Pregnancy

Air travel during pregnancy


Air travel during pregnancy

In most cases flights do not have a negative impact on pregnancy if no chronic diseases and complications. Unfavorable time for travel is considered the first trimester, when the risk of miscarriage, and the third when there is an increased risk of placental abruption, preterm birth. Last research that in the absence of complications you can fly a plane at any stage of pregnancy. You need to remember that every woman’s pregnancy develops differently, so it is important before a flight to consult with the observing doctor.

Air travel during pregnancy: Is it safe or not?

In some cases, doctors recommend to refuse from flying in the first trimester of pregnancy, because at this time in a woman’s body occurs hormonal changes. During the flight, increases the likelihood of poor health and fatigue, there is often nausea, and headache. According to many gynecologists, air travel during the first trimester can be one of the factors that can cause spontaneous abortion. After a lengthy flight can worsen the condition, and pressure differences during take-off and landing adversely affect the fetus, and experts believe that it is better to refrain from them. However, conclusive studies about the danger of air travel during this period does not exist.

How dangerous pressure changes during takeoff and landing?

Rapid air pressure changes during takeoff and landing causes a sharp contraction of blood vessels, which may adversely affect the fetus, and in severe cases even cause the placental abruption. Low atmospheric pressure in the cabin at high altitude can cause hypoxia: the lower the pressure, the worse the blood is supplied with oxygen. This increases the risk of oxygen starvation of body tissues, and, consequently, of the fetus. If the pregnancy is normal, short-term hypoxic effect is usually not harmful, but in complicated pregnancy can worsen the condition — therefore, if required long flights, it is better to refrain from them or to consult with your doctor.

Why the airplane often starts with a runny nose?

Due to the performance of the ventilation system, the air in the plane is quite dry, and the mucosa of the nose, during pregnancy especially prone to edema, can dry up, creating a feeling of stuffiness. Perhaps a pregnant woman on the plane starts a runny nose or sore throat. If to humidify the air and face with a spray of mineral water, drink plenty of fluids and use of vasoconstrictive drops for the nose, dry air is easier. In allergic rhinitis doctors recommend pregnant women to take before flying an antihistamine to reduce the discomfort from the pressure differential during takeoff and landing. Medicine helps to relieve mucosal edema and smooth pressure equalization in the cavity of the nose and the ear reduces the effect of blockage of ears. However, drugs in this class quite a lot, so their choice should consult with your doctor.

Can a flight cause aggravation of varicose veins?

Varicose veins are a common problem during pregnancy. Sudden changes in atmospheric pressure, especially during takeoff and landing, can cause deterioration of blood circulation and reduction of blood vessels, which in turn aggravates symptoms of varicose veins, especially if the pregnancy is a threat of miscarriage and the woman takes hormone drugs.

To what time the flights on a plane safe for pregnant women?

Previously it was believed that during normal pregnancy, without complications, traveling by plane safe to 33-34 weeks (in multiple pregnancies up to 32 weeks), if it is not contrary to the rules of the airline. Recent studies have shown that flights are safe in any trimester of uncomplicated pregnancy, provided that you meet the General precautions and recommendations: woman avoids immobility and tight clothes, drink plenty of fluids.

Can the airline not to let a pregnant woman on Board?

According to the internal rules of many airlines, a woman on a date after 30 weeks at check-in may be asked to present a card exchange and a doctor’s certificate about the satisfactory state of health, indicating the duration of pregnancy. She can also offer to sign an undertaking which stipulates that the airline is not responsible for any adverse consequences. 

What to do to the flight was comfortable?

Sometimes the woman may deteriorate due to nervousness: voltage can cause hypertonicity of the uterus, headaches. Better to carefully consider the choice of flight: regular flight schedule is more predictable than a Charter; they are less likely to cancel or transfer. When you check in you can ask for a seat in the front row or near the emergency exits, where more spacious. At the end of the salon there is a stronger turbulence, and it also should not be overlooked. Long stay in one position can cause swelling of the feet, pain in the lower back and neck. To avoid this a woman can walk around the cabin or, more often, changing posture in the chair. Large concentrations of people to avoid to go on a plane, it is recommended towards the end of the declared landing. Many airlines offer the pre-order individual meals, and it is used. If the flights required, it is better to use the services of business class.

What to do if labor starts in the plane?

There are cases of successful birth during the flight. If labor starts when the flight comes to an end, the crew communicates with the city Manager’s arrival, and right from the ladder the woman was brought to the hospital. Typically, flight attendants, flight attendants, trained in first aid and in case of rapid birth, they will be able to help a woman give birth on Board the plane. It is still necessary to remember about possible risks, therefore the majority of obstetricians and gynecologists strongly recommend not to travel by air in pregnancy exceeds 36 weeks.


Reviewed by the QSota Medical Advisory Board