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Pregnant on a Plane: Tips for Air Travel with Precious Cargo

by Contributor

Nov 25, 2017

© Quintanilla | Dreamstime

Travel Tips

Traveling while pregnant may make for a bumpier ride, but it is not impossible if you take time to plan. Always talk to your doctor beforehand to ensure it is safe to travel while in your third trimester. If you can, ask for a doctor’s note in case anyone from the airport or airline asks if you are cleared to travel. Most airlines allow a pregnant woman to travel until the eighth month; however, airline rules and regulations differ between companies so be sure to check the website beforehand.


When it comes down to it, a comfortable flight is all about your seat. Your location on the plane is one of the most important factors to ensure a safe and comfortable journey. The last thing you want while you’re pregnant is to be crammed in between two strangers and have to repeatedly ask to use the restroom. Be sure to check with the airline ahead of time to reserve a seat on the aisle with added leg room. If at all possible and, depending on the length of the journey, it may be worth it to upgrade to first class for the added benefits and the easily accessible restroom.


pregnant sitting on the plane

© Nadezhda1906 | Dreamstime


Secondly, you must stay hydrated during your flight due to the lack of humidity in cabin air. Long flights can cause dry skin, itchy eyes, fatigue and dehydration so bring plenty of water, lotion, eye drops and lip balm in order to stay comfortable.


Wear layers and loose clothing easy to take on and off while in the restroom. Bring socks so you can take off your shoes to stretch in your seat and for protection against the chilly cabin air. Some mothers swear by compression flight socks to reduce your risks of developing blood clots, pain and swelling.


Check out the following airlines pregnancy rules and regulations:

United Airlines

United Airlines policy requires a pregnant woman traveling at or after 36 weeks to provide original and two copies of documentation from an obstetrician within three days prior to departure stating the passenger was examined and is fit to travel. The due date must be written on the document, and it needs to be dated after the last flight on the passenger’s itinerary.


Delta Airlines

No restrictions.


American Airlines

The American Airlines policy is a bit different as they require a doctor’s certificate if the passenger’s due date is within four weeks of the flight. If the flight falls seven days before or after your delivery, you are required to present approval from your physician and a special assistance coordinator, and the physician will be required to fill out a medical form. Forms and approval varies whether the flight is domestic, international or over water.


Spirit Airlines

Like Delta, Spirit does not have any restrictions to travel. However, they strongly urge you to consult your doctor to make sure it is safe to travel ahead of time.


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