It used to be that women should not travel by air when pregnant. However, it now seems as if this is not the case. According to a new study, air travel does not pose any kind of significant risk to pregnant women or their unborn child. Doctors now even say that women can travel on planes just three weeks before they are due.
Of course, doctors say that this rule only applies to healthy mothers. If a mother is already having problems with her pregnancy, they recommend that she still avoids air travel. If the mother is completely healthy, she should not experience any problems while flying during the first 37 weeks of her pregnancy.
Experts from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that the number one risk for women flying during a pregnancy is premature labour. Doctors previously believed that flying at a minimum of 35,000 feet during a pregnancy might cause a woman to go into labour. Now doctors believe that this is not the case as long as the mother flies within the first 37 weeks of her pregnancy.
The experts also say that women shouldn’t fear other medical risks either. For example, women have nothing to fear from the full-body scanners. Even a fall in oxygen levels during a flight should not cause any problems. Of course, women who are at risk of having an early labour should not take to flying at 37 weeks. They should not fly after 32 weeks. This is only a five-week difference and a huge improvement from what doctors used to believe.
Despite this latest news, most airlines have yet to change their rules. Thus, the International Air Transport Association says that it still bans most women from even boarding a flight if they are more than 36 weeks pregnant. This is because it doesn’t want to take any unnecessary changes. On top of that, some airlines even ask expected mothers to bring a doctor’s note to allow them to fly if they are further along than 28 weeks. This is to keep women from lying about how far along they are.
The biggest fear that women need to worry about is a condition called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. This is something that occurs when pregnant women are still in very cramped conditions for an extended period of time. Of course doctors even believe that this can be avoided by wearing things like graduated elastic compression stockings. You can find these at most stores.
A professor at the University of Liverpool, Ian Greer, said that women who are experiencing an uncomplicated pregnancy should not be alarmed when flying while pregnant. That being said, there is still no reason to give advice that would go against the rules commercial air airlines already have in place. Traveling in the very early stages of pregnancy is still considered fine. That is, unless, a woman has a history of having miscarriages. Then she should avoid traveling while pregnant altogether.