29/08/2012 Lanzarote (BG) - Whether you booked a flight before you realized you were expecting, or have a little one on the way and want to squeeze in a holiday before all the late nights arrive we’ve gathered answers to the most common questions when it comes to flying during pregnancy.
Can I fly during the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy?
Many expectant mums avoid flying during this time period for two main reasons. It is when nausea and tiredness are most common, and the risk of suffering a miscarriage is also highest in the first 12 weeks. However, NHS guidelines state there is no reason not to fly if you feel well and have discussed it with your GP or midwife. It really depends on whether you feel comfortable with making the trip.
How Late into my pregnancy can I fly?
This can vary from airline to airline although in the majority of cases, including flights with Thomson Airways, you are entitled to fly up to the 36th week, provided your pregnancy is progressing as normal and no complications have arisen so far. That means you’ll need to have flown home before the beginning of your 37th week. If you are after 28 weeks, including your return flight, you are obliged to inform customer services of your situation and you’ll also need a note from your doctor or midwife confirming you are fit to fly.
I’m carry twins-does that make a difference?
Yes. The majority of airlines, including Thomson Airways, will carry expectant mothers up to 32 weeks; you will need to have completed the return flight of your journey by the end of that week.
What about long haul flights?
Most airlines tend to have the same regulations for both short and long haul flights, although some pregnant women prefer to avoid travelling long distances during their first and third trimesters, mainly for their own comfort and peace of mind. Long haul flights, flights of more than 5 hours, increase the risk of thrombosis and the occurrence of blood clots. According to the NHS website it’s not clear whether the risk is higher if you’re pregnant, compression stockings can help reduce the risk.
- Is there anything I should do on the plane?
- Yes, in addition to wearing compression stockings it is worth your while noting the following:
- Wear your seatbelt below your bump, rather than above it.
-Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and pack plenty of snacks I your hand luggage.
-When permitted, get out of your seat as often as you can and do some calf exercise and stretches.
-Consider reserving an aisle seat in advance ensuring you have enough space or book an extra seat just to be on the safe side.
What about insurance?
As per all holidays your insurance must cover you for the entire duration of the trip. The majority of standard insurance policies only cover up to the 28th week of pregnancy so make sure to check with your provider prior to booking.
Could airport scanners be harmful to my baby?
Airport scanners use a low-frequency electromagnetic field and are considered safe for everybody, including pregnant women. It’s worth noting that pregnant airport employees walk through these scanners every day.
Can I take vaccinations if im pregnant?
If you must travel to a destination that requires vaccinations you need to book an appointment with your GP or midwife to discuss your options. More worthwhile info can be found on the NHS website here.
Is there anything else I can do to prepare?
Prior to travelling ensure you know how to access help while on holiday. Find out and store the details of the closest doctor and hospital and be sure to take a copy of your maternity notes or a general medical history with you. Included should be your blood type, any medications you are allergic to, and the details of your doctor back home. If nothing else, it’ll give you peace of mind on your holidays.