Traveling by plane is considered the fastest and most comfortable means of traveling, especially if you have to get somewhere far away. When a woman is pregnant, sitting in a car for hours until the final destination can be a scenario hard to imagine.
We all know pregnant women have special needs, like using the restroom rather often and enjoying regular and healthy meals. So, getting to the destination quickly and easily seems to be the best option in this case.
Traveling by plane during pregnancy
But is traveling by plane safe for a pregnant woman? You may have heard a lot of things about this matter, so let us look closer and see how things really are.
If your pregnancy has a normal evolution, without any problems along the way, it is safe to fly before week 36 of pregnancy. Even so, it is recommended to get in touch with your doctor and talk about your plans of traveling by plane.
The doctor may want to do some thorough tests to see if there is anything that may stop you from doing so. It is very likely for your healthcare provider to formulate warnings in case your pregnancy experienced some issues or complications that may be aggravated while traveling by plane.
You see, it is harder to stop a plane if something goes wrong with one of the passengers, as the captain must find an available airport to safely land the airship before you get the chance to have adequate medical care.
Also, the duration of how long the trip will take should also be taken into consideration. Still, do have in mind that some air travel companies, and even your doctor, will not allow pregnant women to fly past their 36th week of pregnancy.
When is the safest period to fly
In case your doctor has nothing against you flying while pregnant and it’s not urgent for you to get anywhere, the best time to fly is during your second pregnancy trimester (weeks 14 to 27). This is the period of the pregnancy when the lowest risks of something unwanted may occur during flight.
Precautions & Tips
However, there are some things you need to do first, before you get on a plane and during the flight as well. First of all, you need to check the policy of the airline company you are about to fly with concerning air traveling during pregnancy.
It is very likely for pregnant women to have different guidelines, according to the destination or carrier. Once on the plane, do put your seat belt on. Use the lap belt to fasten it under your belly.
If it is possible, stand up and take short walks along the aisle of the plane. If you have to remain seated, stretch and flex your ankles as often as possible. Wear comfortable clothes, which will allow blood to flow properly. Compression stockings, for instance, will prevent blood clots from forming.
Another thing a pregnant woman should know, when traveling by plane, is to drink plenty of fluids during the flight. There is low humidity inside a plane’s cabin, so you can easily get dehydrated in such conditions.
Also, do not consume drinks or foods that produce intestinal gases. The gases trapped inside your intestines will expand in conditions of high altitude, which means more discomfort for a pregnant woman.
Some of these foods include beans, broccoli, and carbonated drinks. Additionally, make an emergency plan. Think about how you will get obstetric care if an emergency appears.
Cosmic radiation exposure is another factor that should be considered in the case of pregnancy. Of course, if you take a flight or two, cosmic radiation is not considered to be dangerous.
Doctors start questioning the risks involved by such exposure in the case of travel attendants, pilots, and people who fly frequently. Nevertheless, try to diminish the number of flights during pregnancy.
If you use this transportation means rather often, talk with your healthcare provider, as he will limit the number of flights so you will stay on the safe side.
Overall, there should not be any risks while flying if your pregnancy did not exceeded 36 weeks and everything went according to plan.
Still, taking a pre-travel evaluation, performed by your healthcare provider, is a great way to see if you can indeed travel by plane in complete safety.