Airplane Travel and Pregnancy

Updated on October 22, 2010
K.B. asks from Saint Louis, MO
13 answers

Does anyone know the rules about travelling on an airplane while you are pregnant? I'm due in early February, but am planning to travel back to Texas for Thanksgiving and to see my family since I don't know when I'll get to return after baby is born. I was just curious. I plan to ask my OB next week at my appointment

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answers from Kansas City on

Most doctors won't let you travel after 36wks, earlier if you a high risk for any reason. What I will tell you, is that even though I don't think airlines legally can prevent you from flying some will give you a harder time than others. I just went to San Diego from 30-31.5wks, so I brought a doctors note saying my due date and that I was fine to fly (and I showed it to a pain in the rear airline worker), so I didn't have to deal with the hassle. Totally would be my suggestion is to get a note, even if you don't "need" it, it's better than having to argue with them.

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answers from Sharon on

If you feel okay enough to fly then fly but after 32 weeks i wouldnt suggest you to fly.. cuz sometimes that far along could cause you to go into labor early and could give u alot of complications



answers from Minneapolis on

First check with the airline. Most airlines are 35 weeks or less. (You are in the clear then being due February. Most OB/Gyn or Midwives are between 32 & 35 weeks depending on if you have had a baby before and if your pregancy is risk factor free. So your MD will need to make this call.
If you get the thumbs up, I suggest wearing very comfortable shoes. If you have slip ons or flip flops they work great. Plan on buying a few bottles of water once inside and take them on the plane with you. Skip the ice on the plane if offered. Choose an aisle seat that allows more leg extention and the ability to get up frequently and walk the aisle. Due foot pump excercises while sitting. Be the last person to board the plane to keep your time on to the least possible. Do not forget to ask for a seat belt extension. Be preparred that your shoes may not fit when you land.
The cabin is pressurized and will not send you into labor unless you are already having an irritable uterus and PTL. We worry more about clots than going into labor. Have a safe trip.


answers from Raleigh on

You shouldn't have any problems (as long as you have had a good pregnancy so far). I flew when I was almost 8 months pregnant with no problems at all! Enjoy your family!



answers from Boise on

I flew back from Europe at 33 weeks! You are fine. My doc said that I could fly until 36 weeks. It doesn't hurt to ask, just in case, but there usually aren't any restrictions. Besides, it is usually the airline that has a problem because they don't want you going into labor on the plane.

Oh, and if you are like me, when you go through security, stand to the side, and ask for a pat down. It is the full body pat down, but I prefer that than the scanner when me paranoid, but I fly a lot.



answers from Dallas on

My Dr's cutoff was 34 weeks. I think each Dr is different. I know AA is 36 weeks or you need a Drs note saying you are okay to travel/fly etc.



answers from Anchorage on

Most doctors do not recommend air travel after the 35th week, but before that is usually fine. If you have swelling expect the trip to make it worse, and were wide flexible shoes so you do not have to leave the plane in your socks due to your shoes no longer fitting. At 7 months I flew from London to Missoula MT, and my husband spent a good part of the flight rubbing my feet trying to disperse the fluid build up. It hurt to walk when we landed, but it was better within a few hours.


answers from Chicago on

the cut off is 32weeks i think, the plane ride can actually make you go into labor from what I was told so they do not want you on the plane too close to the due date plus baby born on airplane not a good headline. I went on a trip right around then and I think it was 32 wks or somewhere in that time frame.



answers from New York on

They usually caution against flying in the last trimester and seriously discourage it during the last 8 weeks. I had my son in late May and flew home for my baby shower in mid March. I was fine- doctor suggested flowy and comfy clothes, flat shoes, tons of water and walking the aisles frequently to keep my circulation going!



answers from Kansas City on

Another tip is to have your doctor give you a copy of your records so if you run into problems on the plan or while visiting your family any doctor that sees you will be informed.



answers from Charlotte on




answers from Kansas City on

I flew at 32 weeks and went to Denver...let's just say the altitiude reaked havoc on my ankles, but other than that it was just fine! Your flight probably isn't terribly long so I wouldn't worry too much about needing to get up and walk around or anything. As long as you aren't high risk then I'm sure you'll be in the clear. Oh and just a note, flying with a baby is way easier than flying with a toddler, in my opinion, so don't worry about maybe taking a trip with the babe too! ;)



answers from St. Louis on

As long as you aren't 30+ wks, or high risk (and you would know if you were high risk-you'd be seeing a high risk docor), then it should be fine. It's not a bad idea to let your ob know, but it should be fine.

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