flying while pregnant

Apr 8th, 2003, 12:55 PM
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flying while pregnant

Is anyone aware of any actual rules that the airlines have about flying while pregnant? I will be traveling while 28 weeks pregnant.
irene2 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2003, 01:10 PM
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You need to check with your ob doctor. I generally don't allow patients to fly outside the US after 28 weeks and no flying at all after 30-32 weeks. Most airlines don't let flight attendents fly after 28 weeks or so. If you look huge, you are more likely to get questioned. The reasons are obvious: airlines don't want to take the risk of having someone go into labor, especially on a long flight. If you are flying trans-Atlantic, you could easily feel fine starting out and have a baby before you are anywhere near Europe!
RachelG is offline  
Apr 8th, 2003, 01:50 PM
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And the baby name will be " Airbon" ....
kismetchimera is offline  
Apr 8th, 2003, 01:54 PM
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Do check with your doctor. I was told no flights (from Hawaii - so flights tend to be long) after 35 weeks. I'm moving early (at week 33) due to this restriction. I was told by my OB shorter flights were acceptable up to 36 weeks. I flew at about 22 weeks and although my belly isn't huge, it wasn't the most comfortable flight.
scigirl is offline  
Apr 8th, 2003, 02:07 PM
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Check with your doctor AND AND AND AND the airline you are going to use. Regardless of what "the doctor says" if you're out of the airline's self-imposed safety window you can forget about flying. Of course, you fcan always call Cunard and try to get a boat ticketif you're going trans-Atlantic.
Hope it all works out for you.
Apr 8th, 2003, 02:11 PM
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well think of the worst case senerio a baby at 28 weeks if born airborne would probably not survive - they need respiratory support.
If you do fly get up and walk around often and drink lots.
sharonkaye is offline  
Apr 8th, 2003, 05:30 PM
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I was permitted by my doctor to "somewhere like the carribean" up to 27 weeks. I called the airline and they said that with the amount of women business travelers, they aren't really permitted to restrict pregnant women anymore. Do drink lots of water and walk around a lot.
Vetty is offline  
Apr 9th, 2003, 04:38 PM
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I second Vetty's advice = if your doctor says its okay, PLEASE be aware that venous thrombosis - blood clots forming in your leg veins - is a potentially life threatening condition. Both long flights AND pregancy are risk factors! Don't stay seated - walk around the plane every couple hours. Wear GOOD support stockings. DRINK lots of water - dehydration contributes to preterm labor.
kathcoll is offline  
Apr 9th, 2003, 04:46 PM
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Actually your baby has a better chance of survival after 30 weeks..Not to put a dark cloud on it all but I happen to work in high risk infant care in a major tourist city and can tell you there have been many times over the years where someone has taken a long flight only to end up delivering in SF at 26-29 weeks thinking they were you have to travel?
PamSF is offline  
Apr 9th, 2003, 05:44 PM
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Has there ever been an actual medical study of the safety of flying while pregnant, or are all these recommendations based on anecdotes and inferences?
Anonymous is offline  
Apr 9th, 2003, 05:55 PM
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Am J Obstet Gynecol 1986 May;154(5):996-1000

Physiologic changes in pregnant women and their fetuses during jet air travel.

Huch R, Baumann H, Fallenstein F, Schneider KT, Holdener F, Huch A.

The physiologic reactions of pregnant women and their fetuses were studied during routine commercial flights. Ten healthy pregnant women (32 to 38 weeks of gestation) each undertook two flights. Maternal respiratory and heart rates, transcutaneous PO2 and PCO2, blood pressure, uterine activity, and fetal beat-to-beat heart rate variability were continuously monitored. During these flights, maternal heart rate and blood pressure increased, and PO2 decreased significantly while PCO2 remained unchanged. Respiratory rate showed a short increase during takeoff and landing but remained unchanged during the rest of the flight. Mean fetal heart rate was within normal limits during the whole flight. No bradycardia, prolonged tachycardia, or significant loss of heart rate variability was observed. This study indicates no hazards of commercial flights to the mother and the fetus in uncomplicated pregnancies.


But I don't think that this is the point of airlines' policies restricting travel of pregnant patients. An airplane is no place to manage labor, let alone childbirth nor the postpartum care of mother and baby.

The question posed by irene2 lacks too little information to give a really good answer: duration of flight(s), gestation at outbound AND return travel, purpose of travel and intended activities there, access to medical care there and personal medical/obstetric history.

I agree that a consultation with the airline ias every bit as important as asking your physician. What if you were allowed to fly THERE, but not BACK?

Best wishes,

Rex Bickers, M.D.
Westerville, Ohio
rex is offline  
Apr 10th, 2003, 06:20 AM
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Thank you all for your responses. I have checked with the airline and there are no restrictions to traveling while pregnant. I really just wanted to know if I was required to have a note or anything like that, but that is not the case. No notes needed, etc. I happen to be traveling for pleasure, but know many women who travel long distance late into their pregnancy for business and are just fine. Thank you for your concern.
irene2 is offline  

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