Tips for Air Travel During Pregnancy

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


One response to this post.

  1. Very good advice, I had heard not to travel after 36 weeks. My mother was even advised against flying at all if she could. Some airlines will let pregnant passengers on up to 7 days before the due date I’ve read though. If one must fly, even if not pregnant, is good to wear a light compression stocking. Wearing those coupled with minor leg stretches greatly can reduce the risk of developing a DVT. I know they make maternity pantyhose but even just a knee high should suffice.


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