“Is flying during the first trimester of pregnancy safe?” many expectant mothers may wonder. With the right measures, it’s entirely safe to travel by plane during early pregnancy, and the following information outlines what pregnant women should know.
Are you concerned that an untimely pregnancy would interfere with your already-planned vacation? Vice head of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) committee on obstetric practice, Raul Artal, M.D., advises against stress. “Up to 36 weeks of pregnancy, air travel is safe if there is no cause to anticipate obstetric or medical complications,” he explains. “Pregnant ladies can take the same precautions as the general public when flying”
Common Myths About Pregnancy and Flight Travel
The first trimester of pregnancy is an extremely low-risk time to travel. According to the ACOG, contrary to common opinion, noise vibration, cosmic radiation, and cabin pressure do not enhance the hazards for pregnant aviation travelers. And if you were concerned that security equipment could emit radiation or otherwise harm your child, you can put those concerns to rest. According to Dr. Artal, metal detectors pose no harm to infants.
Travel Advice for Early Pregnancy
The following are some additional travel tips for the first trimester.
Examine your health before leaving.
Pregnancies with a high risk of complications are not advised to travel (hypertension, sickle-cell disease, history of premature labor, placental abnormalities such as placenta previa, etc.) Pregnant passengers with preexisting medical issues (such as heart disease) should also consult a physician before traveling.
The formation of blood clots, or thrombosis, is a worry for all flying passengers, pregnant or not, especially during long trips. Pregnant tourists should take extra steps to reduce potential dangers. Consider wearing compression stockings and/or moving your lower extremities approximately every half-hour. “Wiggle your toes,” advises Dr. Artal. “Move your legs and take a stroll up the cabin every so often.”
Reserve a comfy seat.
The aisle seat will make it easy to get up and wander around the cabin or use the restroom regularly. The bulkhead seats, which are placed directly behind a wall separating cabins, typically offer the most legroom. If you’re concerned about turbulence, select a seat rather than a wing for the smoothest trip.
Be sure to fasten your seatbelt, positioning it low on your hips and beneath your stomach. The ACOG warns that flying can be hazardous due to the unpredictability of strong turbulence, which can result in harm. Thus, it is prudent to belt up and remain buckled throughout the duration of the trip.
The aircraft cabin’s low humidity might cause anyone to experience a dry nose and throat. Be sure to drink water for the duration of the journey to prevent dehydration.
Avoid motion sickness.
Approximately seven to eight weeks into a pregnancy, nausea and exhaustion are common. Contact your prenatal health care provider for nausea-relieving tips, and inquire about safe anti-nausea medicine to carry with you in case you need it.
Do not consume gas-producing foods or beverages.
Before or during your travel, avoid consuming foods and beverages that are known to produce gas, such as beans, cruciferous vegetables, and carbonated beverages. At higher elevations, trapped gas expands and can cause a stomachache.
Ready for digestive difficulties.
You may want to consult your doctor about diarrhea drugs or therapies that are safe to take during pregnancy, especially if you are traveling overseas, which can increase your risk of exposure to diarrhea-causing bacteria.
Consider revising your immunization regimen.
Depending on your final destination, you may need to be immunized against certain diseases, particularly if traveling internationally. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a travel vaccine and treatment guide that includes inoculable travel-related diseases, such as food-borne illness and influenza.
Plan in advance.
Please inform your provider of your travel plans before making a reservation. Depending on your travel intentions, it may be necessary to schedule a prenatal appointment at your destination in advance. Get travel insurance and familiarize yourself with hospitals located near where you will be staying while traveling.
Investigate travel advisories.
Before going anywhere, pregnant passengers should check for any health or travel advisories that could pose a risk. The CDC collects current information on travel health advisories and other safety information for nations around the world. You may quickly search for your destination and verify that there are no health alerts that could endanger you or your pregnancy.
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