Flying pregnant: What you need to know
You’d like to fly during your pregnancy? Enjoy a final holiday as a couple before your family life begins and everything changes? Why not. For women, whose pregnancy has no complications, flying is mainly unproblematic. In this article, you will find important things to know and what pregnant women should look out for.
Am I allowed to fly pregnant?
In a pregnancy without complications, flying poses no increased risk to health. If you feel generally well and healthy then there is nothing to stop you flying. However, it is best for you to consult a gynaecologist before beginning you journey.
How many weeks into the pregnancy am I still allowed to fly?
You can find information about the different travelling conditions for the pregnant with your airline. Most airlines will fly pregnant women up to the end of the 36th week of pregnancy. This is also the case for the return flight. From your 28th week, you should bring a doctor’s certificate of airworthiness. Don’t forget your maternity log, to serve as proof of your stage of pregnancy.
What restrictions are there?
For pregnant women with cardiovascular problems, anaemia, fear of flying and tendencies towards premature births and miscarriages there is a higher health risk and therefore restrictions when flying. Medical advice is especially important in these cases. With twins and multiple pregnancies, it is only possible to fly until the end of the 32nd week with most airlines.
When is the best time to fly?
Many doctors advise against flying in the first 12 weeks, as during this time the embryo is implanting and not yet entirely stable. At the end of the day it is the pregnant woman herself who must go with her “gut feeling” concerning whether she would like to fly during this time. Expecting mothers usually find the second trimester the most comfortable time to travel. The weeks of morning sickness are over and the belly is a manageable size: a good time to fly.
What is a suitable destination?
The shorter the flight time the better. In this way you can avoid sitting for a long time and the associated risk of thrombosis. Many destinations in Europe lie within one or two hours of Berlin. If you would like to fly further away, compression stockings are recommended to counteract the risk of thrombosis.
You should also pay attention to the arrival conditions of the destination country and the medical provisions there. Some countries don’t allow expecting mothers to travel after a certain week of pregnancy.
What should go in my hand luggage?
Of course, you are familiar with the sudden hunger attacks that happen during a pregnancy. Pack some snacks like dried and fresh fruit or nuts. Plan for any unforeseeable waiting time due to delayed take-off or landing. Your hand luggage should also contain your maternity log and possibly needed medication. Please be aware that only liquids up to 100ml in a sealable 1 litre plastic bag may be brought on board.
And what to remember before departure?
Save time and check in in advance online with your airline. You can the comfortably choose your seats. Choose a seat in the first row or aisle. Arrive at least two hours before your flight to avoid unnecessary stress. With some airlines you can check your bag in the night before with early flights. Wear comfortable clothes to travel in and, as the case may be, pressure socks against thrombosis.
What should I remember on Board?
Drink plenty of water, unsweetened tea or fruit juices. In both Tegel and Schönefeld you can buy water for 1€ at Heinemann Duty Free. During the flight, stand up every now and again to have a little walk. Put your hand luggage in the overhead compartment so that you have room to move your legs. Place your seat belt under your belly.
Consult your gynaecologist before your planned trip. Once you get the green light, you are free to fly away on holiday from Schönefeld or Tegel!