Think twice before you hop on a plane to go to your cousin's wedding during these last few weeks of pregnancy. It's best to stay close to home. If you go into labor, you'll be close enough to the hospital to get there in time. Some health insurance companies require you to stay within an hour's drive of your hospital during the last month of pregnancy, and they may not fully cover an emergency delivery far from home. Check with your health insurer to see if it has any such rules.
Airlines may not allow you to fly close to your due date. One U.S. airline requires a doctor's certificate if you want to fly within seven days of your due date, and you will be forbidden to board the plane if you are in labor. Another airline requires any woman in her 9th month of pregnancy to present a certificate from an obstetrician, signed within the previous 72 hours, deeming her to be physically fit for flying. Airlines clearly do not want women giving birth on their planes.
If you must travel, take a copy of your medical record and your doctor's contact information with you in case you do go into labor. Have the name and phone number of a local obstetrician handy and know where the nearest hospital is and how to get there in a hurry.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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