If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy you should be able to fly up to 35 weeks. Most airlines will only accept pregnant flyers 28 weeks and over if they have a letter from their GP to show they are safe to travel.
You should be aware of the heightened complications of travelling whilst pregnant:
Before you travel
Before you travel you should double check you are OK to fly via your GP or midwife. You should also check your airline and insurance will permit travel.
Take a look at our Fitness to fly. Download today and take to your GP’s surgery to stamp.
Blood Clots (thrombosis)
Any long-distance traveler (typically journeys 5 hours or greater) are at an increased risk of blood clots. Pregnant women are no exception to this however, there is no firm evidence to suggest pregnancy courses higher risk.
Wearing correctly-fitted compression socks can held reduce your risk as well as getting up and walking around the cabin.
Most pregnant women tend to avoid travel in the first trimester due to exhaustion and nausea. If you feel well then there is nothing stopping you from travelling. I did, I actually flew a couple of during my first and second trimester without any issues.
If you are pregnant with twins or multiple’s you can only travel up to the first 32 weeks of pregnancy. You will need to complete your return journey before the end of your 32nd week. Again, airlines may request notification before you travel.
Long-haul Vs Short-haul flights
Airlines don’t hold differentiate between short-haul and long-haul flights. Some women just tend to avoid the long-haul flights due to exhaustion.
Tips for travelling on a plane
- Wear compression stockings
- Wear the seat-belt under your bump rather than above it
- Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Pack snacks in your hand luggage
- Get up as often as you are able to walk around and stretch out your legs
- Consider reserving an aisle seat in advance (it will help with the toilet breaks and stretching)
There is no special pregnancy insurance as most insurance policies cover pregnancy. You may need to read the fine print before purchasing though as there are sometimes clauses with exemptions to IVF pregnancies. Although the NHS classifies all pregnancies the same once IVF is successful.
The scanners used at airports use low-frequency electromagnetic field and are considered safe for everybody. There are pregnant women who work airside (the part after security) who use these scanners on a daily basis. If in doubt you can always ask.
Viruses and vaccinations
You should double check with the NHS website regarding vaccinations whilst pregnant. There is some general advice that vaccinations that are safe during pregnancy however, it is always advisable to double check before booking any travel.
Traveling with a newborn
Mother’s who have recently delivered their baby won’t be permitted to travel in the first 48 hours following an uncomplicated birth. If you have had a caesarean or if other surgery was needed than there is a minimum of 10 days with some airlines. It is also advisable to check with the medical staff prior to travelling.
Newborns are to be at least 8 days old before being allowed to travel on a plane. However, check with your airline prior.
If you are going away I wish you a safe and pleasant trip.