Can You Fly During the First Trimester?

Jet flying on a clear day

Can you fly during the first trimester is a common question that many pregnant women may have. The first trimester of your pregnancy is a critical time for your developing fetus. Major physical development begins, setting the foundation for many physical systems of the body. Naturally, if an activity poses any potential risk to your baby, you would want to avoid it. Rest assured that in general flying is safe, with some caveats that are important to know and understand.

First Trimester Fetal Development

During the first trimester, fetal development begins after fertilization and implantation within your uterus. The heart and circulatory system activate, along with the central and peripheral nervous system, launching all the vital organ systems for human life. Considering how critical these systems are, any potential negative impact carries serious risks; making you wonder can you fly during the first trimester?

In addition to organ system development, the facial features of your baby begin to form. The beginnings of limbs develop. Movement of the fetus occurs as well as your baby's sex determination with the development of gonads. Clearly, this is a critical period in your baby's life. Therefore, it is important to assess the risks for you and your baby when considering any activity.

Assessing the Risks

Pregnancy is an enormously stressful event for a woman. In essence, a woman is sharing her body's resources with her developing fetus, putting her under great strain and vulnerability to disease. The greatest risk to women is during the third trimester when air travel could trigger labor. For that reason, a woman who is not having a normal, healthy pregnancy should not fly. Flying carries the risk of additional stress, which could potentially harm the mother and her fetus, leaving the mother without the physical resources to conquer the negative effects.

Health Risks

If you are at risk for a miscarriage due to a past history or health reasons, do not fly during the first trimester. In fact, some airlines restrict women in the third trimester from flying due to the possible risk. Consult your doctor if you plan to fly during your first trimester or at any point during your pregnancy.

As you approach your second trimester, your chances of adverse effects from flying decrease. The risks of flying are in proportion to the potential physical damage that it may cause. Bear in mind that during the first trimester the most basic of development occurs. If your baby's heart or central nervous system is damaged, the chances for survival are nil.

Can You Fly During the First Trimester

The final question becomes can you fly during the first trimester? If you and your baby are healthy, then you need not cancel your flight reservations. However, bear in mind that there are issues related to your personal comfort to consider. Your decision to fly is based on your pregnancy and its possible risks or discomfort.

Flying without being pregnant can often cause motion sickness from changes in altitude and turbulence. Your chances of experiencing discomfort increase when you factor in the inevitable morning sickness that accompanies the first trimester. A long plane flight can end up being a very unpleasant event. Pressurized cabins may increase your blood pressure and heart rate, especially if you live in a low altitude area. Your weight gain during the first trimester may compound this effect. If you have high blood pressure or other cardiovascular issues, you may want to avoid flying during your first trimester.

For a healthy woman with a normal pregnancy, flying is not an issue. Your body can handle the added stress of travel if you are healthy. You should not fly during your first trimester if you have health issues that flying may increase. If you are uncertain, ask your doctor about your pregnancy. Your health and that of your baby are your most important considerations.

Can You Fly During the First Trimester?