Flying when pregnant

Last week I blogged about heading off to Greece for a babymoon, which obviously came with the issue of flying when pregnant.

So what are the rules?

Obviously the rules around flying when pregnant will vary depending on your pregnancy, any complications, and the airline you are traveling with, but on the whole, the rules state that for single babies with no complications, you may travel well into your pregnancy.

Always check with your airline carrier however as this can vary depending on their own policies and possibly your chosen destination or flight duration.

For example, Easyjet states:

Expectant mothers are able to travel until quite late into pregnancy – You can travel up to the end of the 35th week for single pregnancies or up to the end of the 32nd week for multiple births.

Whereas BA states:

For uncomplicated single pregnancies, we restrict travel beyond the end of the 36th week, and for twins, triplets etc., beyond the end of the 32nd week. After your pregnancy has entered its 28th week, we ask that you carry with you a letter from your doctor or midwife, stating the pregnancy is uncomplicated and confirming the expected date of delivery.

Flying in the first trimester

Some women prefer not to travel in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy because of the exhaustion and nausea they are experiencing in this early stage. The risk of miscarriage is also higher at this time, however if you feel well and have discussed it with your GP, there’s no reason why you can’t travel.

So what are the risks?

Long distance travel (over five hours) carries an increased risk of blood clots – often called DVT (deep vein thrombosis), although it’s not clear if the risk is higher if you’re pregnant.

Staying healthy during your flight

For most people, wearing correctly fitted compression stockings can reduce the risk of DVT and can also reduce leg and ankle swelling.

To reduce the chances of DVT, you can also:

  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout your flight
  • Do calf exercises to stretch the muscles
  • Try to move around the aircraft when possible
  • Wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes
  • Adjust your seatbelt so the strap isn’t tight and sits below your bump

For more specific concerns or queries, speak to your GP or midwife.

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