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Flying while pregnant

(27 Posts)
Teddybear33 Sat 15-Mar-14 08:58:38


Is it generally safe to fly in the second trimester? We had dinner with a friend last night who suggested flying was unsafe throughout the whole of pregnancy as he had a friend lose a baby at 4 months.

Does anyone have a view on this as we were considering one last holiday in may when I'll be around 22/23 weeks but I don't want to risk the baby.


ClairesTravellingCircus Sat 15-Mar-14 09:04:45

I'm pretty sure flying is always safe in pregnancy! The only reason why airlines don't accept pregnant women nearer the end (can't remember how many weeks exactly) is forfear of them going into labour on the plane.

Fwiw I have flown in all three of my pregnancies at all stages up to about 32 wks and had no probs whatsoever.

It's a tragedy that these friends lost a baby at 4 months but I woild be very surprised that it was related to flying when pregnant.

Anyway try adking your midwife at your next appt I'm sure she will reassure you.
And enjoy your holiday!

greentshirt Sat 15-Mar-14 09:04:51

Yes it's safe. You are at higher risk of a dvt when pregnant so just be more careful than usual to stay hydrated and move around the cabin during the flight

LittleBearPad Sat 15-Mar-14 09:04:56

It's fine.

I flew when 4 weeks and 6 - found out overseas I was pregnant. Then we went to Dubai when I was 24 weeks or so for a holiday.

I told the security people and think they patted me down rather than sending me through the X-ray machine but that was the only difference.

Airlines get more antsy in the third trimester but mainly because they don't want you to go into labour on board. Thrn you need a fit to fly confirmation.

Miscarriages happen, very sadly, but it's extremely unlikely it was to do with flying.

robindeer Sat 15-Mar-14 09:10:00

I need to fly for work when I'll be 11 weeks, I've been worried too. If you do get any advice from your midwife let me know!

babybythesea Sat 15-Mar-14 09:10:10

With DD1 I flew twice. Once at the very start - found out I was pregnant while abroad and second time at 24 and 26 weeks, to South Africa and back.
With DD2 I also flew. We had booked a trip to New Zealand to see DH's family. By the time we went I was about 25 weeks. Coming back, we went via Australia to see friends and I was about 32 weeks on returning to the UK. Not wildly comfortable but no real problems.

andadietcoke Sat 15-Mar-14 09:17:34

I flew long haul very early in my pregnancy (found out overseas) and then again at about 10 weeks, and 16. I walked around a fair bit on the plane and made sure I had my green notes with me in my hand luggage just in case anyone asked about dates (twins, so looked fairly big at 16w!)

I'm sure I checked and x-Ray machines weren't damaging at all.

I talked to my midwife about sitting in the sun and she said to stay hydrated and not overheat. I went in the pool regularly and mostly sat in the shade.

Have a lovely time and don't worry.

MrsA2 Sat 15-Mar-14 09:22:39

I'm flying long haul tomorrow at 24 weeks, my midwife has no concerns and thinks the relaxation from a holiday is a big advantage. By those ugly flight socks, keep dehydrated and mobile as much as you can on the flight. Just be careful about food (buffets at the all inclusive may not be ideal) and the sun, get good travel insurance for peace of mind too.

LittleBearPad Sat 15-Mar-14 09:23:01

Anddietcoke - I'm sure the X-ray machines aren't a problem it's just the airport staff always directed me past them.

Take your notes, take compression socks if you're worried about sitting for a long time, drink water and move about a bit. My midwife didn't turn a hair when I told her - just said to enjoy the sun

LePetitPont Sat 15-Mar-14 09:45:59

I flew at 7 weeks to dublin and will be flying to france at 24 and 26 weeks. The NHS choices website has a really reassuring page on flying and pregnancy - there is no evidence to suggest that it is harmful. Enjoy your trip!

moominlike Sat 15-Mar-14 09:53:32

Just to echo what others have said, I've been told it's fine too. Pesonally I would avoid it if possible during the first 12 weeks but that's because of my history, but am planning a holiday in May too when I'll be around 14 weeks. Enjoy your holiday smile

Teddybear33 Sat 15-Mar-14 10:45:51

Thanks everyone! Really reassuring. I know people say things with the best of intentions but sometimes all they do is frighten you. Thanks again everyone xx

callamia Sat 15-Mar-14 10:55:47

I flew three times to Europe and US for work during pregnancy, and it was fine. I just packed as little as possible because carrying heavy carry-on luggage was more of a bother than usual.

summerbaby2014 Sat 15-Mar-14 11:14:52

It's a metal detector that you walk through, not an xray. (Apart from some airports with the full body scanners.) So that's not an issue.

Flight socks made a big difference for me, and drinking lots of water.

Sorry to hear about your friend OP. I went away at about 20weeks,it was the perfect time to go and we had a great time (8hrs flight).

Have fun!

Sunnysummer Sat 15-Mar-14 11:15:07

I flew regularly for work, short and long haul, up to 33 weeks with my obstetrician's okay.

The risk to be aware of is DVT - for all long hauls and then for short haul from about 20-something weeks my doctor made we wear thigh high compression stockings. They are very unattractive but great for circulation - they were amazing for varicose veins later on wink - but need to be fitted and bought specially, not the ones you get normally in the chemist. Really worth it if you travel a lot.

Other than that, people talk about risks because they ground flight attendants / pilots during the trimester but I was assured that the reason is because (a) they fly so much that their radiation count is (slightly) higher and (2) that the airlines therefore have to be incredibly careful for employment law reasons so would rather be safe than sorry. It's not an issue for those of us not flying 5 days a week. It's always sad to hear about miscarriages, and I know from experience that when people have them they search for a 'reason' that may or may not exist - and in reality it would make very little sense that a flight at 4 months could cause one.

The biggest hassle for me was managing luggage as time went on, but I wore clothes that made me look very obviously pregnant, shoes that I could slip on and off at security points, and people were really helpful.

Happy travels!

Sunnysummer Sat 15-Mar-14 11:16:24

And should add that DS is nearly a year old and happy and healthy, along with the kids of my other frequent flyer colleagues! smile

eurochick Sat 15-Mar-14 11:29:23

I agree - it's safe. There is an increased risk from DVT but that can be mitigated by wearing flight socks, drinking lots and moving about.

I am 16 weeks into a very much wanted pregnancy (3 years ttc and IVF) and have no qualms about flying. I've already flown once medium haul at 10 weeks (for work) and it was fine, although the bloating which I'm suffering badly anyway was exacerbated by the changes in air pressure, so I was quite uncomfortable and will wear very loose clothes in future. I have 2 more long haul trips planned at 20 weeks (holiday) and 23 (work). My only concession has been to swap my favoured window seat (so I can just hibernate under a blanket for the duration) for an aisle seat so I can get up and move about more easily.

I do plan to avoid security X-ray machines wherever possible. They are claimed to be safe, but there are some papers casting doubt on this, so the jury seems to be out and I would prefer to minimise exposure.

Kt1991 Sat 15-Mar-14 11:32:44

Ill be flying at around 23/24 weeks in may too! My friend flew around the same time in her first pregnancy and it was a long haul flight but was all ok smile you just have to get a drs note if your past 28 weeks, but other than that the midwife was happy when I said we were going on holiday in May

usmama Sat 15-Mar-14 14:13:57

I have flown more in this pregnancy than in the past 3 years put together just by happenstance- 4x long haul and a few short haul flights. No problems, and there is no increased risk of miscarriage linked to flying. DVT/ PEs, yes. Wear flight socks and walk around, lots of water as others have said.

ToriaPumpkin Sat 15-Mar-14 17:04:12

My Mum is a midwife and has 'allowed' me to fly in both my pregnancies. She told me there's little risk, other than the increased risk of DVT.

With DS I flew at 34 weeks with a letter saying I was fit to fly and this time I flew at 19 and the airline didn't question me other than to give me an extra check over at security at my clothes were all awkwardly fitting!

WhiteWolf Sat 15-Mar-14 18:14:35

I am 15 weeks and flying long haul next week. My obstetrician told me it's ok, just to wear socks, drink lots and walk and walk in the flight.

runawaysimba Sat 15-Mar-14 19:42:45

Just to add, if going overseas, make sure your travel insurance covers pregnancy-related care.

SwedeAway Sun 16-Mar-14 05:05:26

I flew long haul at 30 weeks with my first. No problem at all, apart from being rather uncomfortable as I was big at the time. This time I will be doing a long haul at 22 weeks and not worried. My gyno said as long as i am less than 28 weeks then no issue.

Teddybear33 Sun 16-Mar-14 21:41:07

Thanks ladies xx

PenguinsEatSpinach Sun 16-Mar-14 21:46:28

Yes, it is what Sunny said.

Flight crew are grounded in pregnancy. Flying massive amounts (as in, a working week which consists of time in the air) gives slightly high radiation levels.

That isn't an issue for someone flying as a one off, or even regularly travelling for work.

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