Flying While Pregnant

Is air travel during pregnancy safe for my baby?

There is no scientific evidence that air travel is harmful to you or your baby. The changes in air pressure and humidity routinely encountered while flying do not increase the risk of obstetric complications, such as premature labour. Similarly, the radiation dose which women receive while flying is negligible and does not cause harm. Seat belts can be safely worn while flying: indeed, they are a requirement. Simply tighten the belt below your pregnant abdomen, at the top of your thighs.

Can you guarantee me no problems while flying?

Nobody can predict the future and even the lowest-risk pregnancy carries a small risk of unexpected complications.

  • If a problem was to arise during a long flight, you won’t be able to access healthcare quickly. This is why long-haul flights should be avoided where possible.
  • Consider the quality of healthcare available in your destination – this varies greatly between countries.
  • Because flying requires long periods of immobilisation, pregnant women have a risk of a blood clot in the leg. You should purchase a pair of tight flight stockings to wear and stay well hydrated.
  • The discomfort of air travel may worsen some of the common symptoms of pregnancy, including leg swelling, nasal congestion and motion-sickness.

What documentation do airlines require for pregnant women who wish to fly?

The precise documentation required to allow air travel during pregnancy varies from airline to airline. It is always advisable to check with the individual airline ahead of travel, to avoid difficulties on the day.

  • Mater Hospital
  • North Shore Private Hospital
  • The University Of Sydney
  • Royal College Of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists