Can I fly in pregnancy?

If you are over 28 weeks pregnant some airlines will ask you for a letter from your doctor or midwife. Most airlines will not carry pregnant women after 36 weeks or 32 weeks if they are carrying twins.

Flying during pregnancy is fine up to a certain point if you are having an uncomplicated pregnancy. 

At what point of pregnancy will I have to stop flying?

Many airlines will not carry pregnant women after 36 weeks or 32 weeks if they are carrying twins. This is due to a fear that they may go into labour on the journey.

If you are over 28 weeks pregnant some airlines will also ask you for a letter from your doctor or midwife saying that they are happy for you to fly and your due date. It is important to check with the airline before you book the tickets.

If you have questions, book an appointment with your doctor to talk your travel plans through. 

Do I need special insurance when flying in pregnancy?

Yes you may need to look at your insurance to check if it covers maternity. If you are flying out of the country, check that you have adequate travel and medical insurance. Check up to how many weeks the insurer will cover you for. Think about getting special maternity care cover. Look for an insurer that covers care and transport home if you give birth early as this could cost thousands of pounds.

Tips for flying during pregnancy

  • Check whether you need any immunisations for the country you are travelling to, and if so, whether they are safe to take in pregnancy
  • Carry your pregnancy notes with you in your hand luggage.
  • During the flight, avoid coffee, tea and alcohol 
  • Be sure to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
  • If the flight is long haul, it’s a good idea to wear support stockings or socks, keep moving your feet and get up to walk around frequently, as there is a small risk of developing blood clots.

Read more frequently asked questions in pregnancy

Sources

  1. Foreign Office, Foreign travel insurance - detailed guidance. London Foreign Office, 2014. Also available at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-insurance (accessed 4 June 2014)
  2. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Antenatal care: routine care for the healthy pregnant woman, clinical guideline 62, London NICE, 2008
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