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Pregnancy Q&As

  1. Expert: Dr. Marjorie Greenfield
    July 13th, 2009
    Is it safe to fly during pregnancy?

    For women with normal, low-risk pregnancies, air travel is usually perfectly safe. That said, there are a few things you should be aware of before you pick up your boarding pass.

    First of all, it’s important to check in with your doctor or midwife so that they can give you the all-clear. (You don’t want to book a flight if you're showing any signs of preterm labor or have any risk factors for early delivery.)

    Then, once you’re airborne, don’t forget to get up from your seat every couple of hours and walk up and down the aisle for five to 10 minutes to reduce the risk of blood clots in your legs.

    Finally, if you’re travelling in your third trimester, be sure to contact the airline regarding its cutoff policy. (For instance, all American Airlines and Air Canada flights allow pregnant women to fly up to and including 36 weeks, after which air travel is only allowed for short flights, under special circumstances and must be cleared by the airline's medical desk with a note from your doctor saying that you're fit to travel.)

    Dr. Marjorie Greenfield is a practicing board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). She is currently associate professor on the full-time faculty at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She is also the author of The Working Woman's Pregnancy Book.