Q&A: I'm 6 months pregnant and want to travel, but don't know if it's safe.
I am six months pregnant with my fourth child and want to go with my husband on a job interview in a city 1100 miles away. Is it safe for me to fly that far at this stage in my pregnancy?
Flying itself doesn’t pose substantial risk to pregnancy. While radiation exposure is slightly higher in the air, the amount in one flight is about the same as one additional day of pregnancy on the ground. The pressurization of commercial airplanes is adequate to provide oxygen to you and the baby as long as you are healthy. Long episodes of sitting do increase the risk for deep venous blood clots in your legs, so moms-to-be and others at increased risk for clots are generally advised to walk around every two hours for 10 minutes to keep the circulation moving.
The other issue is being that far from home. In a healthy pregnancy, it is unlikely that you will need medical care over a short trip, but if you are at increased risk of preterm labor or other pregnancy complications, it may make sense not to stray so far from home. I know a mom who delivered a preterm infant in a distant city, and then basically had to move there for the several months it took for the baby to stabilize and be ready to transfer back home. But that is an unusual story, and in general healthy low risk moms should feel free to travel during pregnancy. After all, pilots and flight attendants can fly when they are pregnant so why shouldn’t you? Your doctor or midwife can provide individualized advice for you about this trip. Carrying a copy of your records with you is never a bad idea as well.