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Flying in First Trimester - do I cancel trip?
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Flying in First Trimester - do I cancel trip?

I am in my 7th week and today I had my first dr. appt!!  It was a big relief cause we saw the heartbeat, etc!!!

The only thing is that I am supposed to fly from Europe to the US next week (and back of course)

My doc said that she wanted to make sure that I am aware that some doctors think that it is not a good idea to fly on longer flights in the first trimester due to the higher UV radiation levels at higher elevations ... and that since the baby's vital organs develop in weeks 7-10wks, that could be a bad idea.  She said that she never had anyone who had issues but that she at least wanted to tell me that there is a certain risk associated with it and that to be on the safe side, she would probably recommend not taking longer flights... and a trip to the US definately counts as a longer flight.  

I searched in google and the majority of articles that I saw dont seem to state that there is much of a risk... I saw one where they said there is higher radiation at higher elevation levels but not high enough to damage an embryo or fetus.  

Next week will by my 8th week and that is right smack in the middle of the organ development time. If I have to choose between my baby and my job, I definately choose the baby! I definately dont want to risk this pregnancy.  But most articles that I read indicate that flying up until 3rd trimester is fine.  So I am not sure how much of a risk it really is!

What have your doctors said to you about flying?  Anyone had to fly in their first trimester?  Anyone on longer flights?  Does Anyone have the same worries?!?!  What would you do??
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14 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
That is what my doc said... that if I decide to go, I should drink a lot and walk around, etc.  But I have a feeling you are right, will definately worry if I go...

I am an engineer so I like facts! I wish I could see facts or reports or studies to really be able to really access the risk!

Did your doc tell you that you maybe shouldn't fly because of thrombosis risk or because of radiation risk?
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165078_tn?1255610007
No he didnt mention anything like that, just the walking around and drinking water.  I also know people who travel a lot for work pregnant.  Your trip may be further so that may have a different effect?
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Avatar_f_tn
My doc's main concern was the radiation.  She said that at higher elevations, UV radiation is higher... so obviously the longer the trip, the longer the exposure.  She said short trips are ok, but maybe I should reconsider the long trip... argh!
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154929_tn?1196191338
I would say you should go on your trip.  A lot of women don't even know they are pg bythis time and fly and have no complications.  I would just make sure you let the stewardess know you need to walk around due to your pg--to avoid blood clots in the legs.  I would say you will be fine on the flight.  It is the same as driving for long periods of time you need to stop get and walk to ge the circulation moving again.

Good luck on your job and the new baby
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142452_tn?1262036275
Here are some websites you might want to look at:

http://www.hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/pregnancyandflying.html

http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/pregnancyandradiationexposure.html

http://www.babycenter.com/expert/pregnancy/pregnancytravel/1351065.html

http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr05-31-04-2.cfm

And this last one looks cool but I don't understand the info that you need to put into it.
http://jag.cami.jccbi.gov/cariprofile.asp




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Avatar_n_tn
I flew twice during my first trimester.  Around the same time that you are talking about and my DD is fine. I had planned a trip to NY with my girl friends, so I had put a lot of money into the trip. I went and had a blast and everything turned out ok. I also got married and we went on our honeymoon. We went from Florida, which is where I live, to Canada. I just drank a lot of water and got up and moved around when ever I got a chance.  The only thing I hated was that I swear I had to pee every 15 minutes and when it comes to having to get up and go to the bathroom sometimes it gets annoying. Especially when one time me and my DH ended up with three seats and the aisle seat was taken by this guy who was totally wasted. We asked him if he wouldn't mind switching seats with me so that I could go to the bathroom without bothering him and he was like yeah, but he never moved. He ended up going to sleep and we couldn't really wake him up. He would wake up but then would dose off before we could get anything out of him. I literally had to climb over him from the window seat (DH didn't want me sitting next to him....he was kind of crazy)! Everyone around was like why didn't he just move and let you out and I was like he is DRUNK!!!! Then they started to see what I was talking about....he started to laugh and couldn't stop and then he laughed himself to sleep again! Anyways, I think you will be fine! Good luck. Oh, but make sure you ask your doctor first!
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Avatar_n_tn
The doctors care more about blood clots from sitting still, not being hydrated etc.  The radiation scare thing is relatively new and depends also on solar flares the day you fly. There's a national site you can check on the RADS per day--it applies to later on too because radiation is bad for everyone.  I did fly at about 5 and 9 weeks or 6 and 10 weeks US-Brit and back and my DS is brilliant and beautiful (doesn't even glow in the dark).  But I worry more this time (cause last time I didn't even THINK about it,didn't know about it, didn't even have a doctor yet, etc.) I was only worried about having to carry heavy things by myself and puking all over people.
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130384_tn?1221596627
Is this trip a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing, or do you come here relatively often?  How easy will it be for you to re-book your trip after the baby is born?
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Avatar_f_tn
I am from the US and moved to Europe a few years ago.  At Christmas we are coming back again..but by then, if all goes good, I will be in my 2nd trimester so that is no prob.

This trip is a VERY important trip for me career-wise.  I am supposed to be on a business trip from next Tue - Fri in the US for a global meeting (where I am supposed to represent Europe).  Actually it isnt "my meeting", but rather, I am substituting in for my old boss who has a new job within the company.  So technically, I am going to a meeting with a lot of people who are higher up than me - so this is a great meeting for exposure, etc.  It is an honor to go to this meeting.

Like I said, would choose baby over trip in a second if my doc told me NOT to go.  But she didnt.  She just said that some people think it isnt good to fly....not very definate.  Nothing proven one way or the other, no facts .... No idea what to do.  I need more opinions!!
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165078_tn?1255610007
I cancelled a trip in the first trimester.  About a 5 hour trip to Vegas fully paid for.  Doc said I should be ok just to get up and walk around on the plane to keep the circulation going in my legs but as the trip neared I got scared and just cancelled it.  I was afraid somethign may happen while I was there and I would not have my doctor to help me.

I just dont think I could have enjoyed myself worrying about it.  You may feel the same, you might just end up worring too much to enjoy the trip.  Good LUck.
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161427_tn?1229914882
I did fly over seas when I was 8wks pregnant(18 hrs. flying), and came back when I was 13 wks. Every thing is fine with my baby,he is 18 month old boy now. Just move around as much as you can to avoid blood clots and drink alot of water. Have a safe trip.
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Avatar_f_tn
My sister flew through her second trimester in each pg without problem. I would go on the trip and ENJOY it! What a great way to network!
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Avatar_n_tn
I flew during my first trimester a couple of times.  It should be fine.  Drink plenty of fluids and get up and walk around.  Have fun, sounds like an important trip.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks to everyone !!!!!

I do feel much better now!

We decided to tell our parents about the pregnancy (we were debating whether to wait until a little further along) which was good because my mother is a Doula.  She double checked with a fetal specialist for me and he also said that radiation doesnt really pose a threat.

So thanks again to everyone! :))))
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