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Flying longish haul; for 11 hours at 29 weeks? Anyone any experience of this?

(16 Posts)
missslc Thu 03-Sep-09 18:09:28


I am due to fly to states at 29 weeks and am just a little concerned as the doctor has informed me of the increased risks of developing a dvt. I will the be having the baby out there so do not have to get back I felt pretty relaxed about it until the doctor went through the issues- i have to visit an obsteticuan just to check that all is okay and then would proceed having been informed of the risks.

STarting to think maybe I should boat it to new york and train it across the US.
Has anyone else taken an equivalent flight at this stage in pregnancy? I just assumed it would be fine as the airline is fine with it.


EldonAve Thu 03-Sep-09 18:15:34

If the airline is fine then I'd do it and wear surgical stocking. Walk about a lot and drink plenty

The boat takes 6 nights, no way I'd take that option

missslc Thu 03-Sep-09 18:23:35

yes the boat option sounds quite gruelling but if i thought it wold eliminate a significant risk I would do it- i know i really need to talk to the obs about it but I just was so sure it was fine- 11 weeks to go and all that- i'm sure pregnant women travel beyond this point on planes??

weegiemum Thu 03-Sep-09 18:28:49

I flew to West Coast Canada, so 11-ish hours I think, at 21 weeks, back at 24.

Lots of water (let cabin crew know you will want a lot when you are getting on), surgical stocking things, move around as much as possible, do those foot and calf stretch things they tell you about.

Contact airline and ask for a bulkhead seat with more legroom. They probably wont give you an emergency exit row cos of pregnancy.

Flutter your lashes and hope for an upgrade?

weegiemum Thu 03-Sep-09 18:29:40

I needed the loo so often that the cabin crew were nice to me and let me use the one in First Class!

missslc Thu 03-Sep-09 18:55:47

Thanks- all useful. We fly business class so apparently get little bed things but i guess i will need to walk about every hour. I just don't want to put my baby at risk and i suppose on some level I am but I have to get out there and cannot go any sooner.
Its the dvt idea that daunts me more than premature labour at 10000 feet!WHo gives birth in 11 hours??

angel1976 Thu 03-Sep-09 19:33:03

Misssic - I just did this... I flew to the Maldives at 28 weeks (10 hours) and flew back two weeks later (11 hours) at 30 weeks. I also had a 18-month-old toddler in tow! I did have DH with me, which helped a great deal. I was slightly worried before I went but this has been a very healthy pregnancy so far and the midwife was happy to give the go-ahead.

I was advised to get the surgical stocking to prevent DVT but never got around to it (only saw the doctor the day before we left!) but a nurse friend of mine says it does help. I just took off my shoes, put on the airline socks and made myself comfy and walked around the plane a lot. Do lots of ankle rotation as well if you are sitting down and if you have little bed things, you can just make sure you change positions if you are sitting down (i.e. feet on ground and feet elevated...). It wasn't as bad as I thought to be honest. Good luck!

chubbychipmonk Thu 03-Sep-09 19:51:19

Hi, cant speak from a medical point of view but worked as airline cabin crew for 5 years and flew longhaul so can offer you some flying advice!
Its true that you aren't allowed to sit in an emergency exit row if you are pregnant. Try and turn up at check in as early as possible and request extra leg room or a bulkhead seat, depending on the airline they may charge or may be a first come first served basis. If you are well turned out (smartish clothes) and well presented at the check in desk then you may get an upgrade if you explain you are pregnant. Most airlines overbook econonmy and have spare seats in upper class so are advised they may upgrade people who are eligible (ie smartly dresses, 2 adults, no kids in tow etc)...
Failing getting an upgrade, make sure you tell the cabin crew you are pregnant. The crew member in charge will know but those serving you may not. Feel free to walk about and stretch your legs as often as possible and im sure the crew would be more than willing to give you extra tea, water, juice, food, blankets, pillows etc on request. 11 hours is a long time for the crew also and I was always glad to have passengers popping into the galley for a cuppa and a chat (not when I was trying to give out the meals!! but when it was quiet!)
Depending again on the airline and the frequesncy of the route there may be empty rows if the flight isnt full. You'll have to sit in your designanted seat for take off and landing however during the flight if there are empty seats, the arm rests often go all the way up and you could stretch out or even lie down if your lucky. . .have a great trip . . and make friends with the cabin crew, you'll be amazed at how different you get treated if they're on your side!! wink

chubbychipmonk Thu 03-Sep-09 19:53:54

Oh . . . and our medical training covered how to deliver a baby . . just in case! (I kidd you not!!!!!)

lucky1979 Thu 03-Sep-09 20:01:39

I flew back from Seattle to London at 28 weeks and was ABSOLUTELY fine - ankles didn't even swell up!

Business class made it a lot nicer, just pop the little foot rest bit up even when you're sitting straight so your ankles are a bit higher up, and do little foot exercises like circling your ankles around and pointing toes up then down and so on. The extra room comes in really handy. Hop up every three hours and wander up and down the aisles, do a few leg stretches and make sure you wear DVT socks.

Honestly, the stress and hassle of boat then cross country will be much worse for you than flying for 11 hours, and your bump won't know the difference

missslc Thu 03-Sep-09 20:39:19

thanks- lucky1979- i think my doc was just being ultra cautious but it threw me a little as i just thought she would wave me on my way with a letter and a doctor's charge.

trellism Fri 04-Sep-09 13:55:52

The boat almost certainly won't have you at 29 weeks - it takes far longer to divert a trans-atlantic liner in the event of an emergency than a plane and their sick bays are not set up to deal with a premature birth.

I flew at 26 weeks and was fine. You just need to make sure you drink plenty of water and move around, and also double-triple check with your travel insurers.

I took a train too for about 12 hours - perfectly happy with that as I had a bed to lie down in, but you have to bear in mind the extra upheaval it will involve.

I also flew Upper Class, which helped enormously.

blueberrysorbet Wed 09-Sep-09 20:46:09

i flew around this time long haul and it was fine for me. I did tell the cabin crew and got there early for a good seat, plus phoned before and booked a good seat for us. (my dh had our ds on his knee for the entire flight so actually he had more problems i drank loads of water, wore sensible shoes and took a smock thing for the flight as sitting with prgncy jeans was going to be difficult. walked about lots and plenty of snacks/ water. also try and get a cabin crew member to give you fast track cards- all that queing for customs will be hard on you when you land....

bloss Wed 09-Sep-09 21:28:23

Message withdrawn

IwishIwasmoreorganised Wed 09-Sep-09 21:37:04

I flew back from Mexico at 28 weeks and as the others have said, with flight stockings, lots of ankle and foot jiggling and drinking lots of water which then results in you getting up often to go to the loo it really was fine.

The Dr is just doing his job informing you of potential risks.

eeyore2 Thu 10-Sep-09 11:19:26

I flew earlier, at around 20 weeks, but it was a VERY long way (28 hours in transit altogether, in economy with quite tight seating arrangements). I wore the compression socks, walked up and down a lot, and my DH forced helped me to do lots of leg exercises along the way - I put one leg at a time up over his lap and then did sets of circles, up and down, back and forward etc. Made me feel a lot less nervous about DVT, and gave me a good workout as well! The worst bit was running for one of the flight connections at midight in Qatar when some irritating person wacked me in the stomach with their backpack. Would recommend being careful around people with backpacks in the airport as they often have little control over it.

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