I’m 5 months pregnant and just found out that I’ll need to take a flight for a business trip in the next month or so. But is flying safe for me and my baby?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you can usually fly up to 4 or 5 weeks before your due date. And that cutoff time is not because flying can cause problems as your due date nears — it's just best to stay close to home and your doctor in case you deliver.
Some changes occur in your body with flying, and during a flight you're out of reach of emergency care. So especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy, check with your doctor before flying.
And it's wise to discuss any plans for lengthy or distant travel, just in case. If your doctor says travel is OK, check with the airlines to find out what their policies are. Most allow pregnant women to fly up until week 36 for domestic flights and week 35 for international travel.
To make sure your flight is as safe as possible, you might want to wear support stockings, move your lower legs regularly, and get out of your seat (especially during long flights) to promote blood circulation and help prevent blood clots. You also should drink plenty of non-caffeinated fluids in order to stay well hydrated, and wear your seatbelt in case of turbulence.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: August 2009
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