#childsafety | Meghan Markle won’t travel to Prince Philip’s funeral. Experts say flying while pregnant during the pandemic can be risky.




Meghan Markle talking on a cell phone: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Phil Noble/Pool/Getty Images


© Phil Noble/Pool/Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Phil Noble/Pool/Getty Images

  • Meghan Markle will not travel to the UK for Prince Philip’s funeral.
  • Markle is pregnant and due this summer, meaning air travel comes with more considerations.
  • Flying during the pandemic comes with risks, too, especially if you’re unvaccinated.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Prince Harry is planning to travel to the UK for Prince Philip’s funeral on April 17, but Meghan Markle, who is pregnant, did not get medical clearance to fly, representatives for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex told Insider Saturday.

Markle is pregnant with the couple’s second child, a girl, and is due this summer, however her exact due date is not known. It’s also unclear whether Markle has been vaccinated.

Dr. Makeba Williams, an OB-GYN at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, told Insider flying during pregnancy is generally safe before 36 weeks, though more precautions are needed during the pandemic, especially if you’re not vaccinated.

“It’s unfortunate we have to talk about [flying while pregnant] in the context of a death,” she said, “but it’s relevant to a lot of people.”

Pregnancy is a time, she added, that prompts people to think about seeing their families, and as more people get vaccinated, making those trips is safer than this time last year. “I’m feeling hopeful,” she said.

Airlines usually don’t allow people to fly if they’re 36 weeks pregnant or beyond

Taking the occasional flight during pregnancy is largely safe if you don’t have pregnancy-related or other health problems that make flying risky, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says.

Still, pregnant people should take some additional precautions to manage potential risks. For one, both pregnancy and air travel raise the risk of blood clots, it’s important for pregnant travelers to stand, walk around, or do leg exercises like ankle circles to improve circulation. Compression socks can help, too.

Flying also means potentially hitting a patch of severe turbulence, which could be dangerous for the developing fetus. That’s why ACOG emphasizes pregnant passengers’ use of seat belts while seated.

Williams also recommends staying hydrated and avoiding salty foods, which can lead to water retention.

And, most airlines won’t allow people on flights if they’re 36 weeks pregnant or beyond. The rationale: “That is the point at which labor could more often occur,” Williams said, “and no one wants to have to ground a plane because you’re going into labor.”

The pandemic complicates flying decisions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discourages people who aren’t fully vaccinated from traveling, since doing so increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19.

But if you must, like for a funeral, unvaccinated people should get tested one to three days before flying; wear a mask, maintain social distance, and keep up good hand hygiene; and take precautions like quarantining and getting tested when they return home, the CDC says. All that advice applies to unvaccinated pregnant people, too, Williams said.

If you are vaccinated, the CDC says you can travel safely, but you should still wear a mask, maintain social distance, and frequently wash your hands. That too doesn’t change if you’re pregnant and vaccinated – a decision up to you and your healthcare provider, Williams said.

Clinical trials testing the COVID-19 vaccines’ safety and efficacy in pregnancy are ongoing, but research so far suggests they’re safe and beneficial to a pregnant person and their future child. Patients “should be counseled on the risks and benefits,” Williams said, though “vaccines do provide that extra level of safety.”

There are also practical considerations if you’re flying during the pandemic while pregnant: Is there a chance you could get stuck at your destination and go into labor there? How might your destination’s quarantining requirements affect your ability to get care? What are case rates like at the destination?

Contracting COVID-19 while pregnant puts you at increased risk for complications and even death from the disease, though the overall risk is low.

“We have to be somewhat cautious now that we’re seeing increased infections with these variants,” Williams said. “I wouldn’t say you shouldn’t or couldn’t fly while pregnant. I would say take all of the reasonable precautions that you can to protect you and your unborn child.”

Read the original article on Insider
Continue Reading



Source link
.  .  .  .  .  .  . .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   .   .   .    .    .   .   .   .   .   .  .   .   .   .  .  .   .  .