Air Travel and Pregnancy


It is the holiday season and we all make family travel plans. Specially if you are pregnant then you need to take that extra care not only for yourself but also for the wellbeing of the baby who is yet to come in this world.

Whether it is safe to travel by air during pregnancy?

There is a general misconception that air travel causes water to break and a woman can go into early labour. There is no evidence that travelling by air has any harmful effects in a normal pregnancy. It you don’t have any complications like severe anemia, vaginal bleeding, ear infections or some heart and lung conditions or a fracture in your leg, you can leave your fears at rest and travel with a calm mind.

When is the safest time to fly during pregnancy?

When you are pregnant, the safest time to fly is:

  • Before 37 weeks if you are carrying one baby.
  • Before 34 weeks if you are carrying an uncomplicated twin pregnancy.

Also as per the airlines rules & regulations, if you are over 28 weeks pregnant, you have to get a written consent from your doctor stating when your baby is due (due date) and confirming that you are not at an increased risk of any complications.

Some Do’s and Don’ts

  • In the flight, wear a seatbelt and ensure the strap of your seatbelt is reasonably fastened under your tummy and across the top of your thighs.

If the flight duration is more than 4 hrs,

  1. Reserve an aisle seat and take regular walks every 30 minutes to avoid swelling of your feet.
  2. Have water at regular intervals throughout your flight.
  3. Avoid drinks which contain caffeine (coffee, fizzy drinks).
  4. Wear graduated elastic compression stockings
  5. Do not forget your prescribed multivitamins or any prescribed medication

Enjoy the holiday season before it comes to an end!


Dr S. Sharma
College of Medicine, University of Sharjah
Worked at : Al Zahra Hospital Sharjah, Canadian Hospital Dubai