Q&A: Is a six-hour plane flight dangerous in early pregnancy?
Is a six-hour plane flight dangerous in early pregnancy?
The short answer to this is—no. Many moms-to-be travel for work or pleasure. Even women whose jobs take place in the air, like commercial pilots and flight attendants, are allowed to work while they are pregnant.
That said, here are some guidelines for travel:
- Pregnancy increases the coagulation factors in your blood and slows your circulation. Whether in the air or on a long car trip, be sure to get up every two hours or so and walk around for 10 minutes. Try to avoid sitting you’re your legs crossed, and wear support hose if possible.
- It is easy to get dehydrated when you travel. Remember to drink lots of fluids. (That will keep you walking to the bathroom every few hours too!)
- If you are having nausea, be prepared that the ups and downs of flying may not be particularly soothing. If you have medications for nausea, take them with you on your trip, even if you haven’t needed them recently.
Travel over the poles and at high altitudes exposes passengers to slightly increased levels of cosmic radiation, but the amounts are not very high. On average a long flight may be the equivalent of one added day of regular background radiation that we all experience at sea level. Cosmic radiation from occasional flying isn’t considered a significant risk to pregnancy.
If you are at all likely to need medical care while you are away, bring a copy of your prenatal chart. In general, except for dire emergencies, it is best to call your regular doctor or midwife if you have a problem while you are away. She can help you figure out if you need to obtain urgent care. Bon voyage!