Flying During Pregnancy?

you get married and soon you realize that you are pregnant. All of a sudden, your schedule changes to match your new condition. The baby bump keeps growing day by day, and you are really worried-perhaps it’s the first time you’re getting pregnant. But there’s a concern among people regarding what one should do during pregnancy and what they shouldn’t.

In fact, among the things that trouble women most are the two words; ‘Pregnancy and flight’. Apparently, you might find yourself wanting to travel due to unavoidable circumstances. Yes, several people have panicked because of the myths they hear about pregnancy and air travel. When this happens, more questions arise like-is it safe to exercise? Is it okay to eat this and that? etc.

However, flying during pregnancy is considered safe, only if you are leading a healthy pregnancy life. I know you are beginning to smile (If that’s you). But wait, it doesn’t just go like that, there are several things you need to know before flying on a commercial airline.

Even when you have a healthy pregnancy, seeing your health care provider before flying is inevitable. Your doctor may give caution where they suspect that your pregnancy is at risk of preterm labor. In addition, they may also restrict you from any kind of travel once your pregnancy is over 36 weeks old. Does this sound unfair? Certainly not!

If you’re lucky enough to get an approval from your health care provider, and you have some kind of flexibility in your travel arrangements, then the best time to catch a plane would be-in the middle of your pregnancy. Normally, this falls between weeks 14 to 28. This is a time in your pregnancy life when you are likely to feel at your best. In fact, you are safe from miscarriage or premature labor.

Flying during pregnancy demands that you check several things. Different airlines have different policies on flying during pregnancy. However, most of them allow traveling during your first second and third trimester of pregnancy. When it runs beyond that period of time, you might not be allowed to travel on any commercial airline whatsoever. Yes, you have your own money and you are entitled to fly anywhere you want, but somehow, you need to get some kind of permission (which you may not be given) in case your pregnancy is at a critical stage.

Taking into consideration other factors like your due date for return trip, you wouldn’t want to risk traveling when your return date coincides with the period when your pregnancy is considered delicate. Worse still, you will have to put up with long hours of flight, in a squeezed seat,which is not recommended-unless you are traveling on a first class ticket.

Staying informed means proper planning before setting out for some kind of journey. You can avoid taking chances by reading some more. Below are the requirements for any passenger wanting to fly with American Airlines when pregnant.

  1. If you are intending to travel within 4 weeks of delivery date, then your health care’s approval is required, in form of a letter.
  2. Traveling 7 days to your delivery date will force you to have an extra requirement, alongside the letter of approval. You need a clearance letter from the AA special assistant coordinator.
  3. Other factors such as ‘restriction based on honor policy’ may hinder you as well.

However, these are only requirements for domestic flights. You might encounter other limitations when going international. They are as follows;

  1. If you are only 30 days away from your date of delivery, you will require your health care’s letter, signed within 48 hours of traveling.
  2. Again, traveling 10 days to your delivery date requires a letter, plus your AA special Assistant coordinator approval.

But there are other airlines with similar restrictions, whether you are going domestic or international. As you can see, already there are lots of requirements, other than your passport and Visa. That means proper planning is essential. Your comfort during traveling is crucial. You don’t want to arrive at your destination feeling exhausted, because carrying the ‘thing’ itself is demanding and tiresome.

The good news is, like other passengers, you can still enjoy your air travel when you plan well. The difference between you and the person seating next to you is that your travel arrangement needed more attention than theirs. Your safety during pregnancy is your responsibility, taking charge of your pregnancy status will go along way in ensuring that you enjoy a safe and sound flight. Other than the strict airline policies about traveling when you are pregnant, there are other precautions you need to take. They are as follows;

  • 1. Don’t seat on any seat you find. You need more space because of your condition. Because of this, you are highly advised to choose seats bordering the aisle. I don’t really like the seats in between because, not only are they squeezed, but they don’t give you enough space-you know, you are the kind of person that is used to space all around your house, staying confined in one place wouldn’t be very convenient for you.
  • 2. Flying during pregnancy also demands that you fasten the safety belt right below your abdomen. The ultimate goal is safety. But the safety of your pregnancy is far more important. Safety belts protects you from falling down when the plane hits an air pocket. Passengers have also been reported to fall off their seats during take off, you don’t want to be a victim of this fall.
  • 3. When you are flying during pregnancy, you need proper circulation of blood and oxygen. I am not a biologist, but my common sense and a little bit of research tells me that inadequate oxygen levels may cause fatigue, thereby making your journey a nightmare.
  • 4. When flying during pregnancy, you are advised to take plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. My geography tells me that the higher we go, the cooler it becomes, so could it be true that the higher we go, the less humid it becomes? But it’s for a fact that there is low humidity inside the cabin. Low humidity equals dehydration.

All in all, flying during pregnancy doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. In fact, with proper planning and care, you can make your flight memorable, even though you were pregnant.