Originally Answered: When is the latest a pregnant woman can fly?
You are safe to travel by plane from the beginning of your pregnancy all the way up until the end portion of your last trimester (usually 9th month - 36 weeks) and can manage what ever kind of trip(s) you want to do as long as you and your pregnancy are healthy and the pregnancy is progressing normally. As long as everything is fine, air travel does NOT increase the risk of miscarriage or pre-term labor, and poses no other risks to you or your child.
It is the last four weeks (once you reach the 9th month - 36 weeks) that women are usually prohibited from flying. This is because after 36 weeks, a women can go into labor at any time, and the airplane is not made to handle such situations. For one, there is no guarantee that a doctor will be on board a plane, plus, should any complications arise during the labor and delivery, the plane does not have the medical equipment to handle such situations and it could put the health of the mother and child in danger.
You need to get a check-up from your doctor to make sure that you are in fit enough health, and that the pregnancy is healthy enough to allow for you to fly. Many airlines will require a medical certificate from your doctor dated 24-72 hours before the flight once you reach your third trimester (27 weeks). By the time you reach your eighth month (32 weeks) almost all airlines will require a doctors note.
All airlines make up their own rules and regulations regarding pregnant women. Some do not restrict travel at all, no matter what stage of pregnancy a women is in, and others start to restrict at 7 months, although the majority restrict around 36 weeks.
In the case of twins, some airlines will restrict travel for pregnant women at the 7th or 8th month rather than the 9th because of early labor. Again, each airline is different, with some not making any restrictions at all no matter what, so you will need to contact the specific airline you will be flying to see what their policy is.
While traveling I advise you to keep your medical records, and the name and number of your doctor. You should also try to get the name and number of a doctor where you will be staying/visiting in case an emergency comes up.
To keep yourself safe and comfortable on the trip, follow these simple things:
*drink plenty of water
*don't eat food that causes gas for at least one day before you travel (pressure builds up as you ascend through the altitudes and could cause pain)
*walk around as much as you can (up and down the aisles)
*stretch while sitting
*wear loose fitting clothing
*wear slip on shoes (your feet may swell)
*wear maternity support pantyhose or socks
*try to get an aisle seat or a front row seat for more leg room
*eat light foods
*eat small meals or snacks at frequent intervals rather than big heavy meals
*do not eat salt
*Wear your seat belt just under your abdomen (depending on how big you are, you can also ask for a seat belt extender - just be sure that that too goes under your abdomen)
I traveled internationally (14+ hours each way) this summer at the beginning of my 4th pregnancy (I'm currently in my second trimester -was in my first when i traveled- and have more trips planned), and I flew last summer while pregnant. I left when I was 13 weeks and returned when I was around 30 weeks. I also did another short (3 hours each way) international trip (left at 32 weeks and returned at 34 weeks). My daughter was born 23 December and is perfectly healthy and happy. I have also traveled internationally at various stages with my first two pregnancies (my children are now 8&6 and are normal, happy, healthy, lovable kids).
I wrote an article about traveling while pregnant. It gives more in-depth information if you'd like to reference it: http://jamiehassen79.angelfire.com/pregn...
If I can be of any more help or assistance, please feel free to contact me.