SOURCE: Cheapflights Canada

Cheapflights Canada

February 08, 2012 09:53 ET Offers Tips on Flying While Pregnant

TORONTO--(Marketwire - Feb 8, 2012) - Air travel can be stressful. So imagine the anxiety for mothers-to-be who need to fly., the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, is here to offer our stress-reducing tips and informational guidelines on Flying While Pregnant. This useful guide covers everything from when to fly to how to stay healthy in the air and once you've arrived. It also details the policies of the major airlines serving Canada and is accompanied by practical advice from third party experts on managing air travel and pregnancy as well as some suggestions for products to help smooth the travel process.

Air travel is generally safe for pregnant women. However, travelling pregnant does come with some warnings. Here is a brief sample of top tips to help ensure safe and comfortable air travel when pregnant from the team at Cheapflights:

Quick tips for healthy air travel while pregnant

  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration on airplanes can be worse when you're pregnant, so drink plenty of caffeine-free, non-alcoholic fluids before, during, and after the flight.
  • Wear your seatbelt continuously to minimize risk of injury from unpredictable turbulence.
  • Wear support hose and shoes with adjustable straps in case your feet swell.
  • As always with flying, get up and walk around the cabin every two hours or so.

When is the best time to fly?

  • According to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, air travel is safest for pregnant women before your 20th week of pregnancy. If you are considering a flight during your pregnancy, check with both your doctor and the airline before you book. General consensus in the medical community suggests it is best not to travel pregnant before 12 weeks due to morning sickness and the potentially increased risk of miscarriage. Though many pregnant women have no trouble flying in their first trimester, it is always better to err on the safe side and consult with your physician.
  • A frequent concern among pregnant flyers is the exposure to naturally occurring cosmic radiation during a flight. However, the risks to both the passenger and her fetus are considered negligible, as the radiation exposure of even the longest flight is around 15 per cent of the recommended exposure limit of one millisievert per year.
  • It's also recommended that you maintain up-to-date immunizations, in case the need to travel coincides with pregnancy. For travel to destinations requiring vaccinations, it's advised that you consult your physician.

Each airline has its own rules for flying while pregnant
If you're booking your flights with an agent, let them know that you're pregnant when you book your flight and check that you are permitted to fly. If booking your flights online, be sure to check the airline's website. It is worth calling ahead to alert the airline about your pregnancy -- this should also ensure that you get special service to keep you comfortable. It's also recommended that you avoid smaller planes that fly below 7,000 feet, and choose larger planes with pressurized cabins. Check out's online chart covering Airlines and their Pregnancy Travel Policies.

Make yourself comfortable
Especially during pregnancy, reserving the right seat on the airplane can make a difference. You will need to be able to get up and move around the plane. Try and reserve a spacious seat when you make your booking. Many airlines' websites have information about the varying legroom on each of their seats. If you plan to travel pregnant, it's worth spending a few extra bucks to get a bit more room. Be aware, though, that traditional "extra legroom" seats, such as those on the exit aisles, are often not permitted to those who are pregnant.

Flight insurance considerations
Pregnant women can be seen as relatively high-risk, and many insurers will not provide air travel coverage if you have less than eight weeks to go before your due date. You could still claim losses unrelated to your pregnancy, but you might not be covered if you have to cancel your trip due to your pregnancy. To ensure peace of mind on flights while pregnant, look into air travel insurance.

Tips for your vacation
Once the flight's over, it's time to enjoy the holiday. Here are just a few more things to consider:

  • Skin is more sensitive during pregnancy, so wear stronger sunscreen than usual.
  • Keep a list of names and numbers to be contacted in case of emergency.
  • Keep a list of local hospitals from the embassy or tourist board.
  • Ask your doctor before embarking on any "dangerous" sports, such as diving or water sports.

Expert tips for flying while pregnant
Cheapflights has sourced advice directly from the experts to offer additional tips covering the following categories: Should you fly?; Choosing a flight; Choosing a seat; Keep moving onboard; Drink plenty of water; Eating on board; Make yourself comfortable. Experts from the Canadian Association of Midwives to the Public Health Agency of Canada to weigh in.

Great products for pregnant travellers
Flying while pregnant doesn't have to be an exhausting or stress-inducing event. Packing the right products to keep yourself entertained and the right apparel to stay comfortable will go a long way in alleviating the stress of travelling pregnant.

For more in depth details and advice for each of the sections outlined above, please visit's guide on Flying While Pregnant at

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