What you need to know about flying while you are pregnant

This post was in collaboration with Mango Airlines and is about flying during pregnancy.

One of the most popular questions many first-time moms ask is: “Is it safe to travel during pregnancy and what are the current laws regarding this?”

This post will have all the important information that you need to know about flying while you are pregnant and includes tips that can help you have a comfortable journey.

It is important that you ask your doctor for advice before you travel. I remember that during my last pregnancy, I planned a trip to Durban for my babymoon, but my doctor recommended that I cancel the trip. I followed his advice. My baby ended up arriving before his due date.

Can I travel during pregnancy?

Yes, you can during – especially during early pregnancy, and if you do not have any complications.

For both single pregnancies and multiple pregnancies between 28-35 Weeks:

A medical certificate stating that you are fit to travel by air will be required. You will need to carry a copy of the medical certificate, on person, during travel.

For single pregnancies from 36 Weeks and multiple pregnancies from 32 Weeks:

Most airlines do not permit Guests to travel. It is dangerous for both you and your soon-to-be-born baby or babies.

flying

Are there any risks traveling during pregnancy?

If you have a high-risk pregnancy, I suggest that you consult your doctor first otherwise it should be fine – unless there is a major breakout like Ebola etc which puts you and your baby’s health at risk.

There are germs all around us and when you are pregnant, it can be easier to pick up an infection. It is important you take your vitamins and perhaps carry a hand sanitizer when you are traveling locally and internationally.

There may be a slight risk of developing deep vein thrombosis – however, this is more likely to occur during longer flights. To try to prevent this risk, keep your circulation flowing by doing stretches or walking up and down the cabin.

Many women end up with swollen feet after traveling. This could be an indication that you need to slow down and get some rest. Also, check in with your doctor if you experience any of the following before or after traveling:

  • Fetal movement changes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Vision changes
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling

The main reason that many women don’t travel much during the first trimester is because of the morning sickness. This can make your flight very uncomfortable. After 36 weeks, you can go into labor anytime which makes traveling long distance (by car or plane) a big No.

The second trimester is usually the best time to travel because your energy levels are better and morning sickness should be a thing of the past.

Can flying cause a miscarriage?

Remember that the risk of having a miscarriage is higher in the first three months –  whether you’re traveling or not. This has been a debate for many years. You can read about it here – www.nytimes.com.

Will changes in altitude or temperature make morning sickness worse?

There is a chance your morning sickness can be aggravated – however you are more likely to get dehydrated at high altitudes.

Is the airplane cabin pressure safe during pregnancy?

On commercial airplanes, yes. The cabins of the airplanes are pressurized to ensure your comfort.

Are Security metal detectors and full body scanners safe to use when you are pregnant?

Yes

Do I need to check with my medical aid before flying?

It is a good idea to read up on your medical aid to find out if your current plan covers emergencies during flying.

10 Tips for flying during pregnancy:

1. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

2. Leave earlier for the airport so that you don’t have to rush check-in. I highly recommend Mango’s online check-in service.

3. Carry a few snacks or purchase something from the airline during your flight.

4. Drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink anything with ice in it—ice may be made with contaminated water.

5. Don’t carry heavy bags as carry on luggage. A back pack is the best because it helps cut down on back strain.

6. Place the seatbelt below your belly for maximum comfort.

7. Book or ask to be seated in an aisle seat for easy access to the bathroom facilities.

8. Walk around the cabin hourly, this helps with circulation.

9. Stretch and flex your feet and legs in your seat every half an hour. When seated, rotate your ankles and wiggle your toes.

10. Carry your emergency contact details of your next of kin, a family member and your Doctor in your identity document. If you are already into your 2nd or 3rd trimester, a prenatal chart is required by airlines like Mango.

Other than this – I wish you Bon Voyage.

For further information please contact Mango’s Medical Reservations Department on 086 10 10 214 or visit www.flymango.com.

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