Safe to do long haul international flights during early pregnancy?

My husband and I are trying for our first baby (I have Hashimoto's) and I've just been asked to travel for work later in the year (Australia to UK & Europe). While we're not pregnant yet, I'm hoping that I will be by the time the trip comes around. The problem is I have to commit to the work trip soon and I've previously been warned that it is too risky to fly long haul flights early in the pregnancy because we have a higher than normal risk of miscarriage (I was also told it's not a good idea because our medication schedule is often changed/delayed because of the time difference and that affects the baby). Has anyone done any long haul flights in the early stages of pregnancy? Have you had any problems?

Ideally I would like to ask an obstetrician, but since I’m not pregnant I don’t have access to one! I also don't see an Endo regularly, but he was the one that told me I need to be extremely careful in the first few months of pregnancy!

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  • The issue of time-zone shift has come up several times. I think for most people, a few hours difference on a couple of days shouldn't be too much. But I agree that in the context of pregnancy it is probably something to avoid.

    But because it has been talked about, I did come up with a possible game plan. First switch to split doing - maybe 50mcg at bed-time and another 50mcg mid-morning. That is, try to flatten the spike but still keep it away from foods, etc.

    Then, when travelling, do your best to keep those two doses going at approximate twelve-hour intervals. Of course you will end up having to move them a bit - plus or minus a couple of hours. But it would avoid a twelve-hour (or more) gap which could otherwise occur.

    Please note: This is based on logical approach and NOT experience! :-)

    However, feel I have to mention Kate Middleton. If you were to go through that, I don't think that flying would be viable. Sure, it is only a small minority, but you do not know until it happens whether you will be like her or not. This does not mean that you should not assume all would be well - which is most likely. Just be aware that it might not be.

    Rod

  • Hi. I used to travel with my work and did so when just pregnant, but the furthest was only New York. My problems were mostly around food. I was very sick and felt rubbish. I physically couldn't travel (or really work properly) from around 8-14 weeks. I hardly ate and probably vomited up much of my thyroxine in early pregnancy too - fortunately I had no problems with the baby.

    Its really difficult to plan when you are trying and not sure whether you will be or not (I've been there too), but equally you cannot stop your life just in case. You have to decide. You may physically not be able to go, or it could be a breeze.

    Rod's plan sounds like a good approach. I'd also add that you would want to arrive in good time to adjust a little to the time zone - maybe a day earlier than you normally would? Also, be prepared to cancel it if you feel awful.

    Good Luck!!

  • I used to be long haul cabin crew and I used to set an alarm on my phone to remind me to take my meds!! I kept it on British summer time so that I was never out of sync! The only reason cabin crew have to stop flying is because its a manual job and you can't have a crew member being sick in the toilet incase there's an emergency!! A pair of flight socks, lots and lots of water and walks around the cabin are recommended!! Have a good trip and don't stress!!!

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