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Doctors Advise When It's Safest To Fly When You're Pregnant
PHOTO BY @encrier/iStock
  • Travel is no longer a luxury these days. For families, it is even encouraged to go on vacations (budget permitting) because it is believed to benefit a child’s emotional health as these serve as happiness anchors

    However, if you’re pregnant and traveling via plane, some concerns have been raised in the past regarding safety. When is it safe to fly? Should you even travel at all?

    The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that pregnant women travel during “the middle of your pregnancy — between week 14 and week 28.” It adds that this is the best time to go on a flight because you have more energy, symptoms like morning sickness is usually gone, and you’re not yet too heavy to move around.

    As a general rule, however, a woman with a healthy pregnancy and whose progress is monitored by a qualified ob-gyn can safely travel up to her 36th week of pregnancy.

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    Naturally, if you have a high-risk pregnancy or are diagnosed with complications (preeclampsia, preterm labor, for instance), traveling whether by air or by land through long distances is not advisable. 

    When you’re pregnant, your risks for some conditions increase, such as deep vein thrombosis, which may happen as a result of prolonged periods of immobility such as in a long-haul flight. Proper precautions must be taken in order to avoid it. 

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    If you must absolutely travel while pregnant, such as the coming holiday season to be with family, make sure you do the following to ensure your safety, and your baby’s:

    • See your ob-gyn and get a thorough exam (make sure you tell her about your plans!)
    • Be aware of any condition you might have, and know your estimated due date (EDD)  
    • Have your medications at hand at all times (vitamins, pain relievers, etc)
    • Make sure your companion knows the contact details of your doctor, in case of any emergency
    • Update your vaccines, and find out the requirements on vaccinations where you’re headed (Click here for a list of vaccines safe for pregnant women)
    • At any given time during your travel, make a mental note of the nearest hospital or medical facility 
    • Choose the fastest route to your destination
    • Wear comfortable clothing, and stay hydrated. 
    • Take breaks during long-haul flights. Stand up and stretch / walk. 
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