9 Rules: Flying while pregnant

Flying while pregnant

Answers to all questions about flying while pregnant. If your pregnancy is normal, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take off for a trip abroad. Until what week is it allowed to fly? When is the most recommended? What documents should I have? What should I do while flying?

In the past, concerns have been raised about flying while pregnant because of cosmic radiation, changes in air pressure, and displacement during flight, but they have not been proven to be harmful to the woman or the fetus.

Most airlines, if your pregnancy is normal and not at high risk, will allow you to fly until the end of week 36 (end of the eighth month). Insurance companies are another story…

In terms of timing, the second trimester is considered the most ideal time for a trip. This period comes after the critical stage, when most of the organs of the fetus develop.

Flying while pregnant

One of the most popular questions of pregnant women is: “Am I allowed to fly at all?”. So the answer is yes, provided the pregnancy is normal and progressing without complications. 

What is meant by an uncomplicated pregnancy?

There are medical conditions during pregnancy or chronic diseases that may worsen during pregnancy, as a result of which you may be advised not to fly.

For example, if there is an increased risk of premature birth or if you suffer from recurrent bleeding during pregnancy or a chronic medical illness, you should consult your gynecologist before you start the flight arrangements.

Doesn’t flying while pregnant is danger?

No. In the past, concerns were raised about flying while pregnant because of cosmic radiation, changes in air pressure, noise and movement during the flight, but all of these have not been proven to be harmful to the pregnant woman or the fetus.

Until what week am I allowed to flying while pregnant ?

Depends on who you ask. As a general rule, there is nothing preventing you from flying at any gestational age, but most airlines, even if your pregnancy is normal and not at high risk, will only allow you to fly until about a month before the expected birth, that is, until week 36 (the end of the eighth month) of pregnancy.

In the case of a multiple pregnancy , for example, the airlines do not allow flying beyond weeks 28 to 32. The reason for this is not related to the danger to the pregnancy, but to the increasing chance of giving birth during the flight as the pregnancy approaches the due date. And there is even someone who experienced it – without knowing she was pregnant!

Who else should I ask…?

There are situations that need to be taken into account when you plan the date of the flight, its continuation and its destination, for example a history of premature birth or a medical condition that increases the risk of premature birth. In such cases, it is recommended to consult your gynecologist before purchasing a plane ticket.

As before any flight abroad, it is advisable to have medical insurance, and most companies do not cover pregnant women beyond the 32nd week (end of the seventh month) of pregnancy.   

You must mention to the insurance company that you are pregnant and make sure that the medical insurance policy includes coverage for pregnant women.

Many insurance companies offer pregnant women special insurance, which includes an extension to a regular policy for travel abroad. Before you purchase such insurance, it is recommended that you check exactly which situations related to pregnancy are covered by the policy. 

Do I need to bring a medical certificate for the flight?

Most airlines, including El Al , request a basic medical certificate starting at a certain week of pregnancy (usually starting at week 28). Since the requirements may vary from company to company, it is recommended that you check with the company through which you intend to fly whether you must present a medical certificate, and if so – what it must include. 

With us you can generally get a summary of medical information. 

At what stage is it best to flying while pregnant ?

In terms of timing, the second trimester of pregnancy is considered the most ideal time for a trip abroad. This period comes after the critical phase, when most of the organs in the fetus develop, and before the period when the danger of birth-related complications increases.

And there is another reason: the second trimester of pregnancy is usually accompanied by less nausea , fewer mood swings and less exhaustion. In short, a better overall feeling, which allows you to enjoy yourself much more when walking the streets of Paris or Rome, or doing sit-ups on some Greek island. 

Any more tips for me to incorporate flight planning?

If it is a flight that is not necessary, depending on your medical condition, the age of the pregnancy and how you feel during the pregnancy, you should carefully consider the time of the flight and the duration of the flight, the medical capabilities at the chosen destination (for any trouble that may come…), and the need for special vaccinations and the possibility of receiving them  during the pregnancy .

Do you have any tips for the flight time?

of course. Although it is safe to flying while pregnant, physiological changes occur during it that may increase the chance of problems during the flight.

like what? Aggravation of excessive nausea and vomiting, swelling of the legs due to fluid accumulation, and congestion and a stuffy nose that can cause discomfort during pressure changes during the flight.

Here are some recommended things to do flying while pregnant :

• It is important to get up for a walk and stretch whenever possible to allow the blood to flow, and to prevent situations of swelling in the legs and ankles, as well as muscle contractions. That is why it is also recommended to choose a seat next to the aisle so that you have free access without having to overtake at least one person on the way.

• It is important to drink a lot of fluids ( especially water ) to avoid dehydration. Our body is designed to function optimally when it is in an environment of about 50% humidity, but because of the dry air that flows in the passenger cabin, on an airplane the numbers may drop as low as 10%. Dry, very dry.

• The seat belt should be worn low around the pelvis, or at a high point on the stomach, and not too tight.

• Wear loose clothing that you can easily take off if you are too hot. Tight socks to aid circulation and comfortable shoes.

Anything I should know about venous thrombosis?

The main risk for a pregnant woman on a long flight is the appearance of venous thrombosis as a result of the prolonged sitting. This is the formation of a blood clot in a vein, part of which (from the clot) may break off, be carried away in the blood and block the pulmonary arteries.

However, this is a rare occurrence, and the tips we have given you (plus wearing elastic socks) will help reduce the risk to a minimum.

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