Baby Hints & Tips

International flights whilst pregnant

Thoughts on flying internationally at 25 weeks pregnant?

Mums share their experiences with international flights while pregnant and tips to make the flight easier.

international flights while pregnant

Get written permission from your doctor to fly

  • I did an international flight at 6.5 months pregnant, returned at 7 months. I found the airlines and staff were particularly attentive and helpful throughout the whole journey. I had doctors permission to fly too. Only problem i had was the tray table wouldn’t go down as my belly was in the way! Jodie
  • You shouldn’t have any trouble, but I’d get a doctors certificate and take copies, I travelled through Asia (I was about 30 weeks), had a certificate, a lady took it to her manager when I was checking in, i went to get on the flight and they wouldn’t let me on, because I didn’t have the certificate! They couldn’t find it back at the check in desk, so I missed my flight (I was travelling from Bangkok to Phuket), luckily they took me to the airline doctor, I got the all clear, and got another flight, but it was a pain in the bum!! Goodluck, it’s perfectly safe, but some airlines are more finicky! Perri
  • I flew 34hrs at almost 21weeks & then 26 weeks (on the way home) with a 20month old as well. It’s do able but make sure you get a letter from your OB or midwife to say that you are fit to fly regardless of what anyone tells you (even your ob). I had issues with them letting me on the plane at Melbourne airport even though I’d already spoken to the airline before hand and them telling me I wouldn’t need a letter (but had no issues coming home go figure). All airports & airlines are different. Alana
  • I flew back from the US at 26 weeks pregnant. Other than being a little more uncomfortable than usual there was no issue. My Doctor gave me the OK and even encouraged me as he said it’ll probably be the last big holiday for a while. I checked airline policy and made sure my insurance covered me and had my OB’s number just in case. I wouldn’t take it back, was a great experience and you shouldn’t be scared – just need to know your limitations and eat/drink well. Enjoy yourself! Deanna
  • Talk to your doctor, depends where you are going and for how long, the airlines won’t want to take you after 30 weeks, so if you look big for your gestation it could be hard convincing them to let you on the plane… Zarna
  • I flew at 28-30weeks from Melbourne to nz. just after 28weeks you have to carry a letter from your doctor saying your fit and healthy to fly. I found it fine the flight crew were very helpful. just check out different travel insurance and make sure your covered for anything if you suddenly do have your baby while away. Ruby
  • I flew at 32 weeks – albeit only domestically. I was surprised how lenient the airlines are with regard to pregnancy. You’ll likely need a letter from your midwife/GP/obstetrician. Check the website of your chosen airline as they’ll detail exactly what you need to save any hassles at the airport. I’d take your medical info with you should you need any care while you are OS. Emma
  • Oh that’s pretty good!!! I just remember the Aus couple in Canada and baby came early and sadly needed lots of medical care and now they owe close to $500k in medical bills (or some crazy amount) Sam

Keep water and snack close when flying during pregnancy

  • I just flew at 31 weeks on 9hour flight. No problems at all. I got up and walked around every 30mins to an hour. Just make sure you have water, snacks and I took a pillow with me. Also pick your seat on flight before you go so can be close to toilet. If you have no medical reason not to go then why not! Also Bupa was only insurance company that I found that covers pass 25 weeks Kelsey
  • I flew internationally many times during my pregnancy. Drink plenty of water, book a seat that you can get up from easily (toilet etc) & walk around frequently. I found towards the 30 week mark, that I ended up with swelling after flights & wore leggings during the flight to help. My last flight (8 hours) was at 35 weeks & that was to return home for the birth. I needed a letter from my OB for that flight. Skye
  • I was 20 weeks when I flew home from the states. It was fine. The only issue I had was not being able to sleep and becoming seriously hungry to the point a felt sick. The only food they were offering overnight were soft drinks and potato chips. I needed a sandwich or fruit and the had nothing to offer. Take some snacks! Clare
  •  I flew to America for a babymoon at 22 weeks there and 25 weeks back and I’m so happy I did it! Sure, I was uncomfortable but who doesn’t get uncomfortable flying for that long! I had lots of water while flying (even though it caused frequent toilet trips) and I wore TEDS (just to be on the safe side) Happy flying! Hayley

Wear compression stockings when flying international and pregnant

  • I’m flying to the uk next week. I’ll be 28 weeks. Returning at 32 weeks. The midwives and ob so all fine with it. Just have to buy compression sock for swelling. I’m more worried about flying with a 3yr old and 5yr old then being pregnant. if u have no complication with ur pregnancy I say go for it. Elise
  • I flew to England at 24 weeks and back at 28 weeks. Didn’t have any problems apart from back pain on the return flight. I drank lots and lots and lots of water and put on those special flight stockings I was also traveling on my own too. It’s not as bad as it seems! Lauren
  • Get a thorough check and opinion from your Ob Gyn before committing to fly. You will need documentation about your gestation and condition. Invest in some comfy compression knee high socks to help with swelling. Lou
  • I flew to Ireland at 25 weeks spent 3.5 weeks Ireland n uk flew home at 28.5 weeks. It was a long flight n got uncomfy but get up walk as much as need to, go loo often n drink heaps water! I also wore those pressure stockings incase feet swelled up, but had no dramas on planes. My dr gave me a letter to say my pregnancy had been no trouble, low risk of early labour n was safe to travel. I got checked in Dubai n without the letter I doubt they would have let me fly home from there they were pretty strict. Also be prepared that u may get searched, I had ppl searching making sure my belly was real lol in Dubai!! Also I would recommend travel insurance as a just in case!!! Ashley

Check insurance when flying international while pregnant

  • Depends where you’re going and the airline. My partner and I had a babymoon in Thailand when I was 20 weeks and all the airline staff were wonderful, we got loads of upgrades! I then flew Sydney to Christchurch at 38 weeks, again with no problems. Just check insurance and airline policies as they all vary Melissa
  • I flew whilst pregnant with twins to Thailand at about the same time in my pregnancy. Just make sure you get specific travel insurance to cover if anything happens. Let the staff know when checking in you might get an extra seat beside you too. Good luck xx Kris
  • Check with your doctor and travel insurance only covers up to 26weeks. You may also need to confirm with the airlines most allow travel pending on which destination you are traveling into and if you have had a healthy pregnancy, I’m traveling at 23 weeks as my travel Insurance only covers up To 26 weeks. Chayde
  • I’ve heard they recommend travel insurance as there is still a chance you can go into labour and care for premmies overseas can be expensive and getting them home isn’t cheap either Kyla
  • I flew a 13hr flight at 25 weeks, it was fine. Had my dr permission and a letter for the airline company. Bought some travel/compression socks from the chemist to help with blood flow in my legs, but didn’t have any problems. Nobody even noticed I was pregnant, I was pretty small. Flew home on a 15hr flight and same thing, had no problems at all. Just made sure to catch some sleep when I could, but it was fine. Make sure your travel insurance will cover baby after it’s born in case, most will only cover you and the baby will be the one racking up a huuuge bill if it comes early while you are away. Jessica
  • if you go into preterm labour you won’t be covered by travel insurance as it’s a ‘pre exiting condition’ Petra
  • Travel insurance will cover you for some things but if you go into labour bubs is not covered. Also if u have gd thats considered high risk and u wont get travel insurance. Jodie
  •  I found a travel insurance that covered me til 30 weeks and covered bub if came before 30 weeks!! Just read up on the insurance make sure covered!!! Ashley

Couldn’t get health insurance when for international flights when pregnant

  • I flew to Fiji when I was 32 weeks pregnant. We couldn’t get any travel insurance and I had to get a letter from my doctor saying that I was a low risk pregnancy and my due date but she was hesitant to let me fly. We knew the risks but chose to go because we’d booked the flights long before I fell pregnant. Everything went well and we had no issues, I just took it really easy but in saying that we were very nervous the whole time that I would go into labour! Just in case I had the contacts and addresses of the major hospital and things like that. Brooke

Get an aisle seat when flying pregnant

  • Two weeks ago hubby and I took a 10hr flight for a little break before this little one arrive, I was 25weeks. When I arrived to check in I was questioned about how far along I was and was advised that you can’t fly if over 28weeks unless you have docs clearance and papers. I suggest you talk to your doc and get some form of paper work just in case you have any issues. On the flight I didn’t have any problems I was sure to get an aisle seat so I could move around the plane every hour. Compression socks helped with blood circulation but I did get some uncomfortable swelling. Drink lots of water and you will be fine Moyra

 Fly international before baby is born

  • I’m flying at 25 weeks with twins but only a short flight to NZ. It’s my last chance- I’m going!!! For me they say it’s fine up until 30 weeks. Jane

Don’t fly international when pregnant – things to  consider

  • I flew internationally at 27 weeks, returning at a day or two shy of 30 weeks. Medically it was totally fine, 30 weeks is the cut off as far as travel insurance etc. goes I think. But personally it was horrible and I wouldn’t be doing it again. So uncomfortable, can’t sleep, was sick the whole time, food was awful and lots I couldn’t eat so was just really tough. Had to take aspirin (doctors advice) and cut laps up and down the plane all the time. The swelling in my feet was out of control. Just nothing good about it! Jacqui
  • Unless it’s an emergency there is no way id be flying Alison
  • I’d be careful, particularly where you were going… Personally I’d avoid it unless really crucial Jessica
  • I used to be all for flying during pregnancy but I’ve since had a couple of friends go into labour as soon as they’ve landed and even though there’s no proof the flight caused it, these poor women are struggling to get past the fact that it may have had something to do with it, particularly when they had no other issues. Also remember that insurance will cover you but not your baby if it’s born while you’re on holiday. I don’t want to scare you, just something to consider. X Tanya
  • I wouldn’t be flying anywhere overseas ATM! But I believe that they recommend not flying after 26? I’m sure it wouldn’t be too risky. Just be sure to ask your care provider to do a thorough once over on you and take bubs ‘obs’. And do a little research on how to be more comfortable and lower any risks. Bree
  • Personally I wouldnt, especially for a holiday. If something went wrong trying to get your extreme preemie back to aus wouod be a nightmare Simone
  • I was supposed to be in a wedding in Thailand when I would have been 26 weeks, my doc advised against it basically just because if anything happens we would’ve been stuck over there and unsure of the level of care etc. Katie
  • Oh that’s pretty good!!! I just remember the Aus couple in Canada and baby came early and sadly needed lots of medical care and now they owe close to $500k in medical bills (or some crazy amount) Sam

Other tips about international flights when pregnant

  • I flew internationally at about 6 months. The airline staff didn’t even know or ask for a letter. Being my first only had a little bump. I think you can fly up to around 34 weeks???? Nicole
  • I flew at 28wks. I was lucky to fly business though (cheapy tickets) so I could stretch out…I was really big…so it helped. some flights have restrictions on pregnant flyers so just check. I guess the flight attendants are also nicer when they seem a bun in the oven…didnt feel any nausea or cramps…all the best! Kaye 
  • I flew pregnant to Singapore at 28 weeks. Just make sure you get insurance that will cover you AND baby if anything happens while overseas. Shona
  • I go to england every year and I went when I was 32 weeks preg with my daughter flight was fine airlines dont like taking u after 36wks I had a letter from my midwife to say I could fly up until 36wks. I was 36wks the day I got back the only problem I had was piles I also travelled with my 2yr old at the time and my 11yr old….. im going again this year and atm im 21wks preg. I will also be taking my 4yr old my 13yr old and my 2yr old. Becky
  • Flights not a problem. I few around the same time and just found I had to eat a little bit of sugar on take off. Just depends where you are heading though. I wouldn’t want to travel anywhere that doesn’t have the same level as health care that we do here. Kellie

Consider health care in country of destination for pregnant women

  • I think you need to check carefully with the health care in the country you are going and costs involved if you went in to labour. Lots of places can’t accommodate the care for premmies like Australia so I personally wouldn’t travel abroad. Also check if your insurance covers labour etc. Some countries have reciprocal health agreements with Australia I think so if you were to go you would want it to be one of those countries. A friend went in to early labour at 28wks in Bali and ended up owing more than $50,000 as they had to return to Australia by special ambulance charter or her little one would not have made it and she was very lucky as it was. Her insurance didn’t cover costs. I think you also need to consider health risks to yourself flying for a long duration. If you we’re to become ill you may not be able to fly home until after the birth. Kelly
  • Depending on where your flying to, I wouldn’t be flying anywhere that couldn’t accommodate a premi baby (ie Fiji) but that’s just Me, I would be too scared something happened. Think I would only travel interstate. Sherree

Be aware of altitude sickness when flying while pregnant

  • I flew at 16 weeks pregnant to Hong Kong and the altitude made me really really sick. That was the only time I got sick during my whole pregnancy. Shelley

Go ahead and fly while pregnant

  • Go for it! I flew at 31 weeks with my first. 10 hr flight, had notes for the airlines from my OB and managed to get full medical insurance cover through bupa international, they are based in Germany. We had a Hawaiian holiday, it’s was the best I felt my whole pregnancy. Prue
  •  It’s safe …. However your doc needs to sign u off and give u a letter and have a hunt around for appropriate travel insurance as some only cover u till 20 weeks I’ve done it both pregnancies and other than being slightly more uncomfortable it’s fine Alarna
  •  I just had a holiday in Thailand and I was 31 weeks. The medical care and hospital over there are amazing. It’s strange a doctor would say that. Kelsey

Get up and move on the plane while flying when pregnant

  • We went to Bali when I was 24 weeks pregnant came back at 26 weeks and was fine! Just made sure I got up and walked around alot during the flight! Insurance covered me, I’m pretty sure that they cover up to 28 weeks! My doctor had no concerns with me going. Jess
  • I flew to Thailand for a holiday 24 weeks and home at 25 weeks. I was fine. Didn’t get sick ect. My legs were just mighty uncomfy on the plane ride so I walked around but was fine. Just make sure your travel insurance covers you. Nicole

 Details from some of the airlines

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