What You Should Know Before Air Travel During Pregnancy

Air travel during pregnancy is quite safe nowadays. While there is no great danger to the mother and the baby, it is always better to be cautious and take certain precautions to ensure that the travel during pregnancy is comfortable and risk free.

If you are travelling first or business class there should be no problem about leg room. But if you are travelling economy then you should try to get an aisle or bulkhead seat when you do the booking or check in.

Frequent flyers say that the seat over the wing, right in the middle of the plane are less bumpy during takeoff and landing. Another reason to opt for the seats near the wing is that the emergency exits are there. Sometimes they have extra leg room, but this isn’t always the case.

Most airlines have rules concerning travel during pregnancy and it is always a good idea to check with the carrier as you book the tickets. Some of the airlines ask for some extra medical forms to be filled.

You need to have some documentation to prove your due date. On domestic sectors, you can often fly up to the 36th week while on international routes travel during pregnancy is generally permitted until the 32nd week of gestation. All airlines set their own rules, so do check before you book.

There are certain exercises which you could do when seated, these exercises will go a long way in preventing blood clots or DVT (deep vein thrombosis) when you travel during pregnancy. DVT, especially on long haul flights, is a serious risk factor and must be prevented at all costs. You should also get up and walk up and down the aisle every half hour. Flexing and extending the ankles will prevent you from getting phlebitis.

Fasten the seat beat only at the pelvic level and not over the stomach. You could also ask for an extra cushion for the back. The low humidity in the aircraft will have a dehydrating effect on you so you would need to drink a lot of water during the flight. Make sure you carry extra water with you as the glasses provided can often be rather small.

The contraindications to air travel during pregnancy would include severe anemia, sickle cell disease and a history of thrombophlebitis. So, if you have any of these problems try to avoid flying.

Yellow fever vaccination is required if you are planning to travel to 33 countries in Africa and 11 countries in South America. Though no abnormalities to the baby have been cited after the vaccine was administrated to pregnant women, there are some concerns. So think twice before you decide to travel during pregnancy, to these areas where yellow fever is endemic.

If you are transiting a region or country where the disease has not been reported but the regulations demand the certificate for yellow fever vaccination, then it is better to get hold of a letter from a doctor stating that you do not need the vaccination.

However, the consensus is that travel during pregnancy to these endemic areas should be postponed until the baby is born. The vaccine can then be given without of causing danger to the baby.