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Guide to flying while pregnant in UAE

 

DUBAI – Embarking on a babymoon before your bundle of joy arrives? Or have you decided to travel back to your home country to have the baby?

Here’s 10 top travel advices from Skyscanner.ae for expecting mothers looking to have a relaxing trip, as well as some tips from some of the UAE’s best family bloggers. You can also read Skyscanner’s full guide about flying while pregnant.

1. Talk to your doctor

You should really talk to your healthcare professional before deciding to fly while pregnant. Many of them will sign off on your trip, provided there aren’t any known pregnancy complications. Women that have experienced a premature delivery, miscarriage, stillbirth, or any other health risks are likely not to get approval from a midwife or obstetrician. Doctors (and some airlines) will also recommend not travelling by air after your 36th week. Also, make sure you do get a copy of your prenatal records to take along for the trip.

2. Airlines have different policies. Check with yours!

Etihad Airways allows women to travel during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy without a medical certificate.

Emirates Airlines allows travelling after the 36th week is not allowed, unless with special permission from the Medical Department of the airlines.

Air Arabia allows travel until 35 weeks, if the expectant woman provides a medical certificate indicating the number of weeks of her pregnancy.

Flydubai allows normal travel of expectant mothers until the end of 28 weeks. Travelling after 28 weeks is not allowed, unless with an official medical report sufficient to Flydubai.

3. Take out travel insurance

Make sure your travel insurance gives you adequate cover. Most insurers will insist that the mum-to-be has at least 8 to 10 weeks until she gives birth upon return. Others may stipulate that cover only extends up until week 27 or 28 of pregnancy. Contact them to find out their particular conditions and exactly what you could claim for.

4. Fly close to home

Your dream holiday might be a far flung exotic destination, but long-haul flights can be uncomfortable. There are more than enough fantastic domestic destinations to visit on a two-hour to three-hour flight. It lessens the time for discomfort, and gets you to the fun of a vacation faster.

5. Walk the cabin

No matter the flight, it’s good to get up from your seat for a bit as there is an increased risk of getting blood clots during pregnancy. Every half hour during the flight, stand up and walk, or flex and extend your legs to prevent swelling of the feet and to improve blood circulation.

6. Sit comfortably

If you can afford the luxury of flying in business class or premium economy then do it. If not, try to select an extra legroom seat before your flight. You could even just ask the flight staff if they can make some accommodations for you. If an extra legroom seat is unavailable, the second best option would be to get an aisle seat near the restroom, because you can relieve yourself without walking in front of people on a regular basis.

7. Wear a pair of compression socks

Ask your midwife for elastic compression socks for your flight. When pregnant, slower circulation increases the chance of blood clots, which can be minimised by wearing compression socks.

8. Drink water – lots of it

You can never drink enough water when you pregnant. Stay hydrated while waiting to get on the plane. And buy a large bottle of water to take on the plane with you, so you’re not at the mercy of the flight’s airline service.

9. Avoid lifting bags

When you arrive at the airport, staff and airline personnel are available to assist you at every stage of your journey. Alert your airline if you need assistance with your luggage or with travelling to your flight.

10. Take extra precautions while on holiday

Safe landing complete, baggage collected and you’re speeding towards your hotel before a little bit of sight-seeing.

Don’t forget to:

• Keep the hat and high factor sun protection on at all times, as your skin is more sensitive to the sun’s rays during pregnancy.
• Steer clear of the banana boats, jet skis, any diving or water based activity.
• Take a copy of your medical notes and insurance policy.
• Make your own list of local doctors, hospitals and the embassy with contact details and directions.

Tips from some of UAE’s top family bloggers

Helen Farmer, The Mothership:

Pack snacks! You don’t know when the food will come out, so keep your blood sugar stable if you’re prone to feeling nauseous.

Tell cabin crew you’re pregnant (you might get special treatment).

Don’t forget your doctor’s note and another for the return journey.

Avoid flying anywhere remote after the second trimester – making sure a clinic with adequate facilities is essential.

Accept help – let someone do the heavy lifting of bags.

Amy Vogelaar, Love Parenting UAE:

Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the flight and get up and empty your bladder frequently.

Do the in-seat exercises to prevent blood clots and get up and walk every hour or so to keep your blood moving and reduce oedema or swelling.

Ask your doctor about wearing compression flight socks or stockings. Also, stick to wearing loose, non-constrictive clothing during the flight.

Andrea Bailey, Beyond a Visit:

Stay hydrated- water is the best so make sure you have plenty of it when travelling.

Stay away from fizzy drinks!

Buy an in-flight footrest – using an inflatable or hammock style footrest that you can attach to the seat in front of you will help circulation in the feet.

 

If you’re flying for the first time with your baby, check out Skyscanner’s ‘Baby on Board’ guide about the rules for flying with infants. There are lots of handy tips and advice.

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