Want to get in a vacation or business trip before the baby comes? Traveling during pregnancy, especially during the second trimester, can be a nice way to enjoy the precious time before baby and traveling with a partner can create special memories of simpler times. But it is safe to fly while pregnant?
There is a fairly universal consensus in both the medical and air travel industries that travel up to the 36th week of pregnancy is perfectly safe. Exceptions are women with cardiovascular or respiratory issues, which can be intensified during air travel. All women should first consult with their birth professional before making the trip to discuss concerns and receive the green light. Keep scrolling for tips to make your trip as enjoyable as possible.
There is obvious reason to avoid air travel during your third trimester. If you go into labor or have any type of labor-related symptoms, you will not be able to get the medical attention that you need or want. Imagine being over an ocean when you experience your first Braxton Hicks contraction and not being able to call your doctor or midwife, or simply the discomfort of being in close quarters with strangers when it happens.
If there is any way to bump up a trip to the end of your second trimester, you should. Otherwise, it is important that you consult with your medical professional to discuss the risk potential and also carefully study your intended airline’s policies.
American Airlines: Traveling on a domestic flight within four weeks of a fight (either leg) will require a note from your physician stating you have been examined recently and given clearance. Once you reach the 7-day period around your due date, you will not be permitted to travel.
International travel within one month of your due-date will require a note from your doctor stating that you have been examined in the last 48 hours and are safe to fly. You will also be required to book your trip with the help of a special assistance coordinator who will send the forms directly to your doctor.
Delta Airlines: Delta does not impose any restrictions on travel for women flying while pregnant, but does not refund tickets due to pregnancy-related events, either.
United Airlines: After the 36th week of pregnancy, a woman is required to submit two copies of a doctor’s certificate stating an examination has taken place within the last 72 hours and that clearance to fly has been given. Additionally, the due date must be after the last flight of the itinerary.
Southwest Airlines: While the airline does not have any official policy for pregnant passengers, it does recommend against air travel after the 37th week of pregnancy and advises that pregnant women may be asked not to sit in an emergency aisle.
Would you benefit from some additional support in planning your trip, your labor, or navigating motherhood? After Third is a village of providers who want to work with you during this exciting time. Sign up on AfterThird to get access to wonderful services and support in your neighborhood. Let us help you figure out what you need.