ease your air sickness. Carry some mints or boiled sweets to suck on in case you feel queasy.
  • Carry a lot of water with you, because air travel is likely to make you thirsty.

Hazards related air travel during the third trimester : When is air travel unsafe during pregnancy?

If you suffer from high blood pressure or if you have developed high blood pressure during pregnancy, air travel maye not be for you. This is because the cabin is pressurized, which could cause your BP numbers to rise further, resulting in some danger to both the mother and the unborn baby,

Also if you have a history of blood clots or run a risk of preterm labor, you might want to avoid travelling in the final few weeks before your due date.

Some folks also worry about radiation exposure risks due to air travel at high altitudes, but that really is not considered as a problem at all. This is only applicable to people who are frequent fliers like pilots and crew and does not affect pregnant women who are going on a one-off trip. Frequent air travel of course need to be discussed with your doctor.

So, for the most part air travel is absolutely okay as long as you have the green signal from your doctor. So, you can relax and enjoy your holiday and air travel.