Flying When Pregnant
Thinking of flying away from it all? A relaxing holiday will do you the world of good, but before booking that flight it’s a good idea to check a few things first.
Avoid destinations that need a vaccination or pre-holiday medication such as malaria pills; malaria is dangerous to you and your baby.
Ask the airline if it’s OK for you to fly. Flying is not generally recommended after 28 to 32 weeks, although some airlines will allow you to fly on short-distance flights up to 36 weeks. And to put your mind completely at rest, ask your midwife if it’s safe for you to fly.
Check your travel insurance to ensure it covers medical costs related to your pregnancy, including premature delivery.
Don’t forget to ask if the airline requires any medical documents. And even if it doesn’t, it’s still a good idea to take a letter from your midwife stating:
- your pregnancy is normal with no complications
- your expected delivery date
- if you’re expecting more than one baby
Airport metal detectors are not dangerous for pregnant women as the low-level exposure is similar to the electromagnetic field given off by many everyday home appliances.
Where possible, choose your seat in advance and ask for one with extra legroom. This will give you more space for your bump, too!
Don’t worry about pressurised cabins as the oxygen levels are safe for healthy pregnant women.
Take a small pillow to help you sit comfortably and give your back extra support. Wearing socks and loose-fitting clothes will also be comfier, especially on long-distance flights. Don’t forget to drink lots of water and eat healthy snacks during the flight.
A regular walk around the cabin will improve your blood circulation and help to prevent blood clots.
Enjoy your holiday
Your skin is more sensitive during pregnancy so always wear lots of high-factor sun lotion, avoid the midday sun and wear a hat while you’re outside. If you develop heat rash, find somewhere away from the sun to cool down.
Your legs may swell while you’re pregnant, so choose comfortable flats and leave your high heels at home. That’s one less thing to pack!
Most importantly, have fun and enjoy your holiday.
Other tips to travel safely