What is the danger of flying while pregnant?


Flying can be uncomfortable even under normal circumstances, and during pregnancy, it can amplify existing discomfort. Symptoms like nasal congestion, ear pressure, swollen legs, and morning sickness may worsen at high altitudes. Some airlines may require a “fit to fly” letter, confirming your due date and any pregnancy-related complications that may affect your ability to travel safely. Your GP or obstetrician can assist in obtaining this letter, as midwives are not authorized to provide them.

Airport Security:

While airport security is a necessary inconvenience, rest assured that passing through security scanners poses no harm to you or your baby.


Flying does result in slightly increased radiation exposure, but for occasional flyers, this poses minimal concern. However, if flying is a regular part of your job, it’s advisable to discuss reducing travel with your employer.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Risk:

Pregnancy heightens the risk of developing DVT, especially during longer flights. To promote circulation and minimize DVT risk:

  • Opt for loose, comfortable clothing and shoes.
  • Take breaks to walk around the plane whenever possible.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Consider wearing graduated elastic compression stockings, which should be fitted by your midwife, GP, or pharmacist.
  • If you have additional risk factors for blood clots, consult your obstetrician before flying.

While pregnancy may present challenges during air travel, it’s entirely manageable with the right precautions. By following these practical tips, you can navigate air travel safely and comfortably during pregnancy.

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