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4 reasons heavily pregnant women are not allowed to board airplanes

When it comes to air travel, the restrictions and considerations for heavily pregnant women are primarily based on concerns for their health and safety, as well as that of the unborn child.

Why pregnant are not allowed on flights

Here's an exploration of why airlines often restrict or discourage air travel for women late in their pregnancies:

1. Preterm labor: The primary concern for heavily pregnant women flying is the risk of preterm labor. The stress and physical demands of flying, including changes in cabin pressure and prolonged periods of sitting, can potentially contribute to early labor, especially during the final trimester.

2. Decreased air pressure: The cabin pressure in airplanes is lower than at sea level, although it is safely controlled. This reduced pressure can decrease the amount of oxygen available, which might affect a pregnant woman more than others, potentially leading to hypoxia.

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3. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing blood clots (deep vein thrombosis), especially during long flights due to prolonged immobility. DVT can be life-threatening if a clot dislodges and travels to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.

1. Airline restrictions: Due to the aforementioned risks, most airlines have specific policies regarding the latest stage at which pregnant women can fly.

These policies usually require a medical certificate from a healthcare provider stating that the woman is fit to travel, typically after 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Airlines may prohibit travel after 36 weeks (or earlier in the case of multiples like twins or triplets) to prevent potential emergencies mid-flight.

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2. Variability among airlines: Policies can vary significantly between different carriers; thus, it is crucial for pregnant travelers to review and adhere to the specific guidelines of the airline they plan to use.

1. Consultation with healthcare providers: It is recommended that pregnant women discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider, especially when planning to fly during the third trimester.

The doctor can assess the individual's health condition and pregnancy progress to determine if flying is safe.

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2. Planning for comfort: For those cleared to fly, choosing shorter, direct flights, staying hydrated, walking around the cabin periodically, and wearing compression stockings can help reduce discomfort and health risks.

3. Emergency medical care: Airlines are also concerned about the availability of emergency medical care for pregnant women on flights. Delivering a baby or handling pregnancy complications without adequate medical facilities poses significant risks.

1. Avoiding liability: From a legal standpoint, airlines prefer to minimize situations that could lead to medical emergencies. Allowing a heavily pregnant woman to fly could potentially lead to complications that might result in liability issues for the airline.

2. Comfort and practicality: Besides the health risks, the comfort and practical considerations for traveling late in pregnancy can also be challenging. Mobility might be limited, and the usual stress of travel can be more pronounced.

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While modern air travel is safe for most people, heavily pregnant women face specific risks that make flying in late pregnancy a concern for both healthcare providers and airlines.

The restrictions in place seek to ensure the safety and well-being of the expectant mother and her baby, balancing the freedom to travel with the practicalities of healthcare and safety regulations.

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