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Advice on long haul flights at 35 weeks

(78 Posts)
Ruth96 Mon 04-Nov-19 21:42:18

For unforeseen circumstances we are having to travel to Australia from uk. The flight out there I'm not so worried about because I'll be 31 weeks pregnant however flying back I'll be 35.

Just wanted to know if anyone else had done something similar. If so how did you cope?

Was it hard to get a fit to fly?

What happens if you go into labour on the plane?

What advice did your midwife and gp give?

Mine is currently researching answers. I am just worried it's going to be left to long as I fly in a short amount of time and do not know what to expect.

OP’s posts: |
Middledistancerunner Mon 04-Nov-19 21:57:56

Can’t imagine you’ll get an airline to take you op. You can’t cross the channel on a high speed ferry after 25 weeks, let alone fly after 27 (I think is the cut off).
You’re airline will require a GP note, and I would have thought it’s unlikely even with a clean bill of health that you would be able to fly after 32 weeks.
So you could probably get there, but not back again.
Have you spoken to the airline? Their policy should be clear on their website?
Which Carrier are you wanting to use?

helpmum2003 Mon 04-Nov-19 21:59:37

I don't think an airline will take you? Also you would be a high risk for deep vein thrombosis.....

Loaf90 Mon 04-Nov-19 22:02:56

I doubt the airline will take you. It's a risk not worth taking anyway. Going into labour on a plane above water has got to be one of the worst possible things that could ever happen to a pregnant woman - I can't even imagine the trauma!

VirtualHamster Mon 04-Nov-19 22:04:07

Long haul is normally possible up to 36 weeks for singleton pregnancies with a fit to fly note. I'd double check your insurance coverage too though

SephrinaX Mon 04-Nov-19 22:04:56

You can fly up to 36 weeks on British Airways. Just the travel insurance might be a bit difficult to get.

SephrinaX Mon 04-Nov-19 22:07:21

I was told the you should get the fit to fly note as close to your departure date as possible. Normally it would cover you for the return journey as well but as you're there for quite a while it could be possible you need to get one for the way home again?

Moreisnnogedag Mon 04-Nov-19 22:20:03

You can fly up to 36 weeks (singleton pregnancy) with a fit to fly note. What class are you travelling in? Your problem is the length of flight though. Normal standard class I would think your DVT risk would be extremely high. I’m not sure who would be happy to sign you off and also whether you are actually happy to take that risk. In addition, you would need to ensure that your insurance is top notch - it would not only have to cover you for everything, but cover your child too if they were born prematurely.

Do you genuinely have to go? I get that these are unforseen circumstances but truely, hand on heart, is it worth the risk?

MrsJoshNavidi Mon 04-Nov-19 22:59:04

Regardless of fit to fly, I can't think of anything I'd hate more than flying to Aus at 31/35 weeks. Even if you can afford something better than economy, you'll be uncomfortable, and trying to fit into a toilet will be difficult.
Most flights are two legs, with one at least 12 hours. Can you sit in a tiny seat without wriggling for that long?

zhaviva Tue 05-Nov-19 01:38:58

General advice that I've used for short hail flights at that time or long haul earlier in pregnancy:
-- wear medical grade compression stockings
-- get as much leg room as possibly (ideally business class with lie flat seats)
-- set an alarm to remind you to get up from the seat regularly
-- get unbelievably good, bullet proof travel insurance. If you have a premie abroad the cost will be astronomical for SBCU fees.

That said, I would not take this trip. I decided against a trip to Oz for a wedding when I was 20 weeks. Went to France instead. No regrets

VimFuego101 Tue 05-Nov-19 02:18:13

I can't imagine how miserable this would be when heavily pregnant. Not to mention the risks of giving birth abroad (healthcare costs, registering the baby and getting the right paperwork and a passport to bring them back home) if born early.

underneaththeash Tue 05-Nov-19 08:11:13

I had a private obstetrician, even though I was induced each time, he didn’t give out fit to fly letters after 32 weeks.

Just come back sooner.

Ruth96 Tue 05-Nov-19 20:48:34

I have spoken to the airline, they are happy for me to fly providing I get a fit to fly. Yoi can fly up to 36 weeks.

I have really good good travel insurance that covers me up to 40 weeks for anything.

I cant change it I have to go.

Thank you for the good advice on the socks and setting an alarm for moving around.

I have an appointment booked for when I'm out there to measure my bump and do a general health check. I am able to get a fir to fly whilst there if I need a second one.

Was really hoping for some positive feedback or from someone that has done something similar.

Hoping I dont go into labour that early as the baby wouldn't be fully developed.

Hope this doesn't seem passive aggressive just really want some positivity.

OP’s posts: |
GruffalOH Tue 05-Nov-19 21:03:35

I flew late in one of my pregnancies. 17hr journey with one break in the middle. For the longest leg I upgraded and honestly the sheer relief of being able to lie down was immense. If you can do this, do. Mine was also unavoidable. I wore super-sexy compression socks, the comfiest clothes I owned, drank plenty of water, the toilet wasn't actually an issue as I had a tiny bump (I handed them my fit to fly letter at check in and they said "oh, we don't need to see that til you're over 24 weeks" looking at my belly. I was 35 weeks), but it might be awkward if you're big by then.

If you have short walks between gates etc. then take the chance to walk, but I'd take the little car things if it's a long distance. You don't want to be walking yourself into labour by walking rapidly to get to a gate on time!

Not gonna lie, it's nerve wracking and a bit uncomfortable, but it's survivable. Good you've got your insurance all in order. Good luck!

Ruth96 Tue 05-Nov-19 21:22:34

Thank you so much. We have two stops one in Amsterdam and one in singapore. I'll arrange for the car thing to take me because we are only stopping for 2 hours so by the time off the plane I'll be getting on the other.

I hadn't thought about rushing around.

I've got the socks ready to go.

Did you struggle getting a fir to fly?

OP’s posts: |
zhaviva Tue 05-Nov-19 21:28:39

Good luck to you, OP! Let us know how it goes.

I few other things that might help - did you double check that the insurance will cover the baby if it needs care after delivery?

Take your maternity notes with you.

It's of course unlikely you will deliver abroad but as there is a small chance so you may want to double check the citizenship/passport implications if the baby is born outside the UK. I don't know all the ins and outs but if either you or DH are UK born, the baby would be eligible for as a British citizen by descent (likely would still take a few weeks or months to sort before getting the baby a passport). If neither of you are UK born, it may be much more difficult to get travel documents for the baby (unless the baby would be eligible for an Australian passport? Not sure the rules there)

Ruth96 Tue 05-Nov-19 21:34:02

We looked into getting the baby home. We would have to go to the embassy which could take a few weeks. That being said the baby would most likely be in an incubator if born that earlier so this would be the least of our worries. But would be able to get ball rolling while baby is on the mend. We are both uk born.

Yeah travel insurance covers me and bump it cost around 130 but I think k it worth it given the risk.

This is also my first so I have all the new to mummy stress.

I fly in four weeks and my midwife is still not sure on what advice to give me..I see her in two so hopefully she has some answers.

OP’s posts: |
helpmum2003 Tue 05-Nov-19 21:45:56

OP most likely if you deliver after 35 weeks your baby would need minimal special care unless other issues. 😀

Ruth96 Tue 05-Nov-19 22:03:14

Yeah I know that's why I'll be glad to be back in uk xx

OP’s posts: |
PandaandCat Tue 05-Nov-19 22:14:26

If you can afford a better category of seat than economy would do that.

If not would go for an aisle seat - in BA they had seats at the back with just 2 seats, aisle one of those was good as could stretch legs and walk just behind seat. Or an extra legroom seat.

Hope it goes as well as it can. I've done it not pregnant and was OK in economy but with a bump it'll be harder. The staff are nice though and I'm sure they will help if you need anything like more drinks. Make sure to drink a lot and move when you can.

Espoleta Tue 05-Nov-19 22:28:07

Not quite Australia but I flew to and from South Africa (15hours including the internal flight) as my mum was diagnosed with aggressive cancer.

I got specific specialists insurance as my insurance wouldn’t cover the baby if I gave birth abroad. Cost a fortune.

Not going to lie, the flight was tough. Drink loads of water, walk regularly and wear the socks.

There is a difference % of oxygen on planes so my daughter moved the entire time to the point that it was slightly painful (not in the worrying sense in the discomfort sense). At least this is what the flight attendant said. I spent a lot of time with them while stretching Out!

I was asked for my fit to fly note At various times (check in, boarding, etc).

I flew back at 35 weeks (close to 36).

Honestly it’s doable. I took the overnight flight back, went straight to work and then an nct class in the evening.

Who are you flying? I flew with virgin and they gave me a little “hamper” for my mum when I left with some champers, chocolate and a cup.

Sometimes things happen that means you have to go.

Good luck! Ask if you have any specific questions.

orangeteal Tue 05-Nov-19 22:41:45

Aisle seat for frequent urination! Good luck OP.

zhaviva Tue 05-Nov-19 23:03:09

You sound really well prepared OP. Good luck!

Ruth96 Thu 07-Nov-19 18:35:02

Flying with klm and Singapore airlines.

I'm just worried about getting a fit to fly.

Did you get told to take anything to thin your blood?

Thanks for the positive feedback x

OP’s posts: |
firstimemamma Thu 07-Nov-19 18:38:08

I really wouldn't go op. Whatever the reason for the flight is, you need to accept that the health and well being of the child is a more important reason for you to stay put.

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