Can I Fly During Pregnancy?

As people no doubt keep telling you, you won’t get to spend much quality time with your partner once the baby arrives. You’ll be sleep deprived, nappy-changing, baby-rocking partners in crime, but you won’t get much alone time. For the first few months at least, any grown up moments snatched during naptime will probably be spent talking about how amazing the baby is. You’re probably thinking, there’s no way you’re going to be one of those mums. You will. At least for the first few months.

With this in mind, it’s worth making the most of your last few months of quality couple time, before you become infatuated and all-consumed by the tiny perfect bundle who’s about to steal your heart. Whether it’s a relaxing week in the Maldives, a once in a lifetime trip to New York, or a weekend in Paris you fancy, now is the time to do it.

Can I fly during pregnancy?

If you are having a healthy, low-risk pregnancy, you should be safe to fly during the first and second trimesters. If you are having a high-risk pregnancy, or have suffered spotting, excessive morning sickness or high blood pressure, you should speak to your healthcare provider before booking flights. You should also speak to your healthcare provider if you have previously experienced a miscarriage or preterm labour. They will assess your individual needs before recommending whether or not you can fly.

When is it unsafe to fly?

This is up to the individual airlines. Most will happily accept your business up until week 27. From week 27 onwards, your risk of going into labour increases. Some airlines may be happy to take you further into the third trimester, but others may refuse. You will need to contact the airline to check their policies. Some may require a letter confirming your due date signed by your healthcare provider.

By the time you reach your final month of pregnancy, most airlines will refuse to carry you. If you are carrying twins, this cut off point may come even sooner. You will need to check each airline individually to find out what their policies are for flying during the third trimester.

Will flying harm my baby?

No. Your baby will not be affected by the cabin pressure. However, you should avoid flying in smaller planes that do not have cabin pressure.

When is the best time to fly?

The best time to fly is probably during your second trimester. By that point, you should hopefully be over the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester. By the time you reach your third trimester, you will find it more difficult to get comfortable, and may struggle to find airlines who will carry you.

The second trimester is seen as the ideal time to take a babymoon, or enjoy time with friends and family. Book your tickets, pack your bags and remember these top tips for flying during pregnancy:

  1. Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water
  2. Comfort before style – wear comfortable loose fitting clothes
  3. Ask for an aisle seat – stretch those legs
  4. Go for a waddle – walk around if you are starting to feel uncomfortable

Bon voyage!

Written by Fiona, proud owner of a toddler, @fiona_peacock

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

Fiona PeacockCan I Fly During Pregnancy?

Comments 12

  1. Rachelle

    My husband just took a fly to his home country for holidays. He didn’t see his family for almost 3 years and missed them badly. We planned to go together but when we learn about our pregnancy, we decided not to take any risk and I agreed he goes without me. Am six months pregnant for my first. I hope it won’t be too hard the one month without my hubby…

  2. Cheryl

    I flew from uk to Malta for New Year’s Eve and im in canneries at the minute the weather is lovely. I’ve had no problems except my ankles swelling up but they went down the next day after the flight! I’m 24 wks x

  3. D Ferry

    I went to brazil from uk when i was 7 months and I developed blood clot on my leg, found our at next month when i had a pain in the back of my leg.. had do take injections everyday during the rest of my pregnancy and 1 year treatment with tablets after baby born .. but now in my second pregnancy they play safe and i am back having injections every day 🙁 so be aware that things can go wrong

  4. KT

    Something that hasn’t been addressed in the blog is tips for the airport. With increased security they’ve added machines to capture your image which could be harmful to your growing baby. In the US, all you have to do is say that you would like to opt out of going through the machines and they will have a female screener come over and escort you to a side area where they will give you a quick pat down.

    It is not as invasive as people think and when you have already experienced complications with this pregnancy or the last, it is an option that can give you peace of mind that you’ve not exposed your child to the harmful imaging machines they are now using at airports.

  5. Pregnancy is not an illness

    Pregnancy is not a sickness though. Your side affects may be sickness but the pregnancy itself isn’t. I say this ALL the time because of my job and being an independent woman, people try and tell me not to do this and not to do that, so I simply tell them, ‘Pregnancy is not an illness’ which is correct in the true sense of word. I know my own limits to what I can and can’t do during pregnancy which I am sure everyone else does too.

  6. Deep

    I would love to stop hearing people saying that pregnancy is not a sickness. If your pregnancy is good then lucky you and enjoy it!! Just stop saying this sentence as general, pregnancy can be very difficult and then travelling become a nightmare. Look at your own a judge yourself you might be pregnant and sick because of your pregnancy and then your pregnancy became a sickness. The important thing is to stay positive the end will be happy.

  7. Kate

    I agree with the caution for those with excessive morning sickness! I travelled home to Australia from the UK and back in week 15 and 18, had booked the flights before getting pregnant and thought I shouldn’t be too sick by that stage. I was wrong!!
    The flights were horrible. I threw up non stop for nearly 20 hours despite ginger and wrist bands, on the way back too. If you have bad morning sickness, I would recommend not travelling far if you have a choice!

  8. Lore

    I love this blog. Every time I have a question or a concern or something (a change) is happening with my body and I think on either call my doctor or ask on my next visit, I open the app and there is the answer. I am leaving out of the country tomorrow for a small vacation, even though my doctor told me is ok, I still was a little nervous, now that I read today’s blog and comments I feel more confident and ready to enjoy my vacations! 🙂

  9. Daniela

    Don’t plan on too much sightseeing. Take it slow. And take fitted compressing stockings. I loved visiting my sister in Vienna while six month along. I needed one day at home doing nothing for every day on my feet waddling to some sights though.

  10. Amy

    It depends on which medicine you are taking and what the pregnancy category is. A & B are safe, C has not been studied in pregnant humans. Is your OBGYN aware of the 5 meds you are taking?

  11. Busie

    I agree that flying during pregnancy gets harder and harder as you progress, but then again pregnancy isn’t a sicknesses, its is a great condition

  12. Esther

    Am Esther 7 months pregnant but my worries are am taking 5 different kind of medicine. My question is will the medicine harm my innocent baby?