Monthly Archives: September 2013

Flying While Pregnant, Mythbuster Style

When I found out I was pregnant with F, now 5, I wondered how much our traveling would change due to my pregnancy. I had always heard rumors about not being allowed to fly after a certain point in pregnancy, and with several trips planned I didn’t know what would happen.

Luckily for me our trips went off as planned, with visits to Spain, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Iceland, the US, and several places throughout the UK. I joke that F already had more stamps in his imaginary passport than many people do as adults.

I learned a few things on these trips, and while no one should make decisions on traveling without consulting their doctor/ob/midwife first, traveling for two shouldn’t put a damper on any trips you have planned during those 9 months of pregnancy.

Let’s tackle some of the myths that I hear people say about traveling while pregnant. The biggest one is that you aren’t allowed to fly after a certain time in pregnancy by rule of the airline. Here is a list of major domestic American airlines and their rules (current as of today)

Alaska Airlines – No restrictions for either domestic or international travel, but advised to consult a doctor.

American – For domestic travel no flying allowed 7 days before/after your delivery date. I am not sure how they calculate your delivery date, so I assume it is your due date. For international travel or any flights over the water, travel is not advised within 30 days of the due date, unless you are examined by an obstetrician within 48 hours of outbound departure and certified in writing as medically stable for flight. Travel within 10 days of the due date for International travel must have clearance from their Special Assistance Coordinators. Travel within 7 days after delivery requires clearance as well.

Delta – No restrictions for travel, and a medical certificate is not needed.

Frontier – No restrictions, consult your doctor

JetBlue - Pregnant Passengers expecting to deliver within seven days are prohibited from travel, unless such Passenger provides a doctor’s certificate dated no more than seventy-two (72) hours prior to departure stating that the Doctor has examined and found the Passenger to be physically fit for air travel to and from the destinations requested on the date of the flight and that the estimated date of delivery is after the date of the last flight.

Southwest – They recommend against travel starting at the beginning of your 38th week.

SunCountry - Travel within 7 days of due date requires a Doctor’s certification obtained within 72 hours of flight.

United Airlines - Passengers traveling in their ninth month of pregnancy must have an obstetrician’s certificate dated within 24 to 72 hours prior to their flight departure.

USAir - If your due date is within 7 days of your flight, you must provide a doctor’s certificate, dated within 72 hours of departure, stating that he or she has examined you and determined that you are fit to fly.

VirginAmerica - They seem to have the most complicated rules. With no issues you can fly up until 28 weeks with no notification to the airline. After 28 weeks and with a single pregnancy you can travel between 28-36 weeks with a doctors note. After 36 weeks they don’t allow flying without it being a special circumstance. For a multiple pregnancy you can fly between 28-32 weeks with a doctors note, beyond that no travel.

Here are some major international carriers (please note these are just a sample and don’t include all carriers)

British Airways - For uncomplicated single pregnancies, they restrict travel beyond the end of the 36th week, and for twins, triplets etc., beyond the end of the 32nd week. After your pregnancy has entered its 28th week, they ask that you carry with you a letter from your doctor or midwife, stating the pregnancy is uncomplicated and confirming the expected date of delivery.

KLM –  No flying after 36 weeks

Lufthansa - Expectant mothers with complication-free pregnancies can fly with Lufthansa until the end of the 36th week of pregnancy or up to four weeks before their expected due date without a medical certificate from their provider. However, they recommend that expectant mothers beyond the 28th week of their pregnancies carry a current letter from a physician.

Singapore Airlines – Single pregnancies may travel through 36 weeks, multiple pregnancies may travel through 32 weeks. Between 29 and 36 weeks expectant mothers must travel with a doctors letter.

Emirates - Traveling beyond your 29th week requires a medical form; with a single pregnancy you may travel through 36 weeks, with multiples through 32 weeks.

Qantas - For travel after the first 28 weeks of your pregnancy: you need to carry a certificate or letter from a registered medical practitioner or registered midwife; for flights 4 hours or more you may fly through 36 weeks with single pregnancy and 32 weeks with multiples; with flights less than four hours you may fly up to 40 weeks with single pregnancy and 36 weeks with multiples.

While this information could change at any time it is a pretty good representation that the rules vary greatly between domestic American airlines and international carriers, but traveling is still possible (and fun!).

Always check with your doctor prior to travel, drink copious amounts of water on the plane, walk as much as possible, and compression socks are your friend!

This is part of Travel Tips Tuesday at Suitcases and Sippycups and Walking On Travels. Check it out!

 

 

 

 

DragonCon 2013: Visiting With Kids

After a Summer filled with travel we have had a pretty low key few weeks – at least as low key as you can get with school starting again! So with Labor Day approaching we debated hopping in the car and heading out of town, but decided to stick around and explore some of the best of what Atlanta has to offer.

And that, my friends, was DragonCon 2013. The largest multi-media, popular culture convention has long been on my radar, not because I know much of what happens there but because everyone has told us how fun the parade is. In years past we have either not been in town or our kids have been too young, but this year we headed out early and claimed our space on the curb and had front row seats to this amazingly entertaining event.

Some tips: The parade started at 10, and we got there at 8:15. By 9 the crowds behind us were 4 people deep. If you want a seat (either on the curb itself or you can bring a chair) the earlier you can get there the better. Bring snacks, and something to keep your kids entertained, because the wait seemed to drag on forever, although people watching is at a premium at this event! Bathrooms, and parking, are hard to find, so prepare for both, we took MARTA down and this was definitely the easiest option. We also found a hotel that let us use their bathroom, which was great with a young desperate child in tow!

Waiting for the parade to start

Waiting for the parade to start

 

Waiting for the parade to start, ipads in hand

Waiting for the parade to start, ipads in hand

 

Waiting for the parade to start

Waiting for the parade to start

My kids are 5 and 2, and I was a little nervous that the event may be too scary for them at times, but they both handled it really well. L, 2, spent most of the time staring at the participants in a mixture of shock and awe, waving the entire time.

Waving in confusion

Waving in confusion

F, 5, spent most of the time in search of characters he knew, of which there were a few, but neither of them really got scared at any point. If your kids get scared easily, or the thought of zombies or skeletons or people draped in fake blood would be scary for them, then this parade probably isn’t your thing.

I will be honest, I was pretty clueless as to who most of these people were supposed to be. My husband did a good job of filling me in, but I don’t think you need to know. I definitely appreciated the thought and work that went into many of these costumes, and we know we will return next year (with chairs!) to watch it all over again!

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This is part of Travel Tips Tuesday at Suitcases and Sippycups and Walking On Travels. Check it out!