Pregnant and flying: risks and recommendations

During pregnancy, many expectant parents want to enjoy a nice get-together just the two of them one more time. And then cheap flights for a short holiday in the sun are very tempting. But is flying advisable for someone who is pregnant? What are the risks of such a flight and would it not be better to stay on the ground? The general health of the expectant mother is particularly important when choosing for or against flying during pregnancy. There are some restrictions that flying as a means of transport for pregnant women and the unborn child entails that must be taken into account.

Is it wise to fly when you are pregnant?

Fly one more time to a sunny holiday destination before the baby arrives. But isn’t that too risky? many expectant mothers wonder. In any case, it is wise to visit the doctor before flying to rule out any complications. And especially if it concerns the second pregnancy and there were already complications during the first such as bleeding, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure or perhaps even a miscarriage . If you book a trip to a distant and exotic destination, it is wise to carefully inquire about the recommended and necessary vaccinations as well as the standards of medical care in the country in question.

Risks during pregnancy: 9 months of withdrawal?

What are the effects of alcohol, smoking and flying? And which foods should I avoid in the coming months? Can I still go out in the sun during this time? These are all questions that arise for many expectant mothers. For some, pregnancy is equivalent to 9 months of withdrawal. At least if you want to take all the well-intentioned advice to heart. But those who are happily expecting certainly don’t have to live under a glass bell. But it is better not to ignore some advice. We will tell you what these are in these contributions:

  • Pregnant, nine months in rehab
  • Pregnancy and alcohol


Which phase of pregnancy poses the fewest risks?

A flight should preferably be planned in the second quarter of pregnancy . The expectant mother’s body has already adapted reasonably well to the physical changes and initial problems. The nausea in the morning is already decreasing and the risk of miscarriage is small . Moreover, the future mother is now in the phase where she can still move relatively unrestrictedly.

Flying and risks of thrombosis

There is little discussion about the flight time. While short distances are generally considered harmless, the risks increase when flying long distances. In particular, an increased risk of thrombosis (blood clot) increases sharply in pregnant women who make long flights (e.g. to America). The limited freedom of movement in the narrow airplane seat reinforces this. Comfort often leaves much to be desired, especially with low-cost airlines. Some legroom is usually only available in the first row or directly in the aisle. Moreover, walking up and down the aisle with a baby bump is sometimes hardly possible. Support stockings are recommended to prevent thrombosis and the formation of varicose veins, but also to promote good blood circulation.

Drink a lot during the flight

Drinking plenty of fluids improves the general condition, promotes blood circulation and stimulates blood circulation. And if you feel the need to do so, take every opportunity to get up and walk around. Only when the flight attendants are serving the food or there is a threat of turbulence should you return to your seat.

Complications due to increased radiation are not likely

The following applies again:

  • on short flights there is no radiation risk when flying during pregnancy;
  • on long flights, especially over the Atlantic Ocean, radiation exposure is significantly increased.

But there is no danger of miscarriage or complications due to higher radiation. A miscarriage could only be associated with this in pregnant flight attendants who have to fly frequently due to their profession. They should consult a doctor during pregnancy about the risks of regular, higher radiation exposure (and the possible effects on the baby). In general, the strength of cosmic rays in an aircraft depends mainly on the altitude, duration and route.

Fly ban for pregnant women

Many airlines impose a flight ban from the 34th week of pregnancy because they want to avoid a birth on board. When purchasing a ticket, one must take into account that airlines may refuse air travel to pregnant women from the 28th week of pregnancy. If a flight is necessary from then on, it is best for the expectant mother to request authorization from the attending physician, which will generally allow flying without any problems. Therefore, when planning your trip, inquire carefully with the airline involved and plan your return flight on time.

Finally: when should you consult a doctor?

The most important condition for being able to fly pregnant without hesitation is the pregnancy itself. It must proceed normally and without complications. Then larger physical stresses such as take-off and landing can be easily absorbed. Women who are pregnant should always consult a doctor before flying:

  • if they are prone to premature birth or miscarriage;
  • if they suffer from cardiovascular disease;
  • if you smoke or suffer from anemia;
  • and of course medical advice should also be sought in case of acute fear of flying.
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