Nearly 50 million Americans are estimated to travel by airline this holiday season. While it may be instinctive to think that you shouldn’t be flying while pregnant, it can be perfectly safe as long as you follow some simple steps and understand your restrictions. The key is preparation. We will explore some of the important items to be aware of when considering flying while pregnant.
When Is Flying While Pregnant Safe?
The best time to travel is in your second trimester- between week 14 and 28 of your pregnancy. Common problems typically sprout up at the beginning and at the end of your pregnancy. The second trimester is normally when you have your energy back and your morning sickness is gone.
You will want to check with your insurance carriers and airlines for certain restrictions. Many airlines discourage travel after 36 weeks. Even if your doctor gives you the “ok” to travel, you will want to take extra steps to assure your safety. Research where you can receive medical attention if necessary at your destination. Will that medical care be covered? Going through potential problem solving beforehand can give you an emergency plan of action and peace of mind.
When Is Flying While Pregnant Not Safe?
The more complications involved with a pregnancy, the less you are recommended to travel. Any pregnancy that has complications including preeclampsia, prelabor rupture of membranes, preterm labor or others discussed with your doctor is not recommended for travel. It is also not recommended to travel after 36 weeks of pregnancy.
Even if your pregnancy is in its 2nd trimester and there have been no complications, there are still some reasons to stay home. In particular, research your destination for any virus outbreaks. Any areas, whether domestic or foreign, that have Zika or Malaria outbreaks as well as other sicknesses that could cause complications should be avoided entirely. You can find a current list of health notices here.
What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a condition that causes blood clots to form in the veins of your body. Anyone could have DVT, but it is exacerbated by age, sitting for long periods of time like long distance travel and being pregnant. It can be life threatening and should be discussed with your physician before travel of any kind.
Some steps that you can take to reduce your risk of DVT are:
- Drinking plenty of fluids, preferably water
- Wear loose fitting clothing
- Get up and walk regularly. Stretch if you can.
Prepare and Fly Safe
While being pregnant shouldn’t keep you stuck at home, it should make you prepare more than you normally would for a flight. Again, consult your doctor before taking a trip to make sure that you are healthy and that your pregnancy is free from complications. Prepare for all eventualities and research your destination thoroughly. That being said, don’t forget to have fun. A positive outlook is healthy for you and your baby.
Choosing a healthcare professional is an important decision. Christopher K. Quinsey MD, P.A. has been serving women in the northern Orlando area for over 21 years. If you are interested in a consultation, contact us today.
*This blog is for general informational purposes only. Christopher K. Quinsey MD, P.A. does not distribute medical advice through this blog. As such, this blog does not constitute a patient-client relationship between the reader and Christopher K. Quinsey MD, P.A.