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Flight to Australia at 20 Weeks

(27 Posts)
kmini Sun 23-Feb-14 12:30:09

I am planning to fly back to Australia at 20 weeks. I will only be at home for 7.5 days so admittedly A short visit for a 50 hours total flying.

My family in the last few days have all decided that flying long haul when I am pregnant is crazy. My sil did a fair bit of travel (more short haul, less than 10 hours) when she was pregnant & she is convinced that this contributed to her difficult birth.

Can anyone tell me their experiences. Particularly long haul flights. I know it won't be pleasant, but I do these flights twice a year so its not totally foreign to me & so I know I can cope with it. Just don't want to do anything that might put stress on the bub.

Help appreciated.

Loopylouu Sun 23-Feb-14 12:35:17

I think it all depends on how you are feeling and how your pregnancy is going.

Tbh, in both my pregnancies I wouldn't have considered it as I was still sick at 20 weeks and very fatigued.

I've flown London to Sydney and back twice in my life and I was exhausted enough by that without being pregnant!

Aaliyah1 Sun 23-Feb-14 12:56:15

At 20 weeks I felt totally fine. No symptoms and wasn't even showing. I travelled at 26 weeks (only 6 hours flying and about 12 in the car) and didn't feel any different.
I think it really depends on how you feel and what symptoms your experiencing. Wouldn't say it would be a problem though.

Evie2014 Sun 23-Feb-14 13:12:52

I usually travel lots and lots and have no problems whatsoever flying.

I HATE flying when pregnant. I had no idea how crap I was going to feel- first pregnancy here. I've done six flights so far in my pregnancy (23 weeks with twins) and have said enough's enough- no WAY am I stepping on a plane again until my children are on the outside, not the inside, of me! Flying makes me feel terrible. Two of the flights were 7 hours each in economy class which normally I would do without blinking but each one felt like an eternity.

The cabin pressure makes my insides (and their occupants) feel terrible- gassy, windy, achey, uncomfortable. Have you ever seen what flying does to a plastic bottle- where the pressure makes it shrivel up or blow out? Well, that's your insides. And the occupants REALLY don't like it!

Sitting in one position for so long makes my back and bum really painful. Wanting to pee all the time with the cabin pressure and an already stressed bladder is torture. I've had two weeping fits on planes now, as a result of being pregnant, uncomfortable, achey, claustrophobic and fed up. (And if you knew just what a fantastically intrepid traveller I am normally you'd be aghast.)

It might be marginally better in business class but the cabin pressure issue is still the same. And unless it's proper swanky business class like Emirates or Singapore Airlines you can't lie flat anyway.

I've mentioned it to a couple of pregnant friends and we have all had the same experience, and we're all amazed that nobody ever tells you how horrid flying while pregnant is!

In fairness, it doesn't do any damage at all to the baby. It's perfectly safe. Just really uncomfortable.

summerbaby2014 Sun 23-Feb-14 13:20:15

2 best pieces of advice are drink LOTS of water and wear flight socks (compression socks).

I found I was pregnant when in Australia. I did feel pretty crappy after the flight back.

If you can break up the flight at all that might help. I spent 6hrs in an airport hotel at KL. I felt crappy despite this but it helped to have a break and be able to sleep lying flat for a few hours.

I did a New York flight recently (at about 22 weeks) obviously much shorter but I wore flight socks which made a huge difference to how I felt. I just didn't have that heavy legged exhausted feeling that I often get. So make sure you get some of those! Try to wrestle yourself into them before you get on the plane, it's hard to do that in a small space!

summerbaby2014 Sun 23-Feb-14 13:27:46

Also. I actually felt fine on the NY flight which was a nice surprise.
I also think there's no medical evidence to say you shouldn't fly when pregnant so it's mostly about how you feel rather than anything impacting on the baby.
Have fun!

Viviennemary Sun 23-Feb-14 13:34:49

You could ask your GP's advice. But a long flight is tiring and uncomfortable for a lot of people even when they are not pregnant. I myself wouldn't even contemplate it unless I could afford the best of first class.

purpleshinyone Sun 23-Feb-14 13:43:06

I went at 32 weeks - would not recommend it.. Had trouble fitting in the seat, kind air steward let me set in his seat until he got told off and I was despatched back to wedge my huge stomach behind the chair in front. Had a strop at the stopover and refused to get off the plane and stretched out on the seats and had a nap while they cleaned round me. Hugely uncomfortable all round but we had to go and it is just for 1 day. Had baby 8 weeks later and everything fine.

sambababy Sun 23-Feb-14 14:47:34

I flew from Brazil to London at 20wks, then back again at about 26wks, total duration each way about 15hrs so a bit less than oz but still not short haul. For me it was fine. The advice to drink tons of water and wear compression socks is good, as is making sure you get up every hour or so to stretch your legs and walk around. It does all depend on how you're feeling! Oh and when I checked in and told them I was pregnant I was given a front seat with a bit more legroom.

22honey Sun 23-Feb-14 15:42:05

I think its each to their own personally but its not something I'd do. I've had to put off a trip to the USA to see family this year as I just do not think it is safe to fly particularly long haul whilst pregnant. Maybe if the trip was only to Europe? It is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage and premature birth and there are a lot of people who believe flying contributed to several celebrity miscarriages and stillbirths that have happened.

I just wouldn't feel comfortable taking the risk but there are plenty of women who do whose babies are fine.

BellsaRinging Sun 23-Feb-14 15:50:23

I flew back from Australia at 20 weeks pregnant, though had a 24 hour stopover in america. I wore compression socks and made sure to move around a lot and it was fine. At same stage with no 2 i flew to turkey and later to france. again all was fine. However it is a long trip for a short time there. i think a lot depends on your pregnancy and how you are feeling.

mrsbug Sun 23-Feb-14 16:41:38

I flew at about 20 weeks and it was ok, although only short haul (Italy). I'd reservean an aisle seat if you can so you can get up and stretch your legs or go for a wee whenever you want.

FoxtrotOscarBackToEconomy Sun 23-Feb-14 20:45:26

A lot depends on how you feel. I think that doing a journey or type of journey that you do regularly is a lot easier and less stressful because you know what to expect.

If you do decide to go try and get the best seat you can afford, either pay extra for a legroom seat (IIRC BA won't let you sit in an emergency exit seat when pregnant), premium economy, or you might find a business class bargain (Etihad or Qatar or others maybe worth investigating)

In my first pregnancy I took maybe 30 flights including Hong Kong at around 26/27 weeks, but that was in business class, and felt fine. This pregnancy I have done one long haul and didn't feel great, but that was to do with early pregnancy feeling awful rather than the flying. I have felt fine on several subsequent short haul flights.

ladymia Sun 23-Feb-14 21:36:52

I did a 12 hours flight at 32 weeks pregnant with absolutely no problems but had a straight forward pregnancy.

sambababy Sun 23-Feb-14 21:55:18

I have to disagree a bit with 22honey. I've never heard of flying being associated with increased risk of miscarriage, certainly not after the 1st trimester, nor premature birth. Flying increases the risk of blood clots, and that still applies when you're pregnant, which is why it's so important to move around. Most docs won't say anymore than that. I guess you can find people claiming all sorts of things if you google enough.

ladymia Sun 23-Feb-14 22:08:31

22honey you're talking utter shit. show me one bit of research that backs up your BS.

ladymia Sun 23-Feb-14 22:18:03

Also 22honey "I think its each to their own personally but its not something I'd do."

I was reading on here the other day (curse of having a photographic memory) that you are having a hard time giving up smoking while pregnant. I find it very odd you'd not "risk" a couple of hours in the air but WOULD risk exposing your baby to that.

People like you blow my mind.

22honey Sun 23-Feb-14 23:44:50

Oooh touchy. I have drastically cut down my smoking, its also risky to have a baby whilst overweight/obese and over 35 yet many women still do and do not get judged. My pregnancy was not planned though much wanted and I am living in a very stressful environment at the moment, I am moving to a new environment soon which will be smoke free thus I can quit completely. I did not attempt to judge any person flying long haul whilst pregnant, merely pointed out its not something I'd feel comfortable with, then again I do not really like flying and get very anxious and phobic when I do. I also stated plenty of women do and have healthy babies. Yes I have read there is a risk but I only said that is what I had read/heard people say, not that it is absolute fact.

Whilst I do not feel good about smoking I have other factors in my favour such as I eat healthily, am in the prime age range for having children and do atleast an hours exercise everyday.

Have some manners and don't dare attempt to judge me or the position I am in, YOU do not live my life so cannot comment.

Too many posters on here are far too touchy when someone disagrees with their opinion. Cannot believe the cheek of someone to bring up something from another SUPPORT thread to try and have a defensive stab at another poster purely because they said they wouldn't fly long haul whilst pregnant. What risks I take are completely up to me just as the risks women ttc over 40 take or women ttc who are obese take, I also pointed out in the post that it is up to the individual woman whether they are comfortable with it, the OP was asking people's opinion on the matter and that is mine!

jen2014 Mon 24-Feb-14 08:02:49

Ummmm... So back to the thread...
I flew London to South Africa at 21 weeks (9hr flight), then onto Sydney at 22 weeks (12hrs) then from Melbourne to LA at 25 weeks (17hrs), onto Canada at 26 weeks (8hrs) and home to UK at 27 weeks (7hrs). Felt absolutely fine, a bit tiring but then flying is a little uncomfortable for everyone so I don't feel like it was particularly bad. Qantas was the best airline as they serve snacks through the night (I can't sleep on planes so grazing was a great way to pass the time!). Worst leg was Australia to America but mostly because of the jet lag so if you have only a week in Oz then prepare yourself for the fact that you may be exhausted for first two days of that. Can you not go for longer?

3littlefrogs Mon 24-Feb-14 08:10:49

You should ask your GP to risk assess you for DVT risk before you go.
Pregnancy increases the risk of clotting, as does long haul travel.
All pregnant women should be risk assessed anyway and this includes checking family history and any other risk factors.
Some pregnant women would be advised to have preventative treatment, depending on their level of risk.

Seeline Mon 24-Feb-14 08:18:36

I flew to Oz and back at 4.5-5months and was fine. I had had very bad sickness up to about 17 weeks, but it stopped more or less overnight just before I flew. I made sure I took lots of snacks, as I found that helped with sickness, especially when tired. I also drank lots (water...). It was tiring, but I wasn't particularly big at that stage, so no real discomfort. GP was fine about it - just said to keep an eye on DVT possibility. She said statistically it was no different from flying whilst on the pill.

3littlefrogs Mon 24-Feb-14 08:28:23

Seeline, your GP is mistaken. The risk of thrombosis is greater when pregnant than when on oral contraception, although both are risk factors.

However, family history, smoking, BMI and other medical conditions all need to be taken into account.

WorrisomeHeart Mon 24-Feb-14 08:47:23

I flew to NZ when I was 22 weeks - apart from the tray able almost not being able to fit with the bump, it wasn't any different to any previous trips home - you know the route, you presumably know how you react to long haul flights so, as long as your doc/mw is happy, go for it. I agree with the lots of snacks/water/walking around advice. I took grapes and sugar snap peas from memory as I always feel so carb loaded after those flights. Good luck!

dontevenblink Mon 24-Feb-14 09:30:47

We flew to New Zealand when I was 27 weeks pregnant, total of 32 hours flying, with just a 2 hour stopover in LA and 1 hour in Auckland. I felt fine, wore flight socks, drank lots, walked about lots. It didn't make me feel ill at all and baby was fine. The stressful thing about the flight was the fact I had my 3 year old and 1 year old dc with me too! Maybe that distracted me from being pregnant grin

Seeline Mon 24-Feb-14 09:39:15

Frogs - it was over 12 years ago so maybe medical knowledge has advanced grin

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