According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), most women are fully capable of flying during their pregnancies without any harm to baby or mom. This statement, of course, pertains only to women who are having a pregnancy without remarkable health concerns.
Before revising the official statement, ACOG looked at observational studies performed since 2001. Dr. William Barth, an ACOG committee member, believes the new statement offers more detailed information for the pregnant woman and the obstetrician. Obstetricians are often confronted with questions about travel during the pregnancy and ACOG hopes these new guidelines will help streamline the advice given by doctors to patients.
While pregnant women may be safe to fly, ACOG wishes to reinforce the safety precautions women need to take before and during flying. It is important for pregnant women to avoid blood clots by wearing loose clothing, moving often and walking around the plane whenever possible. If there is turbulence and walking is not allowed, moving the legs up and down in a seated position can increase blood flow to and from the legs.
Dehydration can also cause an increase in blood clots so women who are pregnant and flying are urged to drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Reserving a seat close to the bathroom, whenever, possible can help combat the increased number of trips to the bathroom both from pregnancy and the addition fluid intake.
While ACOG can advise women they are safe to fly, the airline has the final say about who is allowed to enter the plane. Most airlines allow women to fly up to their 36th week of pregnancy, but the specific guidelines of each airline should be reviewed before purchasing a ticket. If the pregnant woman MAY be in need of emergency care, for any reason, they are not advised to fly.
Source: Obstetrics & Gynecology 2009