My first post on this wonderfully informative site: I am 31 wks and one day into my first pregnancy at age 36 and am pondering having to make a week trip to Seoul, South Korea next week, so making a 11-12 hr flight during my 32 and 33rd weeks. I have had an ideal pregnancy, and am very healthy and active (exercise 3-4 times a week). I have friends who have flown during their 30th and 31st months across the atlantic and tell me they had no problems. I also have a very nervous mother in law who keeps on telling me stories about the umbellical cord becoming wrapped around the babies neck if I fly during this last trimester??

Any comments/worries/stories/experiences? Please let me know if my mother in law is right on this one...

Thanks!

--Jani

Tags: cord, flying, third, trimester, umbellical

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the only chance that i know that is a possibility is being that far along when you fly the barometric pressure drops in the air and when the barometric pressure drops it can send women into labor that happened with me when i was 37 weeks pregnant but we were not flying i had my usual midwife appt on the friday january 4 with no signs of going into labor and at 215am saturday morning my water broke at the birth center there were 3 of us there that day with 4 others in early labor and the only thing the midwives can think of is because there was a storm friday night early saturday morning of course the barometric pressure dropped which is a reason that we were all in labor at the same time before you make any plans though consult your doctor or midwife usually that far along they will discourage you from traveling when you are that far along hope all works out for you
I see. Even at 32 weeks, there is a chance of going into early labor, huh? My midwife told me that I would be fine flying at this time, as I had a trip planned which was subsequently canceled...

Were there any complications with your birth after all?

THanks!
I'm 30 weeks pregnant now and I flew to Italy for 8 days during my 28th week. Next week I'm flying to LA for 2 days. My midwives are fine with it, but I'm pushing it as I approach the 34th week (the "cut-off"). They have emphasized that flying is not a risk to the baby. The risk is that IF I go into labor early and I'm on a plane, or far away, well then...that would kind of suck.
But it's ABSURD that a plane ride would wrap an umbilical cord around a baby's neck! Didn't you ask your doctor or midwife?
My midwife gave me great advice for flying: drink A TON of water. That way you stay hydrated, but you also are forced to get up and walk around every couple hours so that you get the circulation in your legs, thereby preventing blood clots and combating swelling to some degree.
Great advice and thanks for sharing. My midwife feels very comfortable with my flying, especially since I know and am very familiar with where I am going. The umbilical cord wrapped around the neck - well, it's not as ridiculous as it may initially sound, asthreefriends who are mothers have heard or have a friend to whom it has happened. One of my midwives said that it's not uncommon - happens to 10% of babies in their trimester...of course I have no idea where she got this percentage.

I will make sure to drink aqua a plenty - thanks for the advice again!
I flew during my 31st week and everything was fine; however, it was a short flight to NC. I had wanted to go on a trip to St. John when I was 35 weeks and my doc said that there was no medical reason that I couldn't but that I should think twice before going to another country when I was that far along. Basically she just said anywhere I travel I should be comfortable giving birth there if necessary and needless to say I was not comfortable giving birth in St. John. Seoul I would probably be more comfortable with; however, I would NOT have enjoyed a 12 hour flight plus time sitting around an airport when I was that far pregnant.
I flew to and from Mexico at 28 and 29 weeks pregnant. My midwife was all for it. My feet were swollen after sitting on a plane all day, but that was the only problem.
I, too, am planning some oversees travel well into my 3rd trimester. My midwife is ok with this, but she has told me that there is an increased risk of thrombosis, or blood clots forming, which can be harmful. However, wearing compression stockings during the flight, drinking lots of fluids, and moving around a lot during the flight are are good ways to combat this. As I read online, pregnancy, itself, puts you at more risk for thrombosis, not simply that you are flying while pregnant.
Compression stockings...that's a great tip. By well into third trimester, you're talking 8th month? I am flying literally from 32 wks and two days and then again at 33 wks and 2 days.

Thanks!
I flew at 33 weeks with my toddler son. My flight was WAY shorter than yours but I heard nothing about what you are talking about from my midwife. She was more than happy to let me fly. The only thing I would make sure of is that you walk around a lot. Don't sit the whole flight. Make sure you get your legs moving so you can ensure you don't develop any blood clots. That's my biggest worry, not something about the umbilical cord. I've never heard of anything like that in relation to flying. The umbilical cord can become all wrapped up all on it's own, I don't see any possible relationship between that and flying. Obviously you also need to make sure you have a plan B in the off chance that something happens and you go into preterm labor. Have your insurance info with you in case you end up having the baby overseas. If your pregnancy has been uneventful, then I'm sure you'll be fine! Have fun on your trip!
My mother in law has taken a worse turn and now believes everything she hears from her friends who say that flying after 6 months - this should not happen at all...She is determined not to have us fly...but today at my appt. with our midwife, she asked exactly what medical reasons exist for such opinions?

Anyway, when I asked my midwife what I should do should I go into premature labor on the plane - as part of Plan B - she actually said to me to have a drink or two b/c alcohol relaxes muscles??? Is this sound advice from a midwife? This sounded a bit strange to me and my partner. We smiled a bit but it didn't sound like such good advice...I'll have to do some more research on plan B.

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