There are lots of reasons to fly while pregnant. However, with airline restrictions around pregnant passengers, and often conflicting information from friends and family, what are the risks of taking to the skies?
According to most obstetricians, flying while pregnant carries very little additional risk, but there are some special things you should take into consideration.
Why do airlines have restrictions?
This has more to do with reducing risk to the airline than to you. Flying does not have any effect on pregnancy. You aren’t more likely to go into labor or break your waters from flying. What airlines are worried about is a woman giving birth on the plane, the risk of which obviously increases as you get close to your due date.
So what are the airlines’ rules?
The restrictions around flying while pregnant vary from airline to airline and according to the length of the flight. So it’s really important that you check with your travel agent or the airline directly.
Bring a medical certificate:
To be on the safe side, request a certificate from your doctor a few days before traveling. Often you can just make a call to your doctor and they’ll have your document ready.
Here are the main details the document should contain:
- Your name and date of birth
- Estimated date of delivery
- Flight departure date
- Type of pregnancy (single or multiple)
- Good health that confirms that you are able to fly
- Date of your recent checkup
- Contact detail of the doctor
Note that a medical certificate will expire usually between 2-4 weeks after the date of issue.
Be aware of traveling to some countries
Beware that certain country. Malaysia, for example, has restrictions regarding expectant mothers of other nationalities. Non-Malaysian women who are pregnant beyond 6 months are not permitted to fly into the country.