Can pregnant women travel by plane?
You are pregnant with 2, 6 or 8 months, and you dream of recharging your batteries for a few hours away from home. But you still wonder if this is reasonable. The answer is yes, you can still fly… however under certain conditions. And the condition of the pregnant woman is not necessarily what plays on the right to take off. “Every airline has own travel policy and pregnancy, says Dr. Paganelli, a gynecologist. Better inform in advance. †
Until when, which month of pregnancy, can we fly?
Again, it’s more abouta rating of the airlines than any medical or legal law. “In fact, most of them don’t encourage women to fly during the third trimester, and generally refuse to fly. after the 36th week of pregnancy (that is, in the past month), the specialist confirms. Some companies also invite expectant mothers to present a doctor’s certificate or a midwife, stating the expected due date. This is especially the case for long-haul flights: “If the flight is short, there is little risk of childbirth on the plane. On the other hand, if the flight is long, the company will wish: protect yourself against the risk of childbirth or serious illness on the plane, and will have its own certification requirements,” the doctor said. The company therefore reserves the right to refuse your denied boarding.
Do we need to discuss before we fly?
Consult your midwife or doctor for air travel, nothing of a legal obligation† On the other hand, if you are not used to this type of travel, a conversation with your midwife or doctor can first and foremost reassure you as a passenger and take stock.
Do we have to present a medical certificate at the airport?
In addition, as we have seen, it is common for airlines to formulate their own boarding requirements. In this case it may be useful to keep a brief medical record with your official papers, as well as your Vitale card in your bag, and to see your healthcare provider, midwife or doctor before departure to answer any questions you may have. “This consultation can definitely be offered via teleconsultation,” Dr. Paganelli on it.
What do the airlines charge?
With regard to access to aircraft for pregnant women, the different airlines have their own policies, in good health of the passenger, which you must follow.
At Air France
The French company Air France, as well as its subsidiary HOP!, do not No limits weeks or a medical certificate, but advise you to seek advice from your doctor before travelling, without however needing a document.
At British Airways
British Airways terms allow a pregnant woman to fly until the end of her 36th week of pregnancy, but not after that. From her 28th week of pregnancy a medical certificateHe is asked.
Pregnant women are allowed to travel until the 27th week pregnancy, without having to submit a medical certificate. an authorization a request is made to the attending physician from the 28th to the 36th week. From the 36th week, pregnant women are no longer allowed on company flights.
Boarding is allowed until the 36th week pregnancy… only if there are no complications and on presentation of a certificate. In the case of a complication or twin pregnancy, this threshold is lowered to 34 weeks.
The company gives permission to travel until the 35th week pregnancy and up to the 32nd week in case of multiple pregnancies.
From the 28th week of pregnancy, Ryanair asks pregnant women to: fill out a “Fit to fly” form with their doctor or midwife, for the right to travel. However, pregnant women of 36 weeks or longer are no longer allowed on board (32 weeks for multiple pregnancies).
Pregnant women are not allowed on flights outside the7th month of pregnancy, and the company recommends that you see your doctor before each flight.
At American Airlines
American Airlines lets pregnant woman fly up to 7 days before the arrival date expecting baby. To do this, she must present a medical certificate signed by her gynecologist, proving that she is not at risk of travel.
Why do we think that a pregnant woman should not fly?
Flight time, altitude, pressure… Do these data really have an effect on the pregnancy? Do they run the risk of the expectant mother giving birth prematurely? This is often what we fear. However, nothing points to it. For the gynecologist we are more in the presence of a precautionary principle perceived by the airlines, rather than a medical reality. “British researchers from the RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of the United Kingdom) also confirmed in a report published in January 2015 that traveling by plane is risk-free for the health of the fetus or the expectant mother,” says Dr. Paganelli (source 1). The report thus shows that the Atmospheric pressure variations would not affect, neither for the mother nor for her child, regardless of the month or course of the pregnancy. In short, nothing proves that the plane would be more responsible for miscarriage, premature birth or water loss. ” That is the safest mode of transport and the softest (more than the car or the train) for pregnant women,” adds the specialist.
What precautions should you take during the flight?
If traveling by plane is possible and feasible, there are precautions you should take to protect yourself effectively against any inconveniences: “Nothing drastic, it’s just a matter of common sense,” continues the gynecologist.
- Before booking your tickets, remember to: take out insurance that covers medical expenses on site and repatriation costs, as a precaution. Also take your Vitale card and your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) with you when you travel within the European Union.
- take care offasten your seat belt under the abdomennot to compress it.
- to attempt walk more regularly possible during your flight, especially if it lasts several hours, and stay hydrated.
Should pregnant women wear compression stockings during the flight?
wear some compression stockings is good advice, whether you suffer from heavy legs or not, to promote circulation. In this regard, the High Authority of Public Health ruled in 2005 that wearing suitable stockings is sufficient to reduce the risk of venous thrombosis (source 2).
Are there any tips regarding the destination?
Always a matter of common sense, we still avoid long tourist trips during pregnancy, especially in the short term. Likewise, it is better to find out about the current conditions of the intended destination (even close by) and not risk a flight to a country with closed borderslike during the Covid pandemic, even in war† “In this case, it should be specified that if it is a matter of escaping an armed conflict, the pregnant woman can always take her plane back, whatever the term is,” said Dr. Paganelli rest assured.