Traveling during pregnancy can be a concern for pregnant women. However, with proper planning and precautions, air travel can be safe and comfortable for pregnant women.
Consult your doctor
Before booking your flight with AA, it is important to consult your doctor to ensure that you are fit to fly. Your gynecologist can advise you on the potential risks or complications associated with air travel during pregnancy and give you advice on making your flight as comfortable as possible.
Check American Airlines policy
The United States flag carrier’s policy on travel during pregnancy states that pregnant women are free to travel until their 36th week of pregnancy on:
– Domestic flights
For flights lasting less than 300 minutes (5 hours), you must present a medical certificate signed by your doctor if you are taking the flight seven days before your due date.
– International flights
A medical certificate authorizing your boarding is mandatory if you are traveling within four weeks of your due date + a note provided by the same doctor indicating that you had a visit within the 48 hours preceding the flight and that you are fit to fly in your case.
The medical certificate is also mandatory if you plan to take your flight within the seven days preceding your due date.
Choose a comfortable seat
When booking your flight, be sure to choose a comfortable seat. American Airlines offers preferred seats with more legroom, which can be especially helpful for pregnant women who may experience swelling or discomfort. Additionally, choosing an aisle seat can make it easier to get up and move around during the flight.
Be sure to pack essential items for the flight, such as comfortable clothes, blankets, pillows, and snacks. It is also recommended that you carry a copy of your medical records and your doctor’s contact details in case of an emergency.
It is important to stay hydrated during air travel, especially for pregnant women. Be sure to bring a reusable water bottle and refill it before boarding the plane. Additionally, avoiding caffeine and alcohol can help prevent dehydration.
Do not remain seated in your seat throughout the flight
Sitting for long periods during a flight can increase the risk of blood clots, so it’s important to move around during the flight. American Airlines recommends taking a walk down the aisle every hour, as well as doing simple exercises in your seat, such as ankle rolls and calf push-ups.
Cases where it is not advisable to fly during pregnancy
Although air travel is generally considered safe for pregnant women, certain conditions can make flying risky. Here are some situations expecting moms should avoid flying:
– History of blood clots/heart disease
Pregnant women with this history are at a higher risk of developing complications when traveling by air. Low oxygen levels, cramped seats and long periods of inactivity on a flight can increase the risk of blood clots and other cardiovascular problems.
– Women who have ever had a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or premature delivery
Passengers who have had this history should avoid air travel during pregnancy. Changes in atmospheric pressure and the stress associated with air travel can increase the risk of these conditions.
– Twin or multiple pregnancy
Women carrying twins or triplets are advised to avoid air travel during the later stages of pregnancy. Air travel can increase the risk of preterm labor and other complications in multiple pregnancies.
– First childbirth for a woman aged over 35
These women are at a higher risk of developing complications during air travel. The risk of gestational diabetes, hypertension, and preeclampsia increases with age, and these conditions can be exacerbated by air travel.
In addition to these situations, pregnant women should also avoid air travel during the third trimester of pregnancy, when the risk of preterm birth is highest. Before planning a trip, it’s always best to consult with a gynecologist to determine if air travel is safe for you and your baby.