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Is It Safe to Travel by Plane Whilst Pregnant?
Traveling by plane is safe throughout a large proportion of your pregnancy. The ideal time to fly is between 14 to 27 weeks which is also known as the second trimester.
This is because in most cases, morning sickness is likely to have passed, you will find yourself much more energetic and healthy and most importantly you risk of miscarriage is low.
It is however advised that you do not travel after 36 weeks in your pregnancy so if you have a holiday planned for this time you will need to re-schedule.
Regardless of when in your pregnancy you wish to fly you should always talk to your doctor or midwife about your plans before hand.
For special high risk cases your doctor may advise you to avoid travel throughout your pregnancy just to be safe but otherwise flying during pregnancy is perfectly fine.
You should ensure that your doctor or midwife refers you to an appropriate medical professional at your holiday destination so that you can quickly seek medical advice or help during your holiday if you need it.
You should also remember to take a copy of your prenatal chart with you so that all your relevant information is to hand if you are flying during pregnancy, if you are only travelling in your first trimester this is not necessary.
Can the Metal Detectors Harm my Baby?
Metal detectors emit a very low frequency electromagnetic field in order to detect metal items.
These metal detectors emit the same kind of electromagnetic field as any of the electrical appliances found in everyday households and uses such low levels that it is not considered harmful in any way even for pregnant women.
Both the walk through and hand held metal detectors are perfectly safe to use.
Can I be Exposed to the Radiation from the Luggage Scanning Machine?
The machine that scans hand held luggage for dangerous content uses x-ray technology to see inside the bags without opening them.
However, in order to make the machine safe to use on a daily basis by the terminal staff the machine does not give off any radiation.
In order to be exposed to significant levels of radiation you would need to actually put your hand through the flaps where the bag goes in.
Just place your bag on the conveyor belt as normal and then wait for it at the other side, if it makes you feel uneasy there is no reason why you have to wait around the machine itself, but unless you put a limb inside the machine, you are perfectly safe.
Can the Cabin Pressure Harm my Baby?
Airplanes maintain a standard level of pressure within the cabin that is acceptable for healthy individuals to travel in.
If you and your baby are healthy you will have no problems in this environment and flying during pregnancy will be safe.
The cabin pressure is a bit lower than on land which means your body has to work a bit harder to get a decent supply of oxygen.
So if you suffer from anemia, a history of blood clots or other circulatory related diseases you should check with your doctor beforehand and consider avoiding plane travel.
If travel is mandatory you may be prescribed with oxygen for your journey if flying during pregnancy.
8 Tips on Traveling Around when Pregnant
Just because you find out you are pregnant, doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors for the whole nine months. If you have travel plans you shouldn’t have to cancel everything to prepare for your pregnancy.
If you are looking forward to a long journey try to reschedule it to within your second trimester.
During your first trimester you may experience some upsetting morning sickness which can cause problems during long trips.
During your third trimester there is the risk of labor so if you have to travel around this time you need to ensure you will be within a reasonable distance from medical services.
Where ever it is you are traveling you need to ensure that should the worst happen, you are prepared for it.
Follow these quick and easy steps to journey preparation whilst pregnant and you’ll make sure your holiday is as safe and risk free as possible.
1. Research the medical services available at your destination. If flying abroad, make sure your doctor refers you to an appropriate medical professional at your destination.
2. Always take your prenatal chart with you where ever you go. This contains all your pertinent medical data.
3. Make sure you have the right type of medical/travel insurance. Not every standard policy covers pregnancy and may exclude some world locations so make sure you get the policy you need. This may mean having to pay out extra on premiums.
4. If traveling by plane call up the airlines you will be using and find out what their pregnancy regulations are. Different airlines have different rules about admitting pregnant women including how many weeks on you can be before they refuse boarding.
5. If you have to travel by plane during the first trimester, book a seat towards the middle of the plane over the wing. This area of the plane has the smoothest ride so will reduce your need to reach for a sick bag during the journey.
6. Talk to your doctor before making any travel plans that take you out of the country or that involve a long, journey duration. This includes both car and plane travel and is especially important if you are experiencing any pregnancy complications or have a history of DVT.
7. Ask your doctor for a letter if you plan to fly. When the airline sees that you are pregnant they will request a letter stating your due date from your doctor and that you are fit and healthy to travel.
8. Don’t eat a large, heavy or greasy meal before you travel. Stick to light snacks like crackers or apples that will help to settle your stomach and eat small meals. This will help prevent and reduce morning sickness and travel sickness during your journey.
It is important to talk to your doctor in detail about all your travel plans whilst pregnant. Your doctor will need to know what is happening and when, as well as possible risks to you and your unborn baby.