flying, pregnancy, women's health, obstetrics, safetyWhether you’re flying for a business trip or a babymoon, air travel while pregnant is considered safe for most women. And with a bit of prep, you can have a safe, comfortable flight without any additional stress.

For women who have healthy pregnancies, most medical providers consider air travel before week 36 of your pregnancy to be safe. Of course, check with your health care provider before you fly, especially as you get closer to your due date.

Your doctor might caution against air travel if you have pregnancy complications or are carrying multiples. Many women and health care providers say the best time to fly is the second trimester when you’re feeling good and the risk of pregnancy emergencies is the lowest.

Before You Fly While Pregnant

Consider how long the flight will be. International travel isn’t recommended after 28 weeks. If you are flying a long distance, you might want to add a connecting flight. Although the journey will take longer, more stops allow you to stretch and have a meal.

  • Double-check the carrier guidelines. Each airline has different policies for flying during pregnancy.  
  • Book the aisle row ahead of time. Besides the chance to stretch out your legs a bit more, you’ll want to stay hydrated and have easy access to the restroom.  
  • Consider flight insurance. Nausea or illness is a possibility in any trimester, so it’s helpful to have an alternative plan in case you don’t feel well the day of the flight.

When You Fly While Pregnant

  • When you buckle, secure the belt under your abdomen.
  • Promote circulation. Take occasional walks up and down the aisle. While seated, flex and extend your ankles often. Don’t wear restrictive clothing and consider wearing compression socks, which might help prevent blood clots.
  • Protect yourself against germs with a gentle hand sanitizer. Bring along some wipes to clean armrests (don’t forget the waiting area) and trays.
  • Bring a water bottle to fill up when you are past security. Drink water every time the cart passes.
  • Avoid gassy foods, such as broccoli, and carbonated drinks. Instead, bring healthy snacks such as carrot sticks, hard-boiled eggs, or dried fruits.
  • Make a contingency plan. Decide how you’ll get medical care during your trip and at your destination, if necessary.

If you have a question about your travel plans during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to contact our medical team at Creekside Center for Women—(479) 582-9268—to discuss your situation.