Usually, the airline rules and regulations clearly states that pregnancy below 28 weeks would be allowed to fly after signing a “Release & Indemnity Form” to absolve the
airline of any liabilities should anything unforeseen happen. Pregnancy between 28-34 weeks would require a medical certificate from the attending doctor stating the date and fitness to fly. Pregnancy at and beyond 35 weeks are not allowed to travel by air.
The expectant mother should be informed that….
1) The letter of fitness issued by the attending doctor MUST be within 1week prior to the date of departure. Thus, > it is only wise to consult the doctor and get the ultrasound
scan done and letter issue after the date of departure has been arranged.
2) Generally, it is wise to avoid travel by plane during the first trimester (0-12 weeks pregnancy) as miscarriages takes place at the period. This is more so if the pregnant mother has history of recurring pregnancy losses.
3) Relatively speaking, it is better to travel by air in the second trimester (13-27 weeks pregnancy) also known as honeymoon period because many of the unpleasant effects of early pregnancy have ended. During this period, the pregnancy is more established and more stable.
4) Pregnancy itself is a risk factor to develop DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and coupled with the long distance air travel, the risk is higher. DVT : A condition where a clot is formed in the veins of the leg and may lead to serious consequences to health.
5) Always inform the airline and check the airline policy in carrying the pregnant passengers.
Posted by: Dr. Sloan, MD, USA