Flying when Pregnant


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #1

I had my maternity check ups on Friday for the 8th month of pregnancy. Firstly with the mid-wife, a very stern looking lady at the hospital who was not at all impressed when I asked her for a letter to confirm how many weeks pregnant I am & that I have a normal, single pregnancy with no complications preventing travel. You would have imagined I was asking her to sign her life savings away the way she reacted. She was clearly not impressed that I wanted to fly in my 8th month.



I've read lots of stuff about flying & there is no proven evidence to show that flying causes the onset of labour and the main reason airlines do not allow pregnant women to fly beyond 35 weeks is that as there is a percentage (around 20% I believe) of babies born prematurely & the airlines do not want the risk of this happening on one of their flights.



Each airline has a different policy so it's important to check with each airline before travelling. I'm flying Air France and was pleased to see that they don't actually need a Dr's note but prefer that you don't fly in your last month (which is the 9th for those who aren't familiar with the french pregnancy calendar - we actually appear to be pregnant for 1 week short of 10 months not the usual 9months we normally talk about)



So I am taking extra precaution by getting Madame to write me out a note (based on the BA & Ryanair requirements) but I feel better for having it. I'm not very large anyway for my term so I'm guessing they won't think I'm more than 6m gone as most ladies in the village seem keen to tell me daily.



My second appointment of the morning was with Mr Swaggering Anaesthetist (they're always strutting around I find) anyway he asked me if I had an epidural with my first child to which I replied no, I had her naturally & he looked flabaghasted & asked why? Of course I looked equally flabaghasted back & said why have an epidural when I can do it as nature intended if I can manage with the pain then its the lowest risk option for me & the baby. He tutted & quickly whizzed through his notes then 3 minutes after the appointment started he was literally pushing me out of the door. I had obviously offended his whole profession by not wanting an epidural. It's interesting that this chap was probably in his 50's whereas the last anaesthetist I saw for my first pregnancy was in his 30s and didn't seem surprised at all I wanted a natural birth. He was really nice, whereas this one was a right miserable so & so. I hope I don't have reason to see him again in November!



So I'm now looking forward to Friday when I will have my 3rd trimester echographie (ultrasound at 32 weeks) and get to play peekaboo baby again. My 16m old daughter has taken to stroking my tummy now which is really sweet & I'm hoping she will look at the screen this time with Daddy & maybe understand what is inside Mama's tummy.



I also need to visit the lab again this week for another litre of blood to be taken out (or so it seems) to check my cat hasn't given me Toxoplasmosis (that would be difficult as he has practically moved out again like he did last time I was pregnant).



It's not surprising I don't have time to go for pre-natal classes this time round (besides not having a car Monday to Thursday) it's near on impossible trying to fit it into our busy lives. Well I'm sure I can remember enough from last time round - it's not that long ago (again as many ladies in our village keep telling me).



I just hope they don't try & send me for monitoring twice a week like last time (because of course it's a petit bebe & they need to check it more often) but we will see on Friday how petit this one is compared to the last. I'm sure the echographiste is certain to have a comment to make!



Now I need to think about what extra bits & pieces I need to get for the new baby,you know all the bits I didn't bother with first time round but now think would be useful or because our first one is still young we actually need 2 of the same thing...so much for saving money on the second :) At least I can find some bargains on the UK high street by shopping through www.UK4Me.co.uk.


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #2

Well I’ll be sure to keep you posted on our progress!


(Catharine Higginson) #3

Do you realise that this will be the first SF baby? How exciting!! xx


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #4

Thanks Claudia, re Toxo - yes it’s difficult to choose steak when we’re out now as I have to order it bien cuit & it just doesn’t taste nice. I am also really careful to wash vegetables & fruit before eating as it can be transmitted there too.


(Claudia Graf) #5

As I commented on your last blog (train to Germany), I think you are one brave lady! So hat off! For travelling, for having a natural birth, for managing w/o a car at 8 months pregnant. :wink:
Just one word on toxoplasmosis (as a cat lover!): it isn’t just your cat that can transmit it, all sorts of (not well known) activities can give it to you- contact with raw meat is a more significant source of human infections, but also fecal contamination of hands (pardon!), working in the garden…
Also - it used to be said that giving birth during a flight, the baby will get free frequent flyer miles for life - I think that’s a myth… :wink: maybe airlines don’t like it because of a) the staff not being trained, b) the potential delays caused by diversions should the plane need to make an emergency landing.
Good luck with your journey anyhow.
Claudia/Zone Bébé
www.zonebebe.fr