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Q.

Is flying safe during the first trimester of pregnancy?

 

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299 Answers
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A.
Yes, flying is generally safe.

There is no reason to avoid flying during the first trimester. Air travel does not cause problems. Cabins are pressurized to simulate an environment like that at 5,000 feet (think Denver), so oxygen supply should not be an issue. Exposure to radiation at higher altitudes is not a significant risk. Studies that have evaluated pregnant women who fly frequently, such as flight attendants, do not suggest a problem.

Of course, you should be sensible. If you are having symptoms such as pain or bleeding, don't get on a plane. Flying might not cause a problem, but it won't stop one that is happening, and 30,000 feet over an ocean is a bad place to try to find a doctor.

Finally, anyone who travels, but especially those who are pregnant, should be mindful of the risk of blood clots. Both immobility and pregnancy are risks for clots. Stay well-hydrated and exercise your legs by flexing your ankles and knees in your seat or by walking the aisles.

Copyright 5/22/2007 Harvard University. All rights reserved. HHP/HMS content licensing handled by Belvoir Media Group.

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