Flying by plane during pregnancy — what should you pay attention to?

Reading time 🕗 7 minutes | April 3, 2024 | Author Klara Krysiak | Material created in cooperation with 

Are you pregnant and worried about long-distance air travel? You're not alone! While flying while pregnant can be a source of stress for many moms-to-be, it doesn't have to be that way at all. Read our travel tips for pregnant women and check out what to keep in mind when flying. Together, we'll make your long-distance air travel during pregnancy safe, and you'll be as relaxed as ever!

When can moms-to-be travel safely?

For many moms-to-be, the prospect of flying by plane during pregnancy is associated with many dilemmas. They fear the risks associated with the trip, the changing conditions on board and the many non-standard aspects associated with this mode of transportation. However, it is worth noting that if the pregnancy goes without complications, despite changes in pressure and a drop in humidity, air travel is not a risk.

How to properly prepare for it to minimize the risk of unforeseen situations? What should the mother-to-be pay attention to when packing her belongings for the trip? In the following material, we answer all the key questions about flying by plane during pregnancy.

Travel tips for pregnant women

It's normal that the issue of air travel during pregnancy can cause anxiety for moms-to-be. However, according to the guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you can fly by plane during pregnancy even up to the 36th week (in the case of a single pregnancy) or 32nd week (in the case of a twin pregnancy). Before deciding to travel by air, it's a good idea to consult with your health care provider and purchase the appropriate insurance.

Is it safe to travel while pregnant?

Although air travel during pregnancy need not be a restriction, many women wonder whether pregnancy and air travel are not mutually exclusive. According to official recommendations, most pregnant women can travel by air without major restrictions if the pregnancy is going well.

"A rational approach and proper preparation are at a premium in this case. Regardless of which trimester of pregnancy the mother-to-be is in, I encourage her to consult with her attending physician before the planned flight and discuss all the issues that concern her. If she receives the 'green light,' this will calm her fears, so she can fully enjoy the trip," stresses Dr. Urszula Jurkowska, an experienced midwife.

Close-up of the belly of a pregnant woman in a blue T-shirt, who is holding leaflets with the words travel and Yes. The concept of travel during pregnancy, flying on a plane while pregnant

When is it okay to travel by air during pregnancy?

We know that the prospect of flying during pregnancy can be quite stressful, but in some cases it is a necessity. And although air travel during pregnancy is permitted, it is nevertheless safest to go for a consultation with your attending physician before you leave.

The key issue is the current health situation of the mother-to-be and to determine with the doctor whether there is a low-risk pregnancy. If the risk of premature birth is high or there are other worrisome symptoms - the trip is worth postponing. Contraindications to flying also include cardiovascular disease and anemia.

In most cases, it is safe to travel during pregnancy even in the third trimester of pregnancy. However, the risk of flying exists in several cases, such as:

  • high risk of miscarriage,
  • hypertension,
  • occurrence of bleeding during pregnancy,
  • risk of premature delivery.

If you have any concerns about pregnancy and flying, be sure to consult a specialist who is an expert in this field. On the other hand, if we are dealing with a low-risk pregnancy, you feel fine and report no worrisome signs, there is no reason to give up traveling.

How to travel comfortably and what to keep in mind during the flight?

Pregnancy and airplane flying is a topic of interest to many moms-to-be. If you're one of them, you're bound to wonder whether pregnancy and airplane flying are mutually exclusive. We have good news for you - flying during pregnancy is safe in most cases.

When should I fill out the MEDIF form and where should I send it?

When should I fill out the MEDIF form and where should I send it?

Go to site and download form

Medical documents

Don't know what to beware of during the flight, and what to keep in mind? To ensure safe travel on board a plane during pregnancy, be sure to follow these rules

  • Take care to choose a suitable seat - for example, with extra legroom, if possible next to an aisle and in close proximity to a toilet.
  • Avoid sitting still for long periods of time - try to get up from your seat at least once every 30 minutes.
  • Ensure proper hydration - drink 2 to 3 liters of fluids a day, especially during the flight.
  • Proper nutrition - it is essential for proper growth and development of the baby! Remember the rule "eat for two, not for two," as quality, not quantity, is key.
  • Pregnancy and flight time - if your flight lasts more than 4 hours, think about wearing compression stockings (after consulting your doctor first).
  • Take care of appropriate clothing - opt for soft, delicate fabrics that will not cause you discomfort.
  • If you are traveling over 32 weeks pregnant, consult with your attending physician for MEDIF certification before departure.
  • Inform the crew about your medical condition - any worrisome situation should always be reported to the cabin crew, who are trained to provide appropriate support on board for moms-to-be.

How to properly fasten seat belts?

A high level of safety in passenger aviation is evidenced, among other things, by very precisely defined procedures. One of them is compliance with the obligation to wear seat belts and follow the recommendations of the aircraft crew in this area.

One of the most common concerns is that of pregnant passengers wearing seat belts. Women expecting a baby should also follow the crew's recommendations in this aspect. It is worth bearing in mind that the need to wear a seatbelt may arise not only at the beginning and end of the flight, but also during the journey when dealing with turbulence, for example.

If you are considering air travel while pregnant, you are surely asking yourself how to properly fasten your seat belt on an airplane?

  • First, inform the flight attendants of your pregnancy.

  • Second, fasten the seat belt around your hips so that it does not put pressure on your abdomen.
  • Third, remember to get up from your seat regularly and do simple stretching exercises.

"Wearing a seatbelt on an airplane, especially in the last weeks of pregnancy, can be associated with discomfort. However, moms-to-be should remember that following these procedures is essential to maintaining a safe flight. To minimize pressure on the abdomen, the belt should be fastened at pelvic level, and if you have trouble doing this, you can always ask a member of the cabin crew for help," explains Urszula Jurkowska, MD, a midwife and author of the book "Homebirth School for Dummies."

A happy pregnant woman waits with her partner for a flight in the airport lounge, drinking mineral water, flying on a plane while pregnant

Travel risks during pregnancy - everything you should know

Are you pregnant and considering air travel? You should know a few important things. First of all, multiple pregnancies carry a higher risk of complications during the flight. If this is the case, it's a good idea to consult your doctor to make sure you're ready to travel.

Another issue to consider is the risk of thrombosis. Flying by airplane can increase the risk of forming blood clots, which is particularly dangerous in pregnant women.

Multiple pregnancy and airplane flight - what are the risks?

The issue of air travel during pregnancy always involves some risk. However, in the case of multiple pregnancies, this risk can be even greater. What is the reason for this?

Multiple pregnancy and airplane flight are associated with significantly greater stress on the woman's body. In the case of a multiple pregnancy, not only is there a greater likelihood of blood clots, but also of breathing difficulties, changes in blood pressure or experiencing pain during the flight.

Before you plan a long-distance airplane trip during pregnancy, be sure to consult your attending physician for a special certificate. Remember that your doctor may recommend that you wear compression stockings while traveling to reduce the risk of blood clots in your extremities.

Here's what you should know

If you are traveling with LOT over 32 weeks of pregnancy, remember to bring a MEDIF certificate with you on board, which should be completed by the attending physician at least 14 days before departure.*

Find out when to fill out the MEDIF form and where to send it.

*For more information on planning air travel during pregnancy, see Pregnant Women Journey.

Risk of thrombosis during flight - how to protect against it?

One of the biggest risks for a woman aboard a pregnant flight is the risk of thrombosis. Blood tends to pool in vessels on long flights, and during a pregnant flight this risk increases.

So, how to fly on an airplane while pregnant to reduce the risk of thrombotic complications?

  • First and foremost, perform routine checkups and consult a specialist before you fly.
  • Remember to stand up frequently and avoid clothes that are too tight.
  • Think about getting special compression tights to stimulate blood circulation.

High-risk pregnancy - when to forgo air travel?

Flying on an airplane during pregnancy is a topic of much concern. The risk of complications during the flight is indeed there, but with proper knowledge and preparation, it can be minimized.

As you may have guessed, a high-risk pregnancy always requires more attention and caution. Especially when we're talking about flying on a plane while pregnant. Although most airlines accept pregnant women even in the third trimester, there are some important things to keep in mind before flying:

  • Consult your doctor - if you have certain illnesses or complications of pregnancy, your doctor may advise you to forgo the flight.

  • If your doctor has prescribed medications to prevent thrombosis - be sure to pack them in your carry-on luggage.
  • During the flight, remember to stay moving and hydrate your body.
  • If possible, travel on airlines that offer comfortable seats with extra legroom.
White pregnant woman with luggage at airport waiting for check-in registration. Safe flying, traveling during pregnancy, flying by plane during pregnancy

Planning air travel during pregnancy

Proper preparation for your flight will help you avoid any stressful situations that should be avoided during pregnancy. Before you plan to travel, it is essential to buy good insurance, and check the location of several key medical facilities with maternity wards at your destination. You should also pack all the medications you are taking in your carry-on luggage so that you will always have them available in case of an emergency.

If the flight will be longer than eight hours - it is worth implementing prophylactic measures for thromboembolic conditions: forgo knee-length socks, pants with welts, and take the appropriate medications with you. Also, do not forget to prepare comfortable clothing. It's a good idea to bet on delicate, soft fabrics that will not cause discomfort and will not impede the flow of circulation.

Up to which month of pregnancy can you fly an airplane?

Flying by plane during pregnancy is quite common, although some women are still frightened by the risks of traveling while pregnant. Many are surprised to learn that safe flying during pregnancy is possible even in the final weeks before delivery.

Airlines usually allow pregnant travel up to the 36th week, as long as there are no complications. As for LOT, air travel during pregnancy without contraindications is possible until the 32nd week, with the approval of the attending physician and without the need for a special certificate. 

So when is the best time to make the trip?

In the first trimester, nausea and fatigue can occur, which can make flying less comfortable. In the third trimester, on the other hand, it can be difficult for a woman due to a large abdominal girth, swelling and other ailments specific to the pregnancy period.

The best time for air travel is therefore the second trimester, between 14 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. This is the time when the discomforts associated with the first trimester are no longer so troublesome, and the baby has already developed all the key organs.

Medical certificate to fly during pregnancy - what is the MEDIF form and when is it required?

Each airline has its own regulations for pregnant women's travel, which you should absolutely familiarize yourself with before planning a trip. In Flight, air travel during pregnancy without contraindications is possible up to 32 weeks, with the approval of the attending physician and without the need for a special certificate.

Above the 32nd week and in the case of multiple or endangered pregnancies, any woman planning to travel must fill out a MEDIF form. The form must be given to the airline no later than 72 hours before the scheduled departure. The medical examination must be above the 32nd week and in the case of multiple or threatened pregnancies, each woman planning to travel must complete a MEDIF form. The form must be given to the airline no later than 72 hours before the scheduled departure.

The medical examination must be completed for less than 14 days, calculated as the time from the date of completion of the document to the date of the travel episodes for which it is to be applied. This means that if you purchase a round-trip ticket with a stay of more than 14 days, another certificate must be prepared for the return episodes.

Find out what conditions a woman traveling during pregnancy must meet.

Travel of a pregnant woman - what is worth knowing?

Travel of a pregnant woman - what is worth knowing?

Learn about our requirements

Lotek goes with pregnant mom

What requirements must be met by a travelling pregnant woman?

What requirements must be met by a travelling pregnant woman?

Check the conditions for pregnant women

Medical documents

Long air travel during pregnancy - what to keep in mind before departure?

A long plane ride during pregnancy can be a challenge, but proper preparation will help you get through this time with ease.

  • Before you book a flight, consult your situation with your health care provider.

  • Make sure the carrier has guidelines for pregnant women's travel.
  • Remember to bring all necessary medical documents or medications with you.
  • During the flight, pay attention to your own well-being and don't hesitate to ask the cabin crew for help if you feel uncomfortable.

These simple steps will make your pregnant airplane flight less stressful and safer.

Frequently asked questions

Cropped photo showing a traveling pregnant woman resting on an airport bench next to a large yellow suitcase, using disinfectant spray. Travel safety for expecting women concept, flying on a plane while pregnant


Congratulations! You have just completed the Pregnant Flying Course on 1.01. and are officially ready to board a plane. You also have the basic knowledge required to fly safely during pregnancy, but.... Before you start browsing the offers on our airline's website, we have some bonus tips for you!

  1. Be sure to bring extra snacks and drinks on board - it's always good to pamper yourself!
  2. Check in early so you don't miss your boarding time.
  3. Make sure your seat belts are securely fastened to ensure maximum safety.

Air travel during pregnancy can be safe and truly comfortable. With proper preparation and prior consultation with the attending physician, it can become a source of joy and a dream come true of exploring the world. As long as the pregnancy is going well and the mother-to-be feels well, it is not at all necessary to give up sky travel. All in accordance with the principle that health comes first!

Read related articles