Should pregnant women fly

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Should pregnant women fly

Travel feature

Flying is a cause of worry for some, especially women who are pregnant. A woman may feel uncomfortable on air, wait –it’s not the seats, or the idea of fastening the seat belt. She is concerned about the safety of her child in her womb.  Doctors from the prestigious American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), advises women against traveling in their later stages of pregnancy. However, a healthy woman is free to fly as long as she is not diagnosed with complications in her womb. 

Few pregnant women are not particularly at ease during the course of pregnancy, the usual morning sickness is too much for her to bear. She vomits more in her earlier stages of pregnancy, which could distract co-passengers. Imagine if she finds herself right in the 20th row, near the window, nothing could be more troublesome than to take the long walk up the carpet to the toilet room. The best time to travel is after the initial period, and through to the middle stages of pregnancy. These are the times when she is without any pain; she could deal with the rigors of air travel with greater ease, and more importantly, she is not the cause for inflicting trouble to her co-passengers.  

The risk of miscarriage looms large; the jerk while a plane lands may loosen the grip of the womb on the growing embryo. The risk subsides with time and a woman learns to deal with it. She is best when morning sickness fades away, and traveling on air becomes much easier. Always get the best seat on the plane. Avoid sitting in the middle. The pregnant woman’s best seat is right at the front. It is spacious and a woman can move her legs around, which will keep her comfortable all the way through. 

Check airlines guide for pregnant women. Airlines do not allow women in their 9th month of pregnancy. It's a huge problem not just for the flight attendants to ensure everything goes smooth, but also for pregnant women, too. Airlines do not want flight attendants to act as nurses, if a woman delivers a child right in the middle of a journey. Airlines strictly do not allow such situations to arise. 

Pregnancy is often shrouded with sudden arrival of complications. Pregnant women should pay a visit to a doctor at least a day before the travel date to ensure everything is normal. Women who have crossed their middle stages of pregnancy should exercise caution. Look for premature delivery signs. Any signs of labor pain must be looked into. A doctor’s advice is essential. A woman should refrain from making a long trip on air. Sitting on the plane’s couch for extended period of time could hurt a woman; walk on the carpet every two hours to keep blood circulation within the desired level, if forced to take a flight. 

Never travel without a doctor’s written permission. Airlines have full rights to stop a pregnant woman from boarding a flight, if they feel that pregnancy can lead to trouble during the course of a journey. Labour pain is not the only factor airlines are concerned with, but certain pre-existing body conditions, such as diabetes, or high blood pressure can lead to sudden complications in mid flight, which may deteriorate the pregnant woman’s health further. A woman should be careful with what she wears, loose and comfortable clothing is recommended. 

Travel on air always carries the element of risk, though, at times it is unavoidable.  Sudden emergency may lead to scheduling a journey. Pack foods that doctors recommend, throw medicines inside the cabin baggage, and keep it closer to the seat.

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