New safety guidelines: flying while pregnant

Health officials in the UK have issued revised guidelines for women planning to fly while pregnant. The guidelines issued by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, report the safest time for women to fly is 37 weeks and 32 weeks for women carrying multiple births.

From 37 weeks onwards a woman can go into labour at any time. Most airlines will not allow women to travel after this time, it can also be hard to get travel insurance after this point. If you plan to travel after the recommeded time, check with your airline first as you may be turned away at the check-in desk.

Although the report suggests it is completely safe for women with a low-risk pregnancy to fly before 37 weeks, it recommeded that women over 28 weeks should carry a doctors note and medical records just in case.

The report states: “Although everyone who flies is exposed to a slight increase in radiation, there is no evidence that flying causes miscarriage, early labour or a woman’s waters to break. The changes in air pressure and the decrease in humidity on an aircraft have not been shown to have a harmful effect on pregnancy either.”

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Be sure to check your airlines policy for flying while pregnant as you will not be asked about pregnancy when booking your flight however, you will be asked when you arrive at the check-in desk. It is best to take written permission from your doctor stating it is safe for you to fly.

When booking choose your seat carefully, try give yourself as much room as possible to move around, an aisle seat is usually best. Secure the belt under your abdomen and take regular walks to promote regular circulation. Also, drink plenty of water as the low humidity can cause dehydration.

maternity & infant