Whether it’s travelling for business, visiting family or going on a babymoon, it’s not unusual to see expectant mums flying.
Just last week, eight months pregnant Khloe Kardashian jetted from Los Angeles to Tokyo with her sisters Kim and Kourtney. But worried fans voiced their concern about the reality TV star taking a long-haul flight just one month away from giving birth.
Commenting on one of Khloe’s selfies on Instagram, one wrote: ”How can you travel in your in your last trimester that’s crazy I would be very concerned’.
Its not unusual to see expectant mothers flying, whether they are travelling to see relatives or for a holiday before they give birth
While another posted: ‘How is it your able to fly in your 3rd trimester (sic)?’ On Twitter one concerned fan tweeted Khloe, asking: ‘Why would you fly 17 hours over an ocean at 8 months???’
And another added: ‘Are u suppose to be flying to Japan in this late stage of pregnancy?? I would be concerned about going into early labor in another country just saying girl.’
But how safe it is for women expecting to take to their skies and should they avoid all travel?
According to Miss Leila Hanna, a consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at Queen Mary’s Hospital in London and BMI Chelsfield Park and Blackheath hospitals, there is no evidence to suggest flying while pregnant is harmful – so long as proper precautions are taken.
She told MailOnline Travel: ‘There is not much evidence surrounding this but what we do know is that flying when pregnant does not cause early labour or miscarriage.
At eight months pregnant Khloe Kardashian jetted from Los Angeles to Tokyo with her sisters Kim and Kourtney. Pictured are Khloe and Kourtney at a Bamboo forest in Japan
‘I would advise any pregnant ladies to take simple precautions but that would be to reduce the risk of getting a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis).
‘If a lady is reasonably early in pregnancy and only travelling a short distance, I would advise them to take a low dose of aspirin for two days before travel and two days after to keep the blood thin.
‘If the flight is longer, they have to make sure that on the flight they are mobile so loads of walking up and down and wearing compression stockings.
‘They also need to try and drink as much water as they can. Mobilisation and hydration are the key.
‘I always tell pregnant ladies who are going to be flying walk, walk, walk, water, water, water.
‘Airlines will often have a cut off date where they won’t accept pregnant ladies but that is just because they don’t want babies being born on their aircraft.’
Dr Patrick O’Brien from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists agreed, saying flying when pregnant is perfectly safe – so long as the pregnancy is uncomplicated.
Concerned fans of Khloe said they were worried about her flying so close to her due date after she posted this selfie on Instagram saying ‘kisses from Tokyo’
He told MailOnline Travel: ‘There is no evidence that the changes in air pressure and/or the decrease in humidity have a harmful effect, or that flying will cause miscarriage, early labour or waters to break.
‘Long-distance travel – longer than five hours – however, does carry a small risk of blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) in the legs and lungs.
‘If pregnant women are taking a long flight, they are advised to drink plenty of liquids (but avoid caffeine and alcohol as they dehydrate the body, thickening the blood), move about every 60 minutes, do leg exercises in the seat every 30 minutes, and wear compression or support stockings to help reduce leg swelling and improve circulation.’
However, he advised that if expectant mothers are in the late stages of pregnancy or have experienced unusual symptoms, they should think about putting off their trip.
Dr O’Brien added: ‘When you are pregnant, the safest time to fly is before 36 weeks, if you are carrying one baby, and before 32 weeks if you are carrying an uncomplicated twin pregnancy.
‘Most airlines do not allow women to fly after 36 weeks, but it’s important that you check with your airline before flying.
Last month the Duchess of Cambridge travelled to Sweden and Norway while six months pregnant on a royal tour. She is pictured emerging from an aircraft after touching down in Norway with husband Prince William
‘After 28 weeks of pregnancy, airlines may ask for a letter from a doctor or midwife confirming the due date and that women are not at any increased risk of complications.
‘A medical condition or health problem can complicate pregnancies and put women and their babies at risk.
‘For this reason, women may be advised not to fly if they are at risk of going into labour before their due date, have severe anaemia, sickle cell disease or a serious condition affecting the lungs or heart that makes it very difficult to breathe, or have recently had significant vaginal bleeding.
‘Women should discuss any health issues or pregnancy complications with their midwife or doctor before flying.’
Guidelines from the RCOG also state that expectant mothers may experience discomfort while flying, which can include swelling due to fluid retention, nasal congestion due to changes in air pressure and motion sickness.
And if they do opt to fly, experts say that body scanners at security will not pose any harm to their babies and that seat belts on aircraft should be worn over their thighs and below their bump.
Both Coleen Rooney, left, and Abbey Clancy, right, enjoyed holidays while pregnant last year. Coleen jetted off to Barbados with her children while Abbey visited Dubai with her husband, footballer Peter Crouch
Khloe isn’t the only well-known face that has travelled by air when expecting.
Her sister Kim jetted to Paris while she was expecting second child Saint, and even admitted she only went to have a piece of her favourite cheesecake at Hotel Costes as part of a last foodie blowout.
Recently, the Duchess of Cambridge travelled to Sweden and Norway as part of a royal tour with Prince William, while six months pregnant with her third child.
Coleen Rooney, wife of footballer Wayne Rooney, was pictured holidaying in Barbados in November while expecting the couple’s fourth child, Cass.
And model Abbey Clancy jetted to Dubai for a getaway with footballer husband Peter Crouch in October while pregnant with son, Johnny.
WHAT ARE THE AIRLINES’ POLICIES ON FLYING WHEN PREGNANT?
Pregnant passengers with British Airways can fly with the airline up until the 36th week of pregnancy or 32nd week if they are expecting more than one baby.
However, after the 28th week of pregnancy, expectant mothers must provide BA with a letter from a doctor or midwife stating that there are no complications with the pregnancy. This should be obtained seven to 10 days before travel.
On Ryanair, expectant mums are free to fly up to 28 weeks of pregnancy. Once they reach 28 weeks, they must fill out the airline’s ‘fit to fly’ form which has to be signed by their doctor or midwife.
If approved, they can travel with Ryanair until their 36 week cut-off or 32 weeks if they are expecting more than one baby.
Different airlines have different policies when it comes to accepting pregnant passengers. However most won’t allow travel close to a expectant mother’s due date
Pregnant passengers travelling with American Airlines must provide a doctor’s certificate stating they are fit to fly if their due date is within four weeks of travel.
For domestic travel within the US under five hours, those within seven days of their due date will not be permitted to travel.
For international flights or those that travel over water, pregnant passengers must get clearance from a special assistance co-ordinator and obtain a physician’s note if their due date is within four weeks of travel.
Pregnant passengers can travel on Delta at any time without restriction. However, they say ticket fees will not be waived due to pregnancy.
Pregnant passengers can travel on Qantas freely up to 28 weeks of pregnancy, and then after that they require a certificate or letter from a registered medical professional confirming they are fit to fly.
For flights less than four hours, pregnant passengers can travel up to the end of the 40th week of pregnancy or the end of the 32nd week for multiple pregnancies with a medical letter.
If travelling over four hours, expectant mothers can travel up to the end of the 36th week for single pregnancies and the end of the 32nd week for multiple pregnancies with a medical letter.