12-23 weeks pregnancy is the best time to travel. Plan your holiday around this time. In the second trimester, the risk of miscarriage is the smallest. It is also the time when the nausea and vomiting of the first trimester has subsided, and the increasing pressures symptoms of a uterus increasing in size in the third trimester have not set in.
There are 3 main issues with flying during pregnancy:
1. Deep vein thrombosis (i.e. blood clots in the deep leg veins) is more common when flights are more than 4 hours long. It is advisable to:
a) drink plenty of water during the flight. Avoid alcohol.
b) request to be seated in the aisle for easy ambulation
c) ambulate where possible
d) wear TED stockings on the legs (you can get them from the clinic if you need them)
e) use blood thinning injections if you have other risk factors that increase the risk of clotting
2. Access to healthcare
a) Opt for travel insurance for pre-existing conditions (i.e. pregnancy) and confirm that the travel insurance covers pregnancy complications
b) Know where the good hospitals for pregnant women are in the country that you are travelling to and know the routes for evacuation, if necessary. Being prepared is a good virtue.
3. Fitness to fly memo - Obtain a fitness to fly memo from your obstetrician. This is compulsory if you are more than 28 weeks. Most airlines will not allow you to fly from 36 weeks for singletons and 32 weeks for multiple pregnancies.