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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is it safe to fly when pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Nikki Warren

    Naturopath

    Nikki Warren is committed to preconception care, natural fertility, and pregnancy through to postnatal care. Nikki is a degree qualified Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Doula and ... View Profile

    Yes it is safe to fly when pregnant and breastfeeding although there are restrictions put in place by the airline - you usually can't fly when you are more than 35 weeks pregnant (and you wouldn't want to risk going into labour on a plane anyway).

    Just remember that you are exposed to radiation every time you fly though so if you are a very frequent traveller you will need to seek advice regarding the radiation units you are being exposed to.  For example, flight attendants are carefully monitored to make sure they don't exceed a certain amount of radiation units during the pregnancy.  The amount of radiation depends on where you are flying - if you are travelling across the pacific, e.g. Sydney to Los Angeles, it is less radiation exposure than travelling from Auckland to Perth.

    I always tell my clients to take vitamin C - 500mg every 4 hours when flying to help reduce the negative effects of radiation on the body.  Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant and it's cheap!

  • Maria Nguyen

    Healthshare Member

    It is safe to fly during pregnancy until 35 weeks pregnant. But if you do not have to fly during your pregnancy, it is the best not  fly  since radition might be dangerous for your baby.

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  • 4

    Thanks

    Dr Bryan Kenny

    Gynaecologist, Obstetrician

    When it comes to air travel in pregnancy, there are a few issues to consider.

    Where are you travelling to?

    As with any overseas travel, making sure you are up to date with all your immunisations is very important. Some vaccinations are not recommended in pregnancy, so seeking advice from your obstetrician or travel medicine doctor is a good idea. Also being aware of any particular health issues in the part of the world you are travelling to is really important to minimise the risk of exposure to infections not common in Australia.

    How far along in your pregnancy are you?

    Many airlines will have strict criteria about flying while pregnant, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy and for longer or overseas flights. It is best to check with your airline as to what their policy is. You may require a letter from your doctor, so make sure you arrange this before check-in!

    How long is the flight?

    One of the concerns of long haul flights is the increased risk of developing blood clots (dehydration, not being as mobile). It is best to seek advice from your obstetrician as to what precautions to take as it will depend on how far along in your pregnancy you are as well as how long the flight is. Keeping well hydrated and mobile during the flight (drinking lots of water will ensure you are up and around!) is certainly recommended. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be advised to take aspirin or a similar medication to reduce the risk of blood clots forming during the flight.

    Have there been any pregnancy complications?

    Some particular pregnancy complications may mean that you would be advised against air travel all together. It is best to seek individualised advice.

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