Not a few pregnant women are still hesitant to babymoon or traveling long distances because you are afraid to get on a plane. Indeed, not all pregnant women can board a plane, depending on the health condition of the fetus and mother. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use this mode of transportation at all.
Is it safe for pregnant women to board a plane?
Quoted from Mayo Clinicif you have a healthy pregnancy, actually traveling by plane is safe and does not harm the mother or fetus.
However, before deciding to board a plane, it would be a good idea if you consult a doctor first. Apart from that, you also have to find out about airline policies regarding rules for pregnant women boarding planes.
Because maybe each airline has different rules. Generally, you are required to sign a Limited Liability Statement upon check-in.
In high-risk pregnancies, for example bleeding, diabetes or hypertension, you should see a doctor. Your doctor will likely advise you not to fly during pregnancy.
When should pregnant women not fly?
The pregnancy conditions of each pregnant woman can be different. Therefore, consulting a doctor is the first step to determine whether pregnant women can board a plane.
In general, pregnant women can take short-term flights, as long as they have received approval from a doctor. Meanwhile, for long-term flights such as international flights, there are several things that prevent pregnant women from flying, such as:
- This is the first pregnancy and the pregnant woman’s age is more than 35 years or younger than 15 years
- You are pregnant with twins
- Have had a history of placental abnormalities
- Have experienced bleeding or are at high risk of miscarriage
- Have a history of high blood pressure, anemia, diabetes, premature birth, and preeclampsia during pregnancy
Pregnant women may also not be able to board planes due to airline restrictions. The gestational age limit for boarding a plane is generally 36 weeks of gestation. Pregnant women over 37 weeks are usually not permitted to board planes.
At this gestational age, pregnant women can give birth at any time. It would be very risky if a pregnant woman gave birth on a plane, because there might not be expert medical personnel to help handle the birth.
Requirements for pregnant women to board a plane
To be safe when boarding a plane, pregnant women may board a plane by observing the following conditions:
- Check the airline’s boarding policy. Pregnant women can ask what policies apply to pregnant passengers and confirm what medical documents are needed as a doctor’s certificate for pregnant women to be allowed to board the plane.
- Consult a doctor. Before traveling by plane, pregnant women should first consult a doctor.
- Prepare all necessary needs. So that the growth and development of the fetus is not disturbed, make sure pregnant women prepare all the necessities such as snacks, food for pregnant women and medicines that need to be brought.
Risks of pregnant women boarding a plane
Even though it is considered safe, flying while pregnant can also pose risks, including:
1. Blood clots
When pregnant, sitting for a long time in an airplane seat can cause blood to collect in the legs, increasing the risk of blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Cabin air and low humidity can also add to the risk.
2. Increased blood pressure and heart rate
Flying while pregnant can cause blood pressure and heart rate to increase. This generally does not harm healthy pregnant women, but is risky for pregnant women who have a history of high blood pressure or heart disease.
There is an opinion that exposure to natural atmospheric radiation when boarding an airplane can increase the risk of miscarriage or abnormalities in the fetus. However, if pregnant women only occasionally travel by plane, the risk is very low. The risk is higher for pregnant women who often fly by plane.
Tips for flying on a plane for pregnant women
If the obstetrician has allowed the pregnant woman to board a plane while pregnant, then there are several tips that the pregnant woman should follow so that the trip is comfortable and safe. Tips for boarding a plane for pregnant women, namely:
- Avoid wearing tight clothing because it can make pregnant women uncomfortable. Wear loose clothes and soft shoes for more freedom and comfort.
- Choose a seat next to the aisle because it allows pregnant women to move quite freely. Stretch and move your legs periodically when sitting.
- Use and fasten a seat belt under your stomach to avoid stomach pressure or pain.
- Drink lots of water to keep pregnant women hydrated because low humidity in the airplane cabin can cause dehydration.
- Avoid consuming food and drinks that contain gas because at high altitudes the trapped gas can expand, causing discomfort.
- Avoid sitting all the time because it can cause poor blood flow. Occasionally walk in the hallway to improve blood circulation, or if not possible, stretch your ankles periodically.
Always remember that pregnant women must get permission from a doctor to fly while pregnant. Also bring a medical certificate from the doctor, pregnancy records and any medicines or vitamins the pregnant woman needs from the doctor.
The date stated in the doctor’s certificate for pregnant women to be allowed to board a plane generally cannot exceed 30 days from the date of departure or return.