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When is Air Travel Safe (or not)?
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An_220455 posted:
Hi all! I just learned I'm pg yesterday and am still freaking out!!! It is our very first time, and we're thrilled. I'm 37. I haven't yet seen a doctor, but am making an appointment this week. My question is this -- when, if ever, is it safe to make a transatlantic flight? We had just planned a very expensive trip to Europe in June. Is traveling safe in the first trimester?
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rss74 responded:
First of all, congratulations! Most of the time, you can fly up to 36 weeks, if you do not have other complicating risks. However, due to the length of a trans-oceanic flight, the cutoff for those long flights is sooner. Traveling should be safe in the first trimester.
Personally, in my first pregnancy, I flew domestically at 28 weeks and again at 34 weeks. Try to get that aisle seat so you can get up and walk the aisles a little bit (not to mention the easy access to the restroom!) Also, if you fly after the first trimester, you might want to consider buying support hose to keep your legs less swollen.
I am planning to travel to Europe at about 32 weeks this time, provided my doctors say OK.
Have a wonderful time!
 
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phoenix31674 responded:
Your doc can give you a specific answer, but for most it's safe up until 32-36 weeks. Some airlines have different points in the 3rd trimester where they want a doctor's note saying it's okay for you to travel after a certain point. I did a short 1.5 hour flight in the 2nd trimester of both pregnancies and was fine.

Because of your pregnancy, i would recommend getting a good travel medical insurance since most US plans do not provide coverage outside the US. also look to make sure it has a repatriation/evacuation coverage if you need to be medically transferred.

If you are staying in Western Europe, the level of medical care is equivalent to the US and in some cases more streamlined. I just gave birth to my son in Germany and have had some experiences in German hospitals and it's been just fine. it's also relatively easy to find staff in the hospitals who speak English in the heads of departments since many international medical conferences and such are held in English. That said, preparing some medical phrases about your pregnancy for the country/countries you are visiting would be prudent just in case.

Best of luck to you.
 
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An_220456 replied to phoenix31674's response:
Thank you both so much for your detailed messages and reassuring words! I am trying to be really cautious since this is our first time. Hubby is of the opinion that life doesn't have to stop just because I'm pg. :)
Thanks again!
 
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phoenix31674 replied to An_220456's response:
Life doesn't have to stop. When I was pg with DD we went to Disneyland (though admittedly I was only about 10 weeks pregnant) and Disney World when i was 6 months pregnant. We also moved across country. LOL With DS we were living in Germany but traveled to Britain (4 months), Disneyland Paris (5 months), Holland (6 months) and went up the highest peak in Germany along with a day bus tour to Italy and 5km hike up to one of the lakes (7 months). Heck, I was at the Stuttgart version of Octoberfest and went into labor that evening. Of course everything other than Britain was by car, but we ended up having to train back with a day long layover in Paris thanks to the Iceland volcano.

Heck, there are companies out there that promote 'babymoons' for women around 5-7 months pregnant to have one last adult vacation before the kiddo arrives.
 
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QueenOfStarWars replied to phoenix31674's response:
You're fine, fine, fine to travel on a flight.

When I was pregnant with #2 last summer, I flew from
Myrtle Beach to Boston overnight, then
Boston to Shannon, Ireland for a visit with my brother for a week or so, then
Shannon, Ireland to London, England for a few days then
London, England to Boston for another few days
and Boston to Myrtle Beach

I was 26 weeks along when I left, and 28 when I returned. I also had my 1.5 year old with me.

When I was pregnant with #1, I did the exact same trip and was about 15 weeks pregnant.
Jeannie [Me (38); DH (41); DD 2 yrs 5 mos (EDD 12/23/2008 but born at 33 wks on 11/9/2008); DD 6 mos (EDD 10/18/2010 and born on 10/12/2010)]
 
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An_220457 replied to QueenOfStarWars's response:
Thanks QueenofStarWars. I had my first doctor visit (actually, with just the RN) the other day and they are estimating I'm at 6 weeks, but I'll know more when I go in another 2 weeks. I have a trip to Spain planned for work in 2 more weeks (right after first doctor visit), which is very back-to-back (2 days in one city, then a bus to another city that's like a 5-hour trip, then 2 days elsewhere, etc. and another bus ride, etc.). It's only about a 9 day trip. I guess I'm just worried about the stress involved in all the stops along the way. I'm also supposed to go alone on this trip. I keep thinking I would never forgive myself were something to happen while I did this trip and I was alone.

The other trip, which was for vacation, was to another country in Europe with my husband. He has offered to go on the first trip with me (even though it wouldn't be fun for him) and then said we could pay the charge and just cancel the second trip.
I don't know! I guess I just keep thinking of the moving back and forth, carting bags around, trying to make flights, etc.

But everyone is helping me convince myself I can do one or even both trips. As long as I drink a lot of fluids and get up and stretch and walk around, right?

The other factor is I haven't told my mom or sister yet. Do I wait until I return or do so beforehand? So many things to think about!

Thanks again.
 
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phoenix31674 replied to An_220457's response:
When to tell family is very personal. Some women like to tell right away, others like to wait until the second trimester since most loss occurs in the first trimester and they'd rather not tell folks they had a miscarriage. Many of those who do tell like the idea of getting support from close family if the worst should happen. For me it would depend on supportive you think your family would be and if they would be able to keep the secret presuming you don't want everyone to know. Some people have relatives who are the town gossip - not saying it's you.

There shouldn't be a problem with either trip for you. Normal day to day activity is fine in pregnancy and light exercise is encouraged. i would just make sure that you don't pack any bag that you have to lift over your head too heavy. Like I said, we moved across country while I was 6 months pregnant which meant a fair bit of lifting and carrying (on the unpacking end) since DH was working and I wasn't. I was just sensible about it. Not to mention the 3ish day drive across the country and we started that with a trip to Yosemite.

I doubt you will regret taking the trip since it will be a long time before you could take another similar trip, but if you cancel you may regret your decision.
 
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QueenOfStarWars replied to phoenix31674's response:
I hear you about getting bags, etc... but don't pack too much and ask for help if you need it.

On the first trip to Ireland, (I know I mentioned this) I was about 15 weeks (actually didn't know I was pregnant). I traveled by myself.

I traveled again by myself pregnant to Florida (not a long trip) and just made sure I was close to the bathroom - LOL. I usually book the window, but I had to "go" so often that I booked the aisle.

You should go and enjoy while you can :) Unless your doctor is concerned, travel is not something I'd be worried about. I will say he would NOT let me travel when I was very far along (since my first was a preemie) and I ended up missing a funeral, but other than that, I never had any worries.

ENJOY your travels, drink water, and rest your weary feet when you get a break :)
Jeannie [Me (38); DH (41); DD 2 yrs 5 mos (EDD 12/23/2008 but born at 33 wks on 11/9/2008); DD 6 mos (EDD 10/18/2010 and born on 10/12/2010)]


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