Moms-to-be, here’s the crucial ‘no-fly zone’ for pregnant travelers

What are the rules for moms-to-be for flying during pregnancy? Source: Shutterstock.

“PREGNANT WOMEN shouldn’t be flying during their first trimester, it’s not safe because you could miscarry!”, “The safest time to fly is before 37 weeks because from 37 weeks of pregnancy you’re considered full-term”, “Don’t fly at all if you’re pregnant. Just don’t!”

So many voices, so hard to hear.

Heavily pregnant Keeping Up with the Kardashians (KUWTK) star Khloe Kardashian made headlines recently when she decided to have one last “babymoon” with her favorite people, Kourtney Kardashian and Kim Kardashian. In Tokyo.

Source: Khloe Kardashian’s Instagram.

Fans, netizens, and an entire breed of KUWTK-hating trolls, of course, had a field day on social media after Khloe shared the above posts from the Japanese city.

“You can still fly at that stage? Wow mommy u need to take it easy”, “Are you supposed to be flying to Japan in this late stage of pregnancy? I would be concerned about going into early labor in another country just saying girl”, “How many months pregnant do you have to be until you can’t fly anymore?” were just some of the many comments.

Most people were of the opinion that Khloe, who is currently in her third trimester (anywhere between 28 weeks to 40 weeks), shouldn’t be risking her pregnancy by flying halfway across the globe (it takes about 12 hours to get to Tokyo from Los Angeles on a direct flight).

Hearsay aside, what’s the no-fly zone for pregnant travelers?

Source: Shutterstock.

According to The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists:

  • The safest time to fly is before 37 weeks if you’re carrying one baby.
  • The safest time to fly is before 32 weeks if you’re carrying twins or more.
  • From 37 weeks onwards, you could go into labor at any time, which is why many women choose not to fly after this time.
  • Most airlines don’t allow women to fly after 37 weeks.
  • It may also be more difficult to get travel insured after 37 weeks.

However, it’s important to note that there’s an increased risk of developing a Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that forms in your legs or pelvis while flying. The risk of a DVT increases with the length of the flight. If it travels to your lungs, it can be life-threatening.

Other than that, pregnant women may experience discomfort such as swelling of the legs due to water retention and nasal congestion or problems in the ears due to the changes in air pressure in the plane, but those aren’t uncommon even for the average traveler.

When planning your travels, first and foremost, check with your airline before booking your trip. Many airlines have their own rules on when pregnant travelers can fly.

More importantly, get medical clearance. Your airline may ask you to get a letter from your doctor stating when your baby is due and confirming that you are in good health with a straightforward pregnancy and are not at an increased risk of complications.