women, who in the past were confined at home or were expected to lead
a sedentary existence, are more active today and travel for both business
and pleasure. Air travel, which is a convenient mode of transport for
such purposes, can be undertaken until the end of the 35th week. This
stipulation varies slightly with different airlines, which are also likely
to require a medical certificate that specifies the expected date of delivery.
As a precautionary measure it is advised to check with the immigration
regulations of the country to be visited, as some refuse entry to passengers
in the advanced stages of pregnancy.
radiation levels are higher at altitude. Air travel should, therefore,
be avoided, if possible, during the first three months of pregnancy as
small amounts of radiation can be harmful to the foetus.
On board expectant
mothers (as well as other passengers) should take into consideration the
various aspects of the cabin environment. The following specific points
should be noted.
- Wear flight socks during air travel (see shop)
- In general, your
water intake should be maintained and foods that produce intestinal
gas should be avoided prior to a flight or on board. The resultant expansion
of gases in the intestines can cause discomfort.
- As pregnancy tends
to increase the blood's viscosity, expectant mothers should try to be
more active than usual on board. They should also request and isle seat
and spend up to 15 minutes each hour walking about.
- Seat belts should
be worn low around the pelvis.
- Methods used to
avoid jetlag should exclude drugs, focusing instead on sleep patterns
and airline schedules.
- If there is an
opportune time to fly First or Business Class, it is during pregnancy.
Not only does the use of leg rests encourage better circulation, but
less cramped and crowded conditions result in reduced fatigue and greater
For more impartial pregnancy advice have a look at The Baby Whisperer's Forum, the largest single parenting advice forum in the world.