Risks of Long Airplane Travel for Pregnant Women and How to Anticipate Them

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Risks of Long Airplane Travel for Pregnant Women and How to Anticipate Them
Risks of Long Airplane Travel for Pregnant Women and How to Anticipate Them

Pregnant women are allowed to take a plane, even take a long trip by plane. However, there are some things that pregnant women must pay attention to so that long trips and long stays on the plane do not endanger the condition of pregnancy and the fetus

Making a long plane trip while pregnant is considered safe before 37 weeks of pregnancy. This condition applies if pregnant women only have one child. If you are pregnant with twins, pregnant women are advised not to get on a plane when the gestational age has reached 32 weeks or more.

The Risks of Long Air Travel for Pregnant Women and How to Anticipate Them - Alodokter

However, it is better if pregnant women consult their obstetrician before traveling on a long plane, especially if pregnant women have he alth problems or pregnancy complications.

Risks of Long Distance Travel by Air

The following are some of the risks of a long plane trip that can occur to pregnant women:

1. Jet lag

Jet lag is common about 1-2 days after a pregnant woman takes a long plane trip across at least two time zones. This causes the body's circadian rhythm or sleep and wake time patterns to be inconsistent with the time at the destination.

There are several symptoms of jet lag that are often complained of, including:

  • Sleep disorders, such as insomnia, waking up early, or excessive sleepiness
  • Changes in mood or mood
  • Exhaustion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Not feeling well
  • Digestive disorders, such as constipation or diarrhea

2. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Formation of blood clots in the veins or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can also be experienced by pregnant women when traveling long distances. DVT often develops in the leg or arm area.

DVT can occur because pregnant women have to sit still on the plane for a long time. Some studies say that DVT is more at risk when a person travels longer than 4 hours.

When DVT occurs, blood flow in certain parts of the body or organs will be blocked due to being blocked by blood clots. DVT sometimes causes no symptoms. However, some people with DVT may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain or cramping in one calf or thigh
  • Swelling of one leg
  • Skin in the affected area becomes red or bluish and feels warm to the touch

DVT is a very dangerous condition because it can cause blood clots to spread to other organs, such as the lungs and cause pulmonary embolism.

3. Complaints during pregnancy are getting heavier

Pregnancy symptoms may get worse when pregnant women go on long trips, including by plane. The various symptoms referred to include stuffy nose or ears, swollen feet, flatulence, and nausea and vomiting (morning sickness).

4. Increased blood pressure and heart rate

Making a long trip by plane can increase the blood pressure and heart rate of pregnant women. However, according to experts, this condition does not harm pregnant women, unless the pregnant woman has certain conditions, such as preeclampsia.

5. Dehydration

Airplane cabins usually have low humidity levels. This can cause the skin, nose and throat of pregnant women to feel dry. Sometimes, dry environmental conditions also have the potential to make pregnant women vulnerable to dehydration, especially if pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting.

Tips to Anticipate the Risks of Long Air Travel

To reduce the risk of the various conditions above, pregnant women can try the following tips when traveling by plane for a long time:

Stay active

If possible, pregnant women are advised to walk down the aisle as often as possible, for example every 2 hours, to prevent blood clots from forming in the legs.

However, be careful when walking on the plane. Avoid getting out of your seat when the plane is experiencing shocks. This is done so that pregnant women do not fall and actually endanger the condition of the fetus.

If walking is not possible, pregnant women can do stretching or stretching in a chair every 30 minutes.

Wear comfortable clothes

When traveling by plane for a long period of time, wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes, and avoid tight clothing that can block blood flow.

Pregnant women can also wear special stockings to prevent blood clots from forming in the legs due to sitting too much. While on the plane, try not to cross your legs to prevent DVT and leg cramps.

Meet the body's fluid needs

While on the plane, pregnant women may feel tired and prone to dehydration. Therefore, try to drink enough water, especially when pregnant women feel thirsty or weak.

Avoid consuming caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and soft drinks, or drinks that contain alcohol because they can make pregnant women more susceptible to dehydration.

Sleep enough

To make pregnant women more comfortable while resting, try to choose a trip at night. After arriving at the destination, pregnant women are also advised to rest and sleep enough so that the body can return to energy.

If pregnant women want to go on a long trip by plane or other vehicle, you should first consult with a gynecologist. Also ask the airline if a doctor's certificate is needed to ensure safety during the flight.

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