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Airplane flight and pregnancy

Airplane flight and pregnancy


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Flying pregnant is not a problem. Just like traveling by train or car. Assuming, however, that we follow certain general principles and follow the carrier's requirements. In most cases, this one does not recommend traveling by plane to women after 34-36 weeks of pregnancy. First of all, due to the possibility of starting labor during the flight.

When to consult a doctor

If you are planning a flight and you have problems such as diabetes, thrombosis, heart disease, vaginal bleeding or expecting twins, or in an interview it turned out that there is high risk of premature delivery, you should consult a doctor before departure.

Line requirements

Before we go on a plane trip, it would be worth finding out what requirements does the specific line havewhat the carrier requires. It happens that some airlines in the case of women after 28 weeks of pregnancy will ask for the presentation of medical certificates that there is no risk of premature delivery and flight is possible.
It is worth remembering that flying in the cabin of the aircraft, in which there is a stable pressure, does not pose a risk to the growing child.

Venous thrombosis and flight by plane

Flying a pregnant plane on long-haul routes slightly increases the risk of appearance venous thrombosis in the limbs lower (deep vein thrombosis). This threat comes from several problems: immobilization, lower cabin pressure and dehydration (which increases caffeine intake, not to mention drinking alcohol).
In general, the risk of thrombosis in the legs on an airplane is very small. Similar to the one observed simply during pregnancy and estimated for value 1 in 1000 pregnancies.
However, you have to remember that the longer the flight, the greater the risk. In addition, individual factors, e.g. genetic, are important. A particular woman may simply be more likely to have a blood clot than average. This risk is raised by significant overweight, the occurrence of thrombosis in the past, or a diagnosis of a family member (as the doctor finds out in an interview).

Three-hour flight and shorter

There are specific recommendations on how a woman should proceed so that the flight can go without unnecessary trouble. And so in the case of three-hour and shorter flights, and in situations where there are no additional risk factors, it is recommended:

  • drinking plenty of fluids (to avoid dehydration), of course excluding alcohol and caffeine,
  • walks, getting up - at least every half hour,
  • doing calf muscle exercises,
  • In addition, it's best to slip off your shoes on the plane
  • it's good to choose a seat when you buy the ticket or to ask for a seat in the front or in the middle of the plane (where seats are not assigned to the ticket) to stretch your legs.

Long-haul flights

If the flight lasts more than three hours, in addition, according to official recommendations, a woman should:

  • put on elastic or compression stockings - very effective in preventing leg swelling,
  • avoid elastic tights - they may be too warm on the plane, which promotes mold infections,
  • put on comfortable, loose footwear - sports or sandals

Women at high risk (who have already had a thrombosis or whose families have had such a problem) should consult a doctor before flying. Sometimes they will have to take it special medicines to prevent blood clots. This indication may be necessary for long distance flights.

Airlines and travel by plane during pregnancy

  • easyJet - up to 27 weeks of pregnancy without a certificate; a certificate is required between 28 and 36 weeks, while pregnant women are not allowed on board from week 36 (inclusive). In the case of a certificate, it is important that it has a date of issue not earlier than five days before the date of departure.
  • LOT Polish Airlines - a required certificate from the moment when the pregnancy is already visible until the 36th week of pregnancy, in the following weeks the flight is possible only if you have the MEDA form.
  • airlines - up to 28 weeks of pregnancy without a certificate; from 28 to 34 with a certificate; after 34 weeks of pregnancy there is no possibility of flight.
  • Ryanair - necessary certificate from week 28; multiple pregnancy bans from 32 weeks, and in the case of a woman expecting one child from 36.
  • Lufthansa - Unless a woman goes on a long journey, e.g. to Canada, she can travel through this carrier without obstacles through the 36th week of pregnancy without showing any certificates (provided that the pregnancy is normal). When flying to Canada in the period from 28 weeks to 36 weeks of pregnancy, it may fly without a certificate, and after 36 weeks the certificate must be presented before boarding and must be on a date not earlier than 72 hours prior to flight. Such certification can only be issued by the Luthansy Medical Center.
  • British Airways - up to the 36th week of pregnancy, you can travel unhindered and with additional certificates in the case of a single pregnancy, and up to 32 multiple births without a certificate.
  • Air France - certificate required only after 9 months of pregnancy. From the 9th month of pregnancy, flying by plane is possible only with the carrier's certificate filled in by the attending physician.
  • United Airlines - certificate required during the ninth month of pregnancy. Certificate issued by the attending physician.
  • norwegian - flights can take place without obstacles up to 4 weeks before the planned date of delivery. However, if the flight lasts less than 4 hours, it is allowed to travel pregnant women, whose date is planned to two weeks from the date of departure. In any case, a medical certificate is required to allow a pregnant woman to travel.
Developed based on prof. Ian Greer, Pregnancy guide. Comprehensive guide on fertility, pregnancy and childbirth problems, Bydgoszcz 2003

Plane flight at the beginning of pregnancy

I flew by plane in the eighth week of pregnancy. The doctor saw no contraindications. Still, I was afraid. Mainly due to the numerous stories (not only found on internet forums, but also heard from close and distant friends) about a miscarriage that threatens while traveling by plane.
For additional advice I asked a colleague - a young doctor who calmed me by expressing his opinion. It sounded more like this - "if the attending physician has no contraindications, and the woman is generally well, the risk of complications is negligible. Stress alone can do more harm than a real threat. "
My husband and I planned to fly a long time before I got pregnant. We considered resignation, but in the end the conviction that pregnancy was safe would win. Just in case, we took a seat in the front of the cabin, where I could easily stretch my legs. We got water. During the start, I used sweets, which sucking reduces the unpleasant feeling caused by pressure changes. I was close to the toilet in case of nausea ...
The flight lasted about two hours. When I sat down again a few days later on the plane and when we returned home, despite the beautiful views from the window and excellent visibility, I fell asleep. Next to us, the armchair was free, which allowed me to lie on my husband's lap. Some discomfort was only caused by a noisy trolley pushed past the seats by the flight attendant full of snacks and drinks. I was so tired and so sleepy that when I fell into a deeper sleep, even my legs were crouched and the medium comfortable position was not an obstacle.

DorotaWife, wife, mother. After a brief reflection - in that order. He does not like exaggeration and pushing only one trend in education.



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