Q&A: Is a six-hour plane flight dangerous in early pregnancy?
Is a six-hour plane flight dangerous in early pregnancy?
Most people are concerned about changes in air pressure when flying during pregnancy. But in today’s pressurized jet cabins, this is not a problem anymore. What concerns me is the fact that you will be flying for six hours. I have to assume that you’ll be flying over water. (Hawaii? Europe?) The problem is that there’s a 20-percent chance of miscarriage in any pregnancy. If anything like that were to happen to you in the sky—over water—your only medical care will be what’s available on the plane … almost nothing!
I’ve flown most of the major airlines and an airplane is not a very good hospital (nor should it be.) I’ve actually been the doctor when the loudspeaker has asked, “Is there a doctor on board?” It’s not fun. (The equipment is so lacking on some planes that I now bring my own stethoscope when I fly.)
I would be hesitant about taking a long flight over land, but at least the plane will pass over a large city, a potential pit stop in an emergency, about every hour. But flying over water is taking a risk, not because of the pressure, but because of your distance from medical facilities.