Pregnancy and Flying – The Myths Busted
Every week, we get a lot of questions about pregnancy and flying. And, the truth is, there are a whole lot of myths on the subject. Read on for the five most common myths about pregnancy & flying and the facts behind the stories.
Myth One: Flying During Pregnancy should be Avoided as Much as Possible
This myth simply isn’t true. As long as you are healthy and there are no serious complications with your pregnancy, you can fly any time up to 36 weeks of pregnancy. The only thing is that flying may be physically uncomfortable for you at certain times of your pregnancy. If you suffer from severe morning sickness in early pregnancy, you may want to put off taking a trip until the second trimester. If you’re planning on flying late in pregnancy, consider your comfort levels – you’re prone to aches and pains anyway – and hunching yourself into a seat for hours will be even more uncomfortable. It’s a good idea to wear compression socks as well because flying does increase your chances of blood clots and varicose veins. Make yourself get up and walk around every half hour or so to keep your blood flowing.
Myth Two: Airlines won’t Allow You to Fly During the Third Trimester
Each airline has different pregnancy flying restrictions and rules but most will allow you to fly right up until you’re 36 weeks pregnant. Most are not keen on the idea of a woman going into labor mid-flight. Some airlines will question you carefully at the time of boarding. It may be wise to talk to your travel agent at the time of booking and to get a letter from your midwife or obstetrician advising that you are safe to fly.
Myth Three: Flying in Early Pregnancy can Cause Miscarriage
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that flying during early pregnancy poses any risk to you or your baby. Some studies do suggest that women who fly professionally (pilots and flight attendants) have a slightly higher risk of miscarriage because of radiation exposure. But taking a flight when you’re pregnant will not cause you to miscarry.
Myth Four: Travel Insurers do not Give Insurance to Pregnant Women:
Another myth that simply isn’t true. In fact, we strongly advise taking out a travel policy before you jet off on a final vacation before Baby arrives. It’ll help put your mind at ease and you’ll have some help if anything does go wrong. Shop around for insurance because some companies may try to hike up your premiums.
Myth Five: High Altitude Causes Radiation which Can Affect Baby:
Everyone who flies is exposed to tiny amounts of radiation. But they really are tiny. There is no evidence to suggest that you are exposed to dangerous amounts of radiation when you fly occasionally. Radiation is all around us – from microwaves, in cell phones, and even from the sun – flying does not pose any more risk than elements we are in daily contact with.
Summary – The Truth about Flying and Pregnancy:
Is flying safe during pregnancy? Yes. Provided that you are healthy and not suffering from high blood pressure, placenta previa, spotting, or other pregnancy complications. The biggest risk is that you’ll go into labor miles up in the air. This could put you, and your baby at serious risk. That’s why most airlines set a pregnancy flying limit at 36 weeks. If you’re pregnant with twins, the limit is reduced to 32 weeks. If it is a second, or subsequent, pregnancy and you have a history of preterm births, you may want to consider how late into your pregnancy you take to the skies. Our advice is to talk to your midwife or obstetrician, and the airlines before you book any travel.
More Articles on Your Pregnancy Health and Safety:
Were you surprised about the truth behind pregnancy flying rules? We’ve got 10 more pregnancy myths for you! There are thousands of ‘old wive’s tales’ about pregnancy out there. Which are just stories and which have a grain of truth behind them?
We all know about cramps and morning sickness and fatigue. But what are some of the more unusual pregnancy symptoms? Which are just strange quirks of the body and which could put you, and your baby, at serious risk? Find out more here.
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