My feed

to access all these features

Get updates on how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy by signing up to the Mumsnet Pregnancy Newsletters.


Long haul flights before 12 weeks?..

17 replies

Corrin · 31/05/2004 08:14


Not sure whether this is going to be an issue yet...

But, does anyone have any advice or experience of flying long haul (12 hours to LA) being under the 12 weeks mark?

Not sure on the regulations (airlinewise) or what it might be like...had ms from about 5/6 weeks with first and I could be 7 weeks at time of flight...

Am kind of hoping I'm not now...bit silly really but have been trying for quite a few months and was more concerned about getting pregnant than thinking about my brother's wedding so can't miss it...

OP posts:
eidsvold · 31/05/2004 15:44

try here for info - I am flying longhaul but will be almost 18/19 weeks. I just googled flying when pregnant


californiagirl · 31/05/2004 22:43

I flew San Francisco-Melbourne via Sydney at 11 weeks. My Dr was not concerned. There's no evidence that anything about flying will increase your miscarriage risk at that stage, and if you miscarry there's nothing they can do to stop it at that stage either -- the absolute worst that could possibly happen is that you were going to miscarry anyway, and you miscarry on the plane and it's messy and embarrassing. You want to be sure to get enough water and to move around, and airsickness will not help any morning sickness you may have, but this is all annoyance level stuff. In point of fact, my morning sickness was not bad at all on the plane, but flared up with jet lag for a while when I got there.

You will see places that advise you not to fly at this stage, but it's really up to you. Mostly, they're warning you so that you don't feel guilty if you miscarry, and you don't get stuck trying to find a doctor in a strange place if something does happen.

As for the airline, how are they going to know? In point of fact, they don't care until 34-36 weeks, but even if they did, they're not going to notice at 7 weeks.

highlander · 01/06/2004 00:26

I flew long haul (10 hours) when 15 weeks and everything was fine - despite my request for an aisle seat being ignored! Do let them know you're preggers when checking in - you never know what upgrade you might get!

I also paid (18 quid) to go into the KLM business lounge at H/row for 3 hours as everywhere else was making me feel really unwell. It was air-conditioned, free drinks and snacks and big comfy chairs to slob out in. There was a kids area as well.

I told the cabin guy at my end of the plane and he was pretty good about asking me more frequently whether I needed extra food and fluid. I made an extra effort to get up and stretch every hour and I did the ankle exercises every 30 mins whilst I was awake!

I never got MS but I always feel a bit yuck on take off and ascent - disappears when the plane flattens out.

Have a great trip!

gloworm · 01/06/2004 07:19

i flew to florida at 10 weeks, had no problems other than horribly sick on flight home.

on flight out we were upgraded to premier economy (much more space and less people).
on flight home, no seats left to upgrade to, but was given bulk-head seat, slightly more space and no one in front of you(so no one can recline seat on top of you!)

sweetkitty · 01/06/2004 10:28

I have just caome back from New York 28 weeks pregnant, I was in economy no upgrade . The bloke in front of me put his seat back the minute after take off meaning I had to do the same to get any room, the bloke behind me wasn't best please especially as I was getting up every half hour to an hour but I just glared at him!

gloworm · 01/06/2004 10:37

corrin, if seats are on a first come first serve basis, can you get to the airport really early so you have more chance of an upgrade or at least a bulkhead seat?

being in premier economy made such a big difference, felt great during the whole flight. loads of spare seats, very quiet,

fisil · 01/06/2004 10:40

where's my post gone?

I flew to Malaysia (c 12 hours) then to NZ (another 12 hours) and then back home (c 24 hours) between 18 and 21 weeks. GP just advised me to drink lots and walk around a lot. She showed me some exercises to do (twizzling feet, stretching calf muscles - exactly what it says in the in-flight mags).

She was more worried about the fact that I couldn't have any of the jabs for Malaysia or take malaria tablets. And the insect repellant I had to use had to be a special type as apparently you shouldn't use the normal stuff.

We booked this holiday knowing we were trying to get pg, having no idea how far on I would be, but we figured that it was a once in a lifetime experience, not worth cancelling, and that it was equally not worth putting off ttc.

Have a lovely holiday!

Corrin · 01/06/2004 11:07

Wonderful, thanks all...not so worried now.

Will ask for upgrade to Premium Economy.

Fingers crossed for week or so time...has been 5 months of trying...used ov test for first time. How great are they! elt v good that was actually ovulating and that there was no issue there...

OP posts:
gloworm · 01/06/2004 11:09

just keep drinking loads and loads of water...even if you don't feel thirsty

and lots of walks up and down aisles!

katzguk · 01/06/2004 11:18


just wanted to add my story to this, not to scare but to reassure incase something does happen. please make sure your insured!!!

i flew to OZ via San Frabsicso at 8weeks, i had horrendus morning sickness, threw up from the minute the plane took off to the minute it landed, i also suffered a bleed (which i would have had anyway)just before landing in SF. The cabin crew were fanstatic, i got ambulanced off the plane. quickest way to clear american imigration!!! to the local hopsital whizzed through to an ultrasound, saw like kidney bean with a heart beat. discharged from hospital, taxi back to airport, airline then absolutly fanstatic, organised hotel for us, sorted luggage, gave us phone cards, reorganised flights with upgrade, and when we returned the next day to continue with our flight they were brilliant, cabin crew very intentive. Baby born 6.5months later fit and healthy!!

so to summarise even if something does go wrong the cabin crews know what to do and were brilliant. The only reason i wouldn't fly again in the earlt stages of prgnancy is the morning sickness, because of this flight i lost a lot of weight.

sponge · 01/06/2004 17:27

I've flown quite a bit during this pregnancy with no worries from the doctors. European flights from very early and have just been to New York at 30 weeks. Officially BA demand a letter saying you're fit to fly after 28 weeks (which I had) but nobody asked me for it.
We were lucky as I had loads of air miles and so had upgraded us to club (flat beds - fantastic) but don't be afraid to ask if there's any chance of an upgrade - most people don't ask so you give yourself a much better chance by being brave.

CountessDracula · 01/06/2004 17:38

I flew many times when pg, never had any problems (apart from one flight to Ibiza where the seats were so cramped that I couldn't put my tray down as my bump was in the way! - I asked them to move me but the plane was full so I stood most of the way as it was so uncomfortable and right next to the loo!)

Hulababy · 01/06/2004 17:42

I flew to the Carribean at about 9 or 10 weeks pregnant and it was fine. Just follow all the normal 'rules' on preventing DVT - wear flight socks, regular exercise, drink lots of water, etc.

One great thing I found about it was that during the two flights there abd back was the only place I didn't suffer from sickness in the first 4 months. No idea why but rest of time I was sick daily, and not just in the mornings. On the flight - no sickness at all

OldieMum · 01/06/2004 18:22

Sorry to be negative, but when I was pregnant with dd, after IVF, the clinic staff told me not to fly at all, as the cabin pressure could bring on a miscarriage. This may just have been because there is a higher risk of miscarriage after IVF, but I would check with your GP or midwife.

AussieSim · 01/06/2004 18:35

I flew Sydney Tokyo when 7 weeks. My Obstetrician gave me a very very low dose aspirin to take to keep the blood flowing nicely. I flew heaps when pregnant incl Sydney Frankfurt twice and was just sure to drink lots of water and get up and do stretching exercises. My Dr said it was fine and I didn't worry till I saw a show on BBC about it and possible effects of radiation, but I don't think it was conclusive research. I remember they said that Elle McPherson had a radiation repelling blanket made to line the cot on the plane to lie her little one and they suggested that it may actually have been worse than doing nothing. I will have a look on the BBC website and see if I can find anything to link on here.

californiagirl · 02/06/2004 17:45

According to my Dr, actual research shows that pressure changes do not increase risk of miscarriage in the first two trimesters (they do, on the other hand, increase your risk of pre-term labor in the third). This is also what my book on over 35 pregancies said. And radiation is only a problem if you fly a whole lot, and even then pregnant flight attendants appear to have normal babies.

Sometimes doctors and clinics are just repeating superstition. They also feel a need to be very conservative.

Carolineinhk · 03/07/2004 20:59

I flew Hong Kong to London at 36 weeks non-stop with no problems at all, at the end of the day if the baby is going to come or if there are any problems, they will happen where ever you are !!!!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.