Most parents traveling with children know how it works when you board an airplane: you strap the kids in for take-off and once the announcement comes that we’ve reached cruising altitude, it’s time for either a Cheerios snack or crying for the rest of the flight. But things aren’t so simple when that child is still inside of you, and you’re traveling during pregnancy. As if there weren’t a bajillion other things to worry about, the safety of your unborn child should be taken into consideration even with the most minor of things—walking up and down the aisle and how you buckle up, for example.
Hopefully you aren’t flying within days of your due date, with the possibility of an in-flight arrival like what happened when babies were born on both Southwest and Air Asia. It’s simply a coincidence that both are low cost carriers!
Since holiday travel usually brings out the families of all sorts, we’d like to share a few tips for traveling with a baby on board…
The tips below come from Dr. Charles Hux, the resident “multiples doctor” on The Learning Channel’s ‘A Baby Story’ show. His articles have appeared in American Journal of Obstetrics/Gynecology, Prenatal Diagnosis, New England Journal of Medicine and Genetics, (and now Jaunted). He is the author of the new book, ‘Nine Healthy Months’.
Tips for Air Travel during Pregnancy by Dr. Charles Hux:
- Air travel is safe for most women up to 34 weeks of pregnancy.
- Each airline has specific rules as it relates to air travel during pregnancy, so check with the carrier beforehand. Some airlines require a letter from your doctor stating how many weeks pregnant you are at the time of your trip.
- Second or third trimester vaginal bleeding, premature labor, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, type 1 or type 2 diabetes, sickle cell anemia (or trait), and multiple gestation are some reasons that air flight might not be permitted.
- If you get nauseous when flying, anti-nausea medications are suggested. They are safe to take during pregnancy.
- Drink plenty of fluids before you leave, and drink more fluids during the flight. Do not drink lots of carbonated beverages, as this can increase the chance of nausea.
- Wear thigh-high support stockings. This will reduce the risk of fluid accumulation in your legs and feet, and reduce the risk of blood clots forming in the legs.
- Get up and walk around the cabin once every hour.
- Always use your seat belt below your belly when seated.