The Truth About Whether Or Not Flying While Pregnant Is Safe For You & Your Baby

Flying during your pregnancy does come with some precautions and limitations.

How To Know If Flying While Pregnant Is Safe For Women & Their Babies by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

You've just found out you're pregnant, and you have a ton of questions about what's safe for pregnant women, and what it's OK to do during pregnancy. This is totally normal!

One of your biggest questions, especially if you have a trip coming up or love to travel, is: is flying while pregnant safe?

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You may have already booked your ticket for a flight next month, but now you're wondering if it's safe to fly when you're pregnant.

The truth is that flying during pregnancy does come with some precautions and limitations, but it should generally be safe.

Let’s take a look at what to do to make the right decision whether to board the plane or not.

Here are a few travel tips you should know about flying while pregnant and if it's safe for you and your baby:

1. Some airlines may have restrictions on pregnant women flying

Technically, the answer to this question is yes.

However, airlines might have specific policies regarding flying while pregnant. Some of them might not allow flying in the third trimester, while others require you to get a doctor’s note that you're cleared for flying.


The policies may be different for those carrying one or more than one baby, but most of them are against flying after 37 weeks.

This is why you should check with your airline before you make a reservation. It's a specific situation since nobody can legally ask you how far you are in the pregnancy.

However, they may prevent you from boarding and will do that in some cases. To be on the safe side, check if the doctor’s note is required or recommended and make sure to get one.

2. If you're unsure if you're pregnant, check with your doctor before flying

There are some early signs of pregnancy that you can clearly recognize, such as missed period and breast tenderness. If you're having doubts about whether you are pregnant or not, go visit your doctor as soon as possible. That way you can determine the truth and cast away all the doubts.


Aside from that, you may also find out whether you have clearance for flying. There should be no worries if your pregnancy is streamlined and no issues are predicted.

However, the confirmation from a medical professional is always welcome and, in some cases, requested by the airlines.

3. Some new or existing medical issues may prevent you from flying

Have you ever wondered how early can you detect pregnancy? The most effective variant is actually blood pregnancy tests that are done in clinics. Home tests are also an option, but visiting the doctor is a bulletproof way to confirm that you are pregnant.

Yes, it is generally safe to fly when you are pregnant. However, there may be some limitations depending on your situation.


First, some women avoid flying in the first trimester since they are burdened by morning sickness, which makes them extremely uncomfortable.

On the other hand, some women might have a risky pregnancy that requires being still. For them, flying is not recommended as it may cause problems.

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Finally, when you are in the final trimester, it may be a wise choice not to burden yourself with flying, especially if you are planning a long-distance flight. Not only some airlines may restrict boarding, but it may be too much stress.

4. Know how can you make your flight easier

If you decided to fly after all and got cleared by a medical professional, there are several things to do to prepare better ahead of your flight.

First of all, think about decompression stockings. They might not be exactly attractive, but the truth is that they promote blood circulation which is vital if you plan to fly for several hours.

When traveling internationally, ask about potential vaccines and whether it is safe to receive them during pregnancy. You can also ask your doctor about diarrhea, gas, and nausea remedies.


Additionally, try to avoid gassy and heavy foods prior to taking off — you will make things easier for yourself.

Finally, you should be on the safe side when it comes to medical care. Ask your doctor or search for hospitals or clinics that provide both medical and prenatal care in case you need it once you land at your destination.

5. Keep potential risks in mind before flying

Most women are worried about radiation from body scans, but the professionals say that it is safe to pass the scanning.

However, you have the right to ask for a wand or hand search. That may come in handy if you are a frequent flyer.


While we are on the topic, you are exposed to certain levels of radiation while flying, too. Consult with your doctor how frequently you should fly when pregnant to avoid going over this limit.

There is also a minor risk of blood clotting, but this can be resolved by the aforementioned decompression socks and making sure to get up from your seat and move around occasionally (request an aisle seat to make moving easier).

At the end of the day, flying when pregnant should be safe, but you are still advised to take the necessary precautions. Make sure to talk with your doctor about potential pregnancy risks and be particularly careful if you are traveling internationally or heading on long-distance flights.

The best period for flying is arguably the second trimester. Your belly is not big enough to make moving hard, and you're past the morning sickness phase.


Regardless of how far along you are, as long as you listen to what the professionals have to say and keep potential risks minimized, it should be safe to fly when pregnant!

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Aneeca Younus is an expert editor, mentor, analyst, and researcher. She has worked across the globe with highly-qualified health and beauty experts.