Occasional air travel during pregnancy is generally safe but is not recommended for women who have medical or obstetric conditions that may be exacerbated by flight or that could require emergency care. If a pregnant patient does opt to fly, consider the following discussion points:
Note: ACOG has updated guidance regarding aircrew and frequent flyers and provides the following statement
The Federal Aviation Administration and the International Commission on Radiological Protection consider aircrew to be occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation and recommend that they be informed about radiation exposure and health risks
Most commercial airlines allow pregnant women to fly up to 36 weeks of gestation. However, some airlines restrict pregnant women from international flights earlier in gestation and some require documentation of gestational age. Changes in vital signs (increased maternal heart rate, increased blood pressure, decreased aerobic capacity) may result due to cabin pressure and humidity levels alterations.
ACOG Committee opinion 746: Air Travel During Pregnancy
FAA: What Aircrews Should Know About Their Occupational Exposure to Ionizing Radiation
US Department of Transportation Advisory Circular: In-Flight Radiation Exposure
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