Airline Rules and Medical Recommendations for Air Travel During Pregnancy | Health | Magazine

Being pregnant is not an impediment to travel by plane, but if certain related conditions must be taken into account, both with the state of women's health, and with the regulations that the airlines have established.

Air travel today, with the correct pressurization of the cabins, do not represent a greater risk for pregnant women, especially in early pregnancies, obstetrician-gynecologist Carlos Riera Peralta points out. "It's not really proven that an airplane flight tends to trigger labor contractions, however, most, if not all, airlines avoid embarking women with a pregnancy greater than 32 weeks ".

According to the also specialist in obstetrics and gynecology Iván Cornejo Lozano, the ideal gestation time to travel is from the second trimester, specifically from the third to the seventh month, Because the mobility of the pregnant woman is good, the volume of the abdomen is discreet, there is no possibility of accelerating the delivery, the ravages of the first trimester have disappeared and the woman has already adapted to her pregnancy.

They both agree that it is not recommended make trips that exceed four hours of flight, because this increases the possibility of a venous thrombosis in the pregnant woman.

Recommendations to follow during the flight

Specialists point out some tips that pregnant women can for a more comfortable trip and avoid complications:

  • Stand for 5 minutes every hour of travel.
  • Squeeze and relax the fingers, toes, ankles, and wrists to activate blood circulation.
  • Drink more fluids than usual because the environment of the airplane (air conditioning) produces non-perceptible dehydration, which also favors blood thickening and thrombosis.
  • Request special positions from the airline where the pregnant woman can stretch her legs and that they are near the bathroom.
  • Put the seat belt under the abdomen, in the pelvic area, so that it does not compress the uterus.
  • Avoid large meals and carbonated drinks both before boarding and on board the plane, as they can cause discomfort during the flight.
  • If you have concerns, the best will be consult a specialist to determine whether or not it is appropriate to travel.

Airline rules

Regarding this topic, Each airline has different rules. The specialized travel website eDreams collected in a publication the policies of several airlines. In addition, each airline has detailed information on the subject on their website.

For example, Latam Airlines It allows women to travel without restrictions until the 27th week of gestation. Starting from week 28, it will be necessary to present a medical certificate, issued within the period of 10 days before the flight.

In the case of Avianca, A medical certificate issued no later than 10 days before the date of travel must be submitted. From the 30th week of gestation, a liability exemption form must also be filled out.

Air Europe It does not recommend flying pregnant after week 36. If done after that period, the airline requests a medical certificate authorizing the trip and indicating the date of the baby's birth, if it is a multiple pregnancy and if there are complications .

In American Airlines, if the due date is expected within 4 weeks prior to the flight, a medical certificate must be obtained. They do not allow flying 7 days before or after delivery on domestic flights, or 4 weeks before delivery on international ones, unless you have a special permit. (I)

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