We should be in Santorini this week, sat sipping cocktails and watching the sun set over those famous white buildings with blue roofs. Instead, I’m packing my suitcase for a few days away in Dorset, wondering whether to pack shorts and flip flops or hoodies and rain coats. Our holiday plans changed as soon as we found out that Michelle is pregnant, and I knew that there was no way that she would get on a plane.
When it comes to flying when pregnant, everyone seems to know that there are some dos and don’ts, some rules and some limitations, but nobody seems to be very clear on what they are. It seems as though each person you talk to about this has a slightly different opinion and this advice also varies from airline to airline leaving us quite confused about when you can and can’t travel.
The most common advice out there seems to be that it’s safe to fly between weeks 15 and 27 of pregnancy. Many websites also state that it’s safe to fly right up to 36 weeks but add a disclaimer to check with your GP first. It seems like most airlines won’t allow you to fly after 36 weeks, which is probably more to do with the risk of going into labour mid-flight more than anything else.
Most baby websites, and even the NHS website will state that flying while pregnant is safe, with only a slight increase in the chance of DVT listed as a possible risk.
Michelle’s concerns are more to do with anxiety, and the fear of flying rather than specific risks such as DVT. By her own admission, Michelle hates flying, she always has and probably always will. To add to that, some of our more recent flights have been pretty bumpy and one flight in particular, from Queenstown to Brisbane last year, will stick in our minds for quite a while as we flew straight through a storm and spent about 50% of the flight strapped into our seats jolting around through the turbulence and nervously watch the lightning we could see in the distance.
Michelle was terrified that day, I think most of the people of that flight were, myself included. That kind of fear and stress surely can’t be good if you’re carrying a baby.
When most advice available on the internet is quickly followed by ‘but always check with your GP’ we made the decision to cancel our summer holiday to Greece and book something a bit closer to home instead. We have done a fair amount of flying and travelling over the last couple of years so a year in the UK exploring places we have never been to before is definitely a positive choice.
With the weather forecast looking pretty good for next week, it’s time for our pregnancy road trip and babymoon.