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Travelaero Tips – FLYING WHILE PREGNANT

Where ever you are travelling you need to ensure that should the worst happen, you are prepared for it. Follow these tips to ensure your health and that of your unborn baby—before you ever set foot on the plane

There are some restrictions as to just who should and should not travel the skies when they are pregnant. Generally, women who are having a healthy, normal pregnancy are free to come and go as they please. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends women don’t fly after their 36th week of pregnancy.

Airlines are sometimes unwilling to carry women who are past their 28th week of pregnancy because of the risk of premature labour. Ticket agents won’t ask if you’re pregnant when you book a seat, but you could be questioned about your due date at the gate. In fact, an airline can bar you from travel if they are worried about how pregnant you are. To avoid delays — and more importantly, to confirm it’s safe for you to fly — get written permission to fly from your doctor. The letter should state that you have been examined and are not likely to go into labour in the next 72 hours.
It is also highly important that you ensure you calculate how many weeks along you will be at the end of your holiday. Just because you were within the acceptable time frame on the way there, doesn’t mean you will be on the way back and they may refuse you re-entry into the country (until you have given birth) because of this. You should also check to see which airline you will be traveling back with. Some airlines have different regulations about pregnancy and while it may be 35 weeks is the limit for the airline on the way there, it could be 28 weeks on the way back.

Stiff and swollen feet, ankles, and legs are a problem for many passengers on long trips, and especially so for pregnant women. Elevate your feet whenever possible.
One of the most helpful things that you can do to keep your blood flowing is to move around. Go for a walk in the aisle every hour. Every half hour, flex your feet, rotate your ankles and wiggle your toes. These are simple little stretches you can do right in your seat without bothering the person next to you. And if there is no one next to you, then put your feet up and enjoy the extra space.

Flying during pregnancy can slightly increase your risk of thrombosis (blood clots) and varicose veins. Wearing support stockings or socks (not tights, which increase your risk of developing thrush) when you fly will help keep your circulation flowing and relieve swollen veins. For maximum protection, put the stockings or socks on before you get out of bed in the morning and keep them on all day.
To kill time during a long trip, take your walkman or iPod with soothing music, chanting, prayers, or some nice baby development books. These will give you and your unborn baby immense happiness and peace.
Try to book a seat with comfort in mind:

A seat near the bathroom will facilitate more frequent bladder emptying.

An aisle seat will make it easier to get up for quick walks (and trips to the washroom)

Bulkhead seats have the most legroom.

First class seats will be most comfortable – if you can afford the expenditure.

Emergency row seats are also known for providing extra leg space. However, being seated by the door is not an option for pregnant women.

The ACOG recommends that pregnant women keep their seatbelt on during the entire flight since you never know when turbulence will strike and there is a risk of trauma when it does happen.

If you do find yourself experiencing regular, painful contractions while en route, then speak up. Notify the cabin crew immediately that you’re having contractions and could be going into labour. You will certainly not be the first women to have ever delivered a baby high above the ground. While the crew is likely trained for just such an emergency, or at least to help with childbirth, your flight will probably make an emergency landing at the closest airport to make sure you get the medical attention you need.

P.S

If you are concern whether or not it is safe to walk through the airport metal detectors. The answer is ABSOLUTELY! These machines are not x-ray machines and will cause absolutely no harm to you or your baby.

Can the Metal Detectors Harm my Baby?
Metal detectors emit a very low frequency electromagnetic field in order to detect metal items. These metal detectors emit the same kind of electromagnetic field as any of the electrical appliances found in everyday households and uses such low levels that it is not considered harmful in any way even for pregnant women. Both the walk through and hand held metal detectors are perfectly safe to use.

Can I be Exposed to the Radiation from the Luggage Scanning Machine?
The machine that scans hand held luggage for dangerous content uses x-ray technology to see inside the bags without opening them. However, in order to make the machine safe to use on a daily basis by the terminal staff the machine does not give off any radiation. In order to be exposed to significant levels of radiation you would need to actually put your hand through the flaps where the bag goes in. Just place your bag on the conveyor belt as normal and then wait for it at the other side, if it makes you feel uneasy there is no reason why you have to wait around the machine itself, but unless you put a limb inside the machine, you are perfectly safe.

Can the Cabin Pressure Harm my Baby?
Airplanes maintain a standard level of pressure within the cabin that is acceptable for healthy individuals to travel in. If you and your baby are healthy you will have no problems in this environment and flying during pregnancy will be safe. The cabin pressure is a bit lower than on land which means your body has to work a bit harder to get a decent supply of oxygen so if you suffer from anemia, a history of blood clots or other circulatory related diseases you should check with your doctor beforehand and consider avoiding plane travel. If travel is mandatory you may be prescribed with oxygen for your journey if flying during pregnancy.









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