Can You Travel By Plane While Pregnant?

Pregnancy comes with a lot of do's and don'ts. So many, in fact, that it can often be hard to keep track of what is recommended and what is completely off limits. While a lot of common depictions show pregnant people lounging around all day, a pregnancy can last 40 weeks — sometimes more if your baby is late — pregnancy is anything but easy. The toll on the body — physically and mentally — is extensive, and it's not a huge surprise that those going through the life-altering process would want a break and change of scenery. 

Luckily, you don't have to seclude yourself to your room with Netflix binges and snacks (although, that doesn't sound bad, either). If you have a big event like a wedding, don't fret about missing it just because those two pink lines showed up on your pregnancy test. And if you want to jet off on a babymoon, which is a vacation that couples take before their baby is born, you can get on the plane and go wherever your heart desires — assuming your doctor okays it. While travel is mostly safe during pregnancy, per the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), there are some things you need to consider before booking your flight. 

Planes while pregnant are safe but there are some rules to abide by

According to the Mayo Clinic, flying on a plane while pregnant is generally considered safe, up until a certain point. It is recommended to only fly up until 36 weeks of pregnancy, since once you get to this point, you are at a much greater risk of going into labor — which would not be fun for anyone involved if it just so happens to occur on a plane. In fact, some airlines may even restrict a pregnant person who is at or over 36 weeks gestation. If you do need to fly this late in your pregnancy, speak with your doctor and check airline policies before getting on a flight.

You may also want to avoid plane travel while pregnant if you are experiencing any sort of complication. According to Baby Center, pregnant people should avoid flying on a plane if they have cramping or bleeding, have preeclampsia, have a history of miscarriage or blood clots, are at risk for preterm labor, or have high blood pressure. It is also not recommended for people carrying multiples to fly past 28 weeks. Regardless of how healthy your pregnancy may be, it's always a good idea to run your travel plans by your doctor and get a check-up before leaving, per ACOG.

Things to consider if you do decide to fly while pregnant

If you have been cleared during a prenatal visit by your doctor to travel via plane, there are a few extra things you need to consider before you board. According to Baby Center, it's always a good idea to check your insurance to see if they cover health emergencies, just in case. It's also smart to purchase flight insurance, since many things involving your pregnancy could lead to canceling or postponing the trip.

It's also a smart idea to plan ahead — if you want to book a babymoon, consider planning it during your second trimester. According to the ACOG, the best time to fly is between weeks 14 and 28. At this point of your pregnancy, you are out of the often-worrisome first trimester, feel more energized, and are able to move around much easier than you will after the 28-week mark. Baby Center also recommends choosing an aisle seat for those frequent bathroom trips, wearing compression socks to help avoid any potential for clotting, pack your own snacks and water to ensure you stay energized, and don't be afraid to ask for help when it comes to lifting your luggage. Overall, plane travel is perfectly safe while pregnant. Just be prepared and you're sure to have a great time!