Is flying safe during pregnancy? This will be the main question on every pregnant woman’s lips that has travel plans abroad.
Safety is one of the big concerns during pregnancy and there are so many safety concerns that will pop up when thinking about traveling by plane that you would have not given a second thought about before.
These are the top ten air travel safety concerns pregnant women have, and also find some helpful information and advice.
1. Cosmic Radiation.
Exposure to cosmic radiation during flight is very minimal and has not been shown to have any affect on unborn children.
However, it has been noted that unborn children are in fact highly sensitive to these kinds of elements so it is advised not to travel frequently during pregnancy.
This means no more than 200 hours of flight travel in total during pregnancy.
2. Metal Detectors.
Metal detectors are perfectly harmless machines. They do not use x-rays and cannot expose you to radiation at all.
3. Luggage Scanners.
These machines do use x-ray technology to scan luggage but you cannot be exposed to it by standing in proximity of the machine.
You would have to put your hand inside the machine to become exposed.
4. Cabin Pressure.
Commercial airplanes will maintain a standard level of pressure that will be perfectly safe for any woman with a healthy pregnancy.
Your doctor will inform you if there may be any risks involved for you.
You should not travel in any unpressurised planes (such as crop spraying planes).
Both pregnancy and flying can increase the risk of DVT, it is therefore advised that you make sure you move around frequently during your journey and wear flight socks.
If you have had a DVT before you doctor may advise you not to travel by plane.
6. Morning Sickness.
Morning sickness is not dangerous for you and your child unless it is excessive; however traveling by plane may add travel sickness to the mix which will be very problematic.
Prepare beforehand by booking an aisle seat near the middle of the plane and bringing light snacks with you such as fruit.
If you are traveling during the third trimester there is always the possibility that you could go into labor.
Most airlines will not allow you to travel if over 35 weeks and some as early as 28 weeks.
Make sure you have your prenatal chart with you so that if you go into labor they have all the medical information needed.
If you are flying during your first trimester there is a high risk of miscarriage.
This is because your first trimester is the most delicate stage of your pregnancy and is a high risk period of time regardless of whether you fly or not.
Generally speaking it is best to wait until your second trimester before flying.
9. Breathing Difficulties.
If you suffer from breathing difficulties during your pregnancy such as asthma and other problems such as high blood pressure it may not be suitable for you to fly during your pregnancy. Talk to your doctor before you travel about your plans.
10. Coping with the Journey.
Many pregnant women are concerned about being pushed in the rush to boards and having to stand around waiting for long periods of time.
Unfortunately, you can’t trust everyone to be courteous and think of others so you will have to take the initiative.
Make sure there is someone to help you carry the bags and put them away like a friend, your partner or a flight attendant if traveling alone.
You should also wait before boarding, allow everyone else to board and exit the plane before you do. That will mean you don’t have to stand around waiting too long and there is no danger of being pushed around.