Whether it be for work or for that last getaway before life irrevocably changes (for the better), the safety of air travel is a common question for many pregnant women.
There are a few issues to consider.
Where are you travelling to?
As with any overseas travel, making sure you are up to date with all your immunisations is very important. Some vaccinations are not recommended in pregnancy, so seeking advice from your obstetrician or travel medicine doctor is a good idea. Also being aware of any particular health issues in the part of the world you are travelling to is really important to minimise the risk of exposure to infections not common in Australia.
How far along in your pregnancy are you?
Many airlines will have strict criteria about flying while pregnant, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy and for longer or overseas flights. It is best to check with your airline as to what their policy is. You may require a letter from your doctor, so make sure you arrange this before check-in!
How long is the flight?
One of the concerns of long haul flights is the increased risk of developing blood clots (dehydration, not being as mobile). It is best to seek advice from your obstetrician as to what precautions to take as it will depend on how far along in your pregnancy you are as well as how long the flight is. Keeping well hydrated and mobile during the flight (drinking lots of water will ensure you are up and around!) is certainly recommended. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be advised to take aspirin or a similar medication to reduce the risk of blood clots forming during the flight.
Have there been any pregnancy complications?
Some particular pregnancy complications may mean that you would be advised against air travel all together. It is best to seek individualised advice.
The above information doesn’t take the place of a medical consultation so please seek further advice if you have further concerns.