Pregnancy and Travel

A pregnant woman and her spouse meet with her obstetrician.Attention passengers, fasten your seat belts and put your tray tables in the upright and locked position. Prepare for takeoff. While you may not necessarily plan to travel by plane during your pregnancy, things may come up or you may decide to take one last vacation. Either way, there are certain things you should consider before leaving on a jet plane.

The first thing you should do is check with your physician and the airline. You should always consult your OB-GYN prior to traveling. American Airlines and Southwest both advise against traveling within four weeks of your due date. Delta has no direct advisory but recommends speaking with your physician. The safest time to travel during your pregnancy is generally during your second trimester, weeks 13 to 28.

Here are few other tips for air travel during pregnancy:

  • Pack a copy of your prenatal record. This contains information that might be helpful to medical staff if you experience complications while on vacation.
  • Make sure you’re covered. Check your health insurance policy to make sure you have coverage options in the U.S. If not, some offer the ability to purchase additional travel policies.
  • Take advantage of the perks. Airports are big and busy, don’t be afraid to ask for a wheelchair to help get you from point A to point B.
  • Stay thirsty. Keep hydrated. Don’t be shy about asking the flight attendant for more water. Plane cabins have low humidity, which can cause dehydration.
  • Strap in. Wear your seatbelt under your abdomen. Don’t forget to do the same when you travel by car.