During pregnancy air travel is safe

With the holidays upon us, many women I see in my practice have questions about how safe it is to fly during pregnancy. If your travel dates are flexible, the second trimester (approximately 14 to 28 weeks) is an ideal time to fly—morning sickness has usually resolved, energy levels are at their highest, and physical activity is generally not yet limited by a growing belly. Many patients worry about possible radiation exposure from the security scanners at the airport. Staying hydrated is always important during pregnancy, and the low humidity of plane cabins can make this challenging. Flying when pregnant: What you should know before taking off Make sure you know the rules of safe air travel during pregnancy.
For women with uncomplicated pregnancies, plane travel is safe up to 34 weeks, says Griff Jones, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at the Ottawa hospital. Blood clots: During pregnancy, you’re more prone to blood clots in your legs due to restricted blood flow in the veins around the pelvis (caused by pregnancy weight and hormones that dilate the veins). High blood pressure: Pregnant women with high blood pressure should also be cautious about air travel. Ask the right questions: Jones advises that pregnant women with these conditions should talk to their doctors before flying. The gestational age limit may be lower for international flights, and some airlines may request documentation of a woman’s due date, so be sure to check with your airline for any requirements or restrictions. As tempting as a long-distance babymoon may sound, think about your comfort during a long flight, as well as being in an exotic locale should something unexpected arise. When flying while pregnant, this risk is increased slightly due to the normal changes of pregnancy.
She provides comprehensive obstetrical care and specializes in caring for high-risk pregnancies as clinical faculty at NYU Langone’s Maternal Fetal Care Center.

High blood pressure is associated with suboptimal blood supply to the fetus, and at 30,000 feet, the concentration of oxygen in the air is lower, which means both mother and baby are getting less oxygen. You should also consult with your insurance company before booking—some travel policies don’t cover care required for pregnancy complications in a foreign country. Although flying and changes in cabin pressure do not increase the risk of breaking your water early or going into preterm labor, women with certain obstetrical conditions that place them at high risk for preterm labor—such a twins or a short cervix—should stop flying earlier in pregnancy as to not risk going into labor far from home. Some of the new full-body scanners use extremely low-level x-rays, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) states that this level also does not pose a significant risk to pregnant patients. If you have forgotten to eat amid the frenzy of a hectic travel day, grab a healthy, low-sodium snack, as well. Be careful when walking around during turbulent flights to avoid any trauma to your belly and don’t be shy about holding on to seat backs.
And check the airline’s policy: Most discourage women from flying late in their pregnancy, with the cut-off ranging between 32 and 38 weeks.
Similarly, women who have had problems such as bleeding from the placenta may be advised not to travel given the possible need for emergency medical care.
Proudfit plays a key role in education and safety initiatives at NYU Langone Medical Center through her role as assistant director of Simulation for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Women who delivered early with a prior pregnancy are at higher risk of delivering pre-term again, Jones says. Your doctor may have his or her own preferred gestational age cut-off for flying, so check with your physician before making any travel plans. You can also wear support hose during the flight which may have the added benefit of preventing leg swelling that commonly occurs during flying.
The second trimester is usually the best bet for a babymoon—your nausea may have eased, you won’t be as uncomfortable in a tiny airplane seat, and you won’t be worried about going into labour.

Consult Your Health Care Provider:Most pregnant women are allowed to fly by their health care professionals.
Here are some points for consideration:Some airlines can turn out to be more compassionate as compare to others in terms of offering special care and support to pregnant women.
Pre-Inform The Airline About The Pregnancy: It is essential to inform the airline about your pregnancy before the travel.
Pregnant passengers can also request for the additional courtesy from the airline staff.Ask for the seat near the restroom. Pack All Essentials For A Comfortable Trip: The comfort during the flight can be ensured by packing all the essential things in a handy manner. The low humidity inside the flight cabin could lead to dehydration for some pregnant women.Rotate ankles and wrists in small circles.
Women with healthy pregnancy are allowed to enjoy commercial air travel.In most of the cases women are advised to avoid any kind of travel after 36 week of pregnancy. It is advisable to check the policies of the particular airline regarding the air travel during pregnancy.2. All the airlines are required to maintain the standard levels of cabin pressures for the safety and security of the passengers. Do not attempt to even get up at this time![ Read: Cramps During Pregnancy ]It is not easy to include air travel during pregnancy but with the appropriate planning one can have a safe and comfortable trip.

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