air travel during pregnancy

Air Travel During Pregnancy – Is it safe?

In women with a healthy pregnancy, air travel would not pose any problems. Even though, it is suggested to take precautions while you plan for such type of travel. According to health experts, there is no potential harm in traveling before the 36th week of pregnancy. After this time, your lengthened stomach can make airport journey a lot challenging. Along with this time restrictions, there are a few more concerns and precautions discussed in this article that will aid in making your trip the most comfortable and safest.

Should you plan air travel during pregnancy?

As per the views of doctors, it is quite safe to travel by air or any other means until you don’t see any visible concerns or complications with your pregnancy. The right time to travel would be during your 2nd trimester of pregnancy. This is the time when you would no longer feel morning sickness and fatigue as in earlier months of pregnancy. This is the time when the risks related to pregnancy emergency are seen to be the lowest.

Who is more prone to risks of air travel during pregnancy?

Doctors recommend that expectant mothers who have been going through complicated pregnancy should avoid air travel from 32nd week of pregnancy till the baby gets delivered. This is due to the reason, that traveling after this time can add to complications like premature labor.

If a pregnant woman is experiencing below mentioned risk factors, then she should avoid air travel. These are acute anemia, cardiac disease, respiration related ailments, recent bone fractures, and recent hemorrhage.

What should be the right course of action?

It is important to consult with your doctor before you plan to fly. He or she will guide you of all those complications in pregnancy that can get deteriorated due to air travel or need immediate care. Along with the health care provider, several airlines do not permit pregnant women after 36th weeks of pregnancy. Though this time restriction varies from one airline to other, so it is important to check it before you travel.

Another thing that is important to be considered is the length of your flight. Before doing the booking, it is important to define tour details to your doctor. If he allows you for flying, then you must take a few precautions during your flight.

Before flying

  • Contact airline and check their policy for pregnant travelers. Also, inquire whether they need any note from the doctor confirming the pregnancy due date.
  • Check with the health insurer about any medical assistance or coverage they provide for pregnant travelers.
  • In case of an overseas journey, check about your requirement for a “supplemental policy” that also provide coverage for international travel.

At the time of flying

  • Buckle up and fasten the belt under your abdomen
  • Most of the airlines have smaller bathrooms and narrow aisles that can get challenging to walk. Potential turbulence can shake the airplane, so ensure you hold onto the seatbacks tightly while you navigate the aisle.
  • Select an aisle seat that makes it convenient to get up, stretch your body and reach the restroom easily.
  • Travel on reputed airlines that provide pressurized cabins in place of smaller private planes.
  • Take occasional walks, and extend and flex ankles periodically. Avoid tightfitting clothes. Wear compression stockings. All this will promote proper blood circulation in your body.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of fluids to avoid dehydration.

A few things to check about:

  • Decompression stockings to assist in proper blood flow in the body.
  • Nausea remedies to get relief from motion sickness.
  • High altitude can cause discomfort due to the expansion of intestinal gas. So check about gas remedies. Avoid eating foods like carbonated drinks, broccoli, etc. that leads to gassy foods before taking the flight.
  • International travel can lead to a bacterial infection that can cause diarrhea. So, check about diarrhea remedy.
  • Depending on the duration of the trip, you may need medical care and prenatal care. So, find out whether the airlines provide this facility.

Tips to make it safe air travel during pregnancy

  • Dress in comfortable clothes. Prefer loose cotton clothes and comfortable shoes.
  • Take a comfortable pillow.
  • Plan for rest stops, stretches and restroom breaks.
  • Carry a homemade snack with you.
  • Carry a copy of prenatal records.

Also read: Is Loud Noise Or Music Safe For The Baby During Pregnancy?


For pregnant women who are enjoying a healthy pregnancy, an air journey is safe. Though, it is important to not risk yours and your baby’s life during this critical period of pregnancy. Consultation with your doctor and following the above precautions will make your pregnancy completely safe and healthy.