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Pregnant woman with luggageSo, you’re planning a “babymoon” getaway or maybe a summer vacation and wondering if flying when pregnant is something that should be avoided. The answer isn’t a simple “yes” or “no.”

 There isn’t anything inherently dangerous about changing altitude or cabin pressurization that can injure your baby or cause labor to begin, but there is a common health risk associated with flying that could be a bigger problem for a pregnant woman.

 During pregnancy your estrogen levels are higher and that increases blood clotting. Sitting for extended periods can cause dangerous blood clots called deep vein thrombosis.  Plus, the weight from the baby causes pressure that slows blood flow back to the heart and this can also make blood clots more likely. 

 Flight time is an important factor; a 45-minute commuter flight probably won’t be an issue, but a five-hour coast-to-coast trip could increase your risk for complications like blood clots. Plus, you shouldn’t be five hours away from home when you're close to your due date, in case you go into labor early. 

 There are differences in airline rules about flying when pregnant but generally, if you want to fly within four weeks of your due date you’ll need to have a doctor’s certificate. There may be more restrictions if you’re flying within seven days of your due date.

 When you’re flying close to your due date, experts also suggest taking your medical records with you. Should you go into labor and can’t make it home to your doctor, those records can help another medical team get up to speed quickly.

 High-risk pregnancies can be an issue, but most women are fine to fly when they’re pregnant. Always talk to your doctor before you buy any tickets, so you can be sure to enjoy your flight.

 

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax