Safe Travel During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Air Travel during Pregnancy
Commercial air travel poses no special risks to a healthy pregnant woman or her unborn baby.

If you're looking for the most space and comfort you might want to request an aisle seat at the bulkhead, but a seat over the wing in the middle of the plane will give you the smoothest ride. Be sure to get up and walk every half hour during a smooth flight and flex and extend your ankles frequently to prevent phlebitis. The safety belt should always be fastened at the pelvic level. Bring along plenty of water to drink because of the dehydrating effect of the low humidity in aircraft cabins.

Each airline has policies regarding pregnancy and air travel. It is always safest to check with the airline when booking your reservations because some will require medical forms to be completed. Domestic travel is usually permitted until the pregnant traveler is in her 36th week of gestation and international travel may be permitted until the 32nd week. Be sure to carry documentation stating your expected due date.

Contraindications to flying include severe anemia (hemoglobin, 0.5 grams per deciliter), sickle-cell disease or trait, a history of thrombophlebitis or placental problems; however, supplemental oxygen can be ordered in advance.

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