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Flying when pregnant

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Flying when pregnant

Old 21st Mar 2007, 04:59
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Southern Hemisphere
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Rule of thumb..

1st trimester...dont fly
2nd trimester....fly
3rd trimester...definitely do not fly.
Also investigate the use of Cartia...low dose aspirin...while flying.
Google "cardio lipin"..not sure of the spelling.
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Old 21st Mar 2007, 07:34
  #22 (permalink)  
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Have been looking into UK CAA regs and IF they apply to a foreign carrier with a UK base then the Airline in question falls foul of:-
1. The Air Navigation (Cosmic Radiation) Order 2000. No.1104 - "..Operators shall ensure exposure to the foetus will be as low as reasonably achievable and unlikely to exceed 1 milliSievert during the remainder of the pregnancy"
Estimates of polar LHR - LAX - LHR or LHR - HKG - LHR flight patterns are that this will be reached or exceeded in 4 complete trips.
2. The Civil Aviation (Working Time) Regulations 2004. No.756 - this basically states that upon recomendation from a medical practitioner that working nights (2am - 4.59am locally adjusted) could pose health risks then the operator should move the crew member to appropriate ground duties. (Interestingly and unrelated it restricts crew members to 900 flight hours in every rolling 12 months)
I guess this is why every UK operator grounds their pregnant Cabin Crew.
Ammunition being forward to my wife's Union Rep for a shot across the bows!
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Old 21st Mar 2007, 09:44
  #23 (permalink)  
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I do not know what the reccomendation is where you live but in europe aspirin during pregnancy is a huge NO!!
It has been directly linked with miscarriages, dangerous foetal defects, and they're still debating whether it increases the chances of serious pregnancy complications such as placental abruption, so I would be extra careful!!!

If aspirin is taken to help blood circulation, unless it's a serious condition that must be treated and a doctor has prescribed it specifically fully aware of the risks/benefits, there's no point in taking it as pregnancy can really mess up your circulation sometimes anyway (hands/legs/feet and I will spare you the rest!) and the only solution is to drink loads of water and put your feet up. If it is to be taken as a painkiller then the only medicine which is safe to be taken is paracetamol, at the normal doses (max 8x500mg in 24hrs). Ibuprofen has also been linked to foetal problems, especially if taken during the first trimester.

Justinzinder I hope the union will help you and that your wife will get a decent 9-5 job on the ground!!

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Old 21st Mar 2007, 11:21
  #24 (permalink)  
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Cartia is specifically designed to combat micro thrombosis during pregancy.
Studies have found that cabin crew can be predisposed to miscarriages caused by micro thrombosis which form in the umbilical cord and deprive the unborn child of both nutrient and oxygen.
"Cardio lipin" is a protein which is a precursor to the formation of thrombosis and can be effectively prevented by LOW DOSE aspirin...generic name Cartia.
After 3 miscarriages Cartia was introduced into my wifes oral regimen by our physician....voila...
Success..... a healthy bouncing baby boy.
3 miscarriages for us was very emotional..Cartia appeared to save the day.

Last edited by Butterfield8; 22nd Mar 2007 at 02:24.
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Old 21st Mar 2007, 11:48
  #25 (permalink)  
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Apologies I had never heard of that kind of aspirin over here. I do know that in some circumstances aspirin is prescribed to women who seem to have recurrent miscarriages, but even then it's a specific problem and not the rule over here, and clearly the benefits are worth the possible risks.

I think the best thing for a pregnant crew is to be grounded as soon as she finds out she's pregnant. As I said here on a previous discussion (about 2 weeks ago I think?) I too had a miscarriage in 2005 while I kept flying, in my opinion I wasn't doing anything harmful as I was feeling great, but now I cannot be certain that flying (and the hard schedule, although flying shorthaul at that time) did not have anything to do with it.
So this time I grounded myself immediately, as I said BA knew it before my mother and the rest of my family!!!
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Old 21st Mar 2007, 15:59
  #26 (permalink)  
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Amongst other things I am a qualified Midwife. I am absolutely horrified at the advice given to "look into" the possibility of taking drugs (of any sort) during pregnancy. That sort of advice is unspeakably irresponsible! Under NO circumstances should anyone who is pregnant take anything, and that includes folk remedies and tonics, without first seeking the advice of their GP, Obstetrician or Midwife. Please ensure that the person from whom you seek advice on these matters is properly qualified to give such advice and not some amateur passing on a pet theory or something they have read in a magazine. You have two people to consider when ingesting different substances when pregnant and the baby doesn't get much say in the matter once you have consumed the substance. even apparently innocuous things can be dangerous to the health of the baby. Don't let your baby suffer for the rest of his or her lifetime because proper advice wasn't obtained.
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Old 21st Mar 2007, 23:34
  #27 (permalink)  

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Good advice folks, from an authoritative source - take it!
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 00:06
  #28 (permalink)  
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Good luck girl ........ let us know the result.
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 02:05
  #29 (permalink)  
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Since when is aspirin a drug?.It is a willow bark extract.
My wife and I are both anti drugs..even antibiotics.
We adopt a preventative rather than curative approach.
Cartia is available OTC and was suggested by the Professor of Obstetrics at UNSW Sydney.
This person has a great number of crew under his care.
Particularly those who have had multiple miscarriages.
I am not an irresponsible person who dishes out mindless uninformed medical advice.
I am merely passing on information from an extremely well qualified source.
Accept it in the spirit it was intended.I can do without the expletives.
Always ALWAYS consult your physician before ingesting anything.

Last edited by Butterfield8; 22nd Mar 2007 at 02:45.
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 12:35
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Maternity leave

Do you guys get paid when you go on maternity leave?

We were only allowed from last year June to go on maternity leave. We do not get paid at all until we come back to work 3 months after birth of baby. It is basically unpaid leave here at EK.
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 14:03
  #31 (permalink)  
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I believe all civilised airlines provide maternity leave...

So what happened at EK before last June then? Did they sack you if you got pregnant?
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 15:07
  #32 (permalink)  
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Do you guys get paid when you go on maternity leave?

We were only allowed from last year June to go on maternity leave. We do not get paid at all until we come back to work 3 months after birth of baby. It is basically unpaid leave here at EK.
Wow... I am speechless!

Well it's not BA's policy, it's a UK policy. Every woman is entitled to maternity leave paid by the government. Some companies have better conditions and some, like BA, only give you what they are obliged to give.Nothing more, nothing less.

We get 6 weeks paid at 90% salary, then 20 weeks at about £108 per week. Then we are entitled to 26 weeks of Unpaid maternity Leave, that is we are not paid but we still keep our job. It's not compulsory though.

If the baby is due after the beginning of the new tax year (5th of april 2007 I think) then after the 6 weeks at 90% of your basic salary you get 33 weeks at £108 per week, then you have the remaining 13 weeks of Unpaid maternity leave if you want them.

The fact that we do not fly during the pregnancy is a bit of a problem for airlines, as they have to give us an alternative job whilst grounded and keep paying us basic+allowances till we go on maternity leave. Despite I would never do the grounded job for a living (I am not an office person) I really had a good time and it gave me an insight of another department that I didn't know very well before. I'd definitely ask to go back there next time round!!

I know for a fact that maternity leave in the UK is not the best available in europe but I feel lucky I have been given the opportunity to take up to a year mat. leave. I know some countries are still far behind and I think all women should get together and fight for what they need/want regarding this!!!!
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 23:34
  #33 (permalink)  
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Since when is aspirin a drug?.It is a willow bark extract
Aspirin is just as much a drug as Morphine, Atropine, Heroin, Codeine, Digoxin, Cocaine and many, many more - all of which can be obtained from plant extracts. Just because the source of a drug is herbal does NOT mean it isn't a drug. All of those I have listed so far, and that includes Aspirin, can be lethal without necessarily having been taken as an overdose. Toxicity is an individual matter and there are always those for whom the normal does will cause problems - I am one of those. In my case a far less than normal dose of Aspirin will produce clotting problems - sufficient on one occasion to make my GP think I may have had leukaemia, fortunately I didn't but I had previously been able to take aspirin with impunity.
Whilst I do not deny that the Professor is a knowledgable person I am sure that he would never prescribe anything for anyone without having knowledge of that persons medical and obstetric history and neither would I. To do otherwise would be extremely irresponsible.
I am not an irresponsible person who dishes out mindless uninformed medical advice.
I am merely passing on information from an extremely well qualified source
Whilst I am sure that it was done with the best of intentions, the fact remains that your advice IS uninformed. You do NOT know the medical and obstetric history of the pregnant mums reading this forum and neither do I (and I AM qualified to give appropriate advice) - hence my advice to see their GP, Obstetrician or Midwife before taking anything. Do you know all the possible side effects of aspirin? As I said above, your informed source is prescribing on an individual basis with the benefit of knowledge not only of that person's history but also of the drug in question and what is suitable for one person may be contra-indicated in another. Please don't put peoples health and lives at risk by suggesting they take certain substances - some human beings have a nasty habit of seeing things and going ahead without bothering to make themselves fully informed first - and it isn't always the less intelligent ones who do so. Pregnancy can do odd things to people and their way of thinking and what looks like a good idea to a mum wanting to do the best for her baby may turn out to have dreadful consequences.
I am delighted that you and your wife have such a positive attitude to drug taking but don't let it become a fixation so that something is refused because you don't like taking medicines. Over-use of antibiotics is a menace and has caused serious problems with resistance but they DO have their place. I probably woudn't be here today if it were not for them.
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Old 23rd Mar 2007, 10:45
  #34 (permalink)  
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On a lighter note girls, have you noticed that prior to becoming pregnant all your friends and relatives stress the wonders and joys of babies (all true - they are truly wonderful creatures who DO bring a lot of joy) and tell you how well you will look and feel during pregnancy? Once you announce that you are pregnant they all go into "Doom and Gloom" mode and happily recount tales of such lurid detail and fantastic imagination that you wonder how you are going to survive? Take no notice! Great Aunt Ethel who was told she should NEVER have another baby because she was so ill during pregnancy that she nearly died, will turn out to have produced several babies and Aunt Flo's friend's friend's daughter's friend who "was in labour for over three weeks" and was never EVER going to have any more than that first baby will have gone on to produce a healthy brood of half a dozen assorted infants. Take the tales with a HUGE pinch of (the proverbial, not actual) salt. They mean well, it's just that they have an odd way of demonstrating this. Good luck to all of you who are pregnant (or thinking about it). I hope you all have a smooth pregnancy and delivery and are able to enjoy to the full your new, healthy baby for many years to come.
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Old 23rd Mar 2007, 14:20
  #35 (permalink)  
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DX Wombat you had me in stitches
It is so true!!

I have to say these have been a challenging 9 months which I am hoping will finish soon, but at the same time have been by far the most beautiful months of my life! Despite the worries that baby was healthy like any woman would probably have it's been the funniest time of my 27 years, pregnancy can do crazy things to you mentally and physically, and if any of my friends asked my opinion I would definitely tell them that I had never thought you could reach such a high level of intimacy with your man, when intimacy itself takes several new aspects (I will spare you the details which I am sure you know well )

It's true girls should take Aunt Ethel's advice and Aunt Flo's stories with a pinch of salt, I had never experienced anything as natural as pregnancy and I am amazed every day at what my body can do! I have also managed to ignore all the "terrifying" birth stories, I just cannot wait to try it myself so, whatever happens, provided I am still alive afterwards I can then spread some good vibes around

I totally agree with you about aspirin and about medicines in general
Changing the subject a little, there was rarely a day while I was flying that I did not see one of the crew take some sort of painkiller, from paracetamol to other stronger NSAIDs for headaches etc and I have seen many crew diagnose things to themselves when they should have seen a doctor instead!! I also have friends who would take painkillers for any discomfort, I do not know if my pain threshold is much higher than other people's but normally I would take some paracetamol only if in a lot of pain, and maybe that's why it always seems to work at the lowest doses!

Justinzider did you solve the situation of your wife with the company?
FBW xx
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Old 23rd Mar 2007, 14:52
  #36 (permalink)  
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FBW - thank you To all of you, remember it isn't called "labour" for nothing. Ignore the well-intentioned but definitely misguided who will try to describe it as "like the petals of a waterlily unfolding one by one by one...."* The analogy is well intentioned but, from my experience as a midwife, somewhat distanced from the truth. Labour is hard, physical work but the end result makes it probably the most rewarding thing you have done and judging by the number of people who go on to have more than one baby the pain and hard work are more than compensated for by the end result. Enjoy your pregnancy and babies, make the most of your time with them, they are only babies for a very short time. DO breastfeed - you will want to buy the best you can for your baby and your breastmilk is free and the best possible start you can provide but do NOT feel guilty if you are one of the few who, for whatever reason, are unable to do so - formula milks are improving all the time. A little something to make you smile. Some children were discussing the relative merits of bottle versus breast feeding and one youngster came up with a reason which can't be beaten even though it is a little unorthodox and is unlikely ever to appear in a textbook: The cat can't get at it!
* I actually saw that written somewhere!
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Old 25th Mar 2007, 09:55
  #37 (permalink)  
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Crew Qantas Uk

We just had a girl she was 3 months pregnant, and ended up in a BKK hospital after having a faulse pregnancy upline, so sorry but feel its not worth the strain on your body, once you are thats it onto ground duties till time to stop.
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 10:46
  #38 (permalink)  
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What do you call a pregnant flight attendant?
Pilot error
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Old 15th Feb 2008, 16:50
  #39 (permalink)  
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Radiation and pregnancy

I know that this is an old thread but I found it when searching for info about flying when pregnant. So just in case anyone else does the same here's some company information about cosmic radiation, flying and pregnancy.

Q: How much radiation will I be exposed to?
A: The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) recommends a maximum exposure from occupational sources of 20 mSv per year (averaged over a period of 5 years) with an additional recommendation that the equivalent dose to the foetus in pregnant women should not exceed 1 mSv during the declared term of the pregnancy. Occupational exposure for flight, cabin crew and duty travellers will depend on the route, altitude and aircraft type. On average, dose rates received will be in the order of:
• Long haul aircraft - 5 μSv (microsieverts) per hour;
• Short haul aircraft - 1-3 μSv (microsieverts) per hour dependent on the altitude reached.
In general, for crew members it is expected that:
• long-haul crew will have an annual exposure of approximately one fifth of the recommended dose
limit i.e. 4 mSv per year;
• short-haul crew will have an annual exposure of approximately one tenth of the recommended dose limit i.e. 2 mSv per year.

Q: What is the risk to me?
A: When ionising radiation passes through the body, energy is transmitted to the tissues which
affects the atoms within the individual cells. This may result in:
(i) Development of cancer.
A cell may be altered as a result of being irradiated and subsequently become cancerous.
The likelihood of this happening will depend on the dose received. For an accumulated
dose of 5 mSv per year over a career span of 20 years (more than the anticipated annual
exposure for long haul crew) the likelihood of developing cancer due to the radiation will
be 0.4%. This however needs to be put in perspective as 23% of the population will die
from some type of cancer so the overall risk will therefore increase from 23% to 23.4%.
Compared with all other risks encountered during the working life, this is very low.
(ii) Genetic risk.
A child conceived after exposure of the mother or father to ionising radiation is at risk of
inheriting radiation induced genetic defects. These may take the form of anatomical or
functional abnormalities apparent at birth or later in life. The risk following an
accumulated dose of 5 mSv per year over a career span of 20 years will be 1 in 1,000.
Again this needs to be considered against a background incidence in the general
population of approximately 1 in 50 for genetic abnormalities.
(iii) Risk to the health of the foetus.
With regard to pregnancy, the ANO requires airlines to reduce the dose received by the
foetus to a level ‘as low as reasonably achievable’. As a result, although the risks to the
foetus from cosmic radiation are insignificant when compared with the other risks during
pregnancy, all female flight and cabin crew in this airline will be assigned to ground
duties on declaration of pregnancy. Duty travellers will need to make their own risk
assessment taking into account the likely exposure and resultant risk.
The possible effects of radiation to the foetus are cancer and mental retardation. There is of
course a background rate for both of these conditions and it is estimated that exposure to cosmic
radiation for 80 block hours per month for a period of 4 weeks will increase the risk by between 1
in 6,000 and 1 in 30,000 depending on the routes flown. Many crew members will be aware that
they are pregnant within a very few weeks and the real risks will therefore be proportionately less.

Q: Has this airline looked at the effects in crew?
A: As well as working with the scientific community on the measurement of cosmic radiation,
this airline has undertaken epidemiological studies examining the causes of death and life
expectancy of flight crew over the last 40 years.
It has been found that pilots and flight engineers have an increased life expectancy of between 3
and 5 years compared to the general population. Mortality from heart disease and all cancers
combined is considerably less in flight crew than for the population of England and Wales as a
whole and, although rare, death from melanoma (which is associated with exposure to sunlight)
was the only cause of cancer in excess. The mortality from cancer such as leukaemia, which may
be linked to radiation exposure, was lower than for the general population.
Further larger studies are continuing to which this airline is contributing and as a result,
more information will be available in due course.
29 - 4

Q: What is this airline doing about cosmic radiation?
A: Under the ANO, the cosmic radiation dose received by flight, cabin crew and duty travellers
will be considered as occupational and therefore the dosage experienced by all crew will be
monitored. As a result, all major European carriers will be estimating doses for each sector using a sophisticated computer model which takes into account
all the factors previously discussed including the aircraft climb and descent profiles, latitude of
the flight, altitude, time of year and point in the solar cycle. The computer estimates will be
periodically validated by measurements performed in flight.

Q: How do I find out what dose I have received?
A: All staff can obtain a record of their radiation exposure through the company Intranet. This record includes rostered duties for flight and cabin crew.

Q: Is there anything more I should be doing?
A: At this stage no.
Cosmic radiation is both a complex and emotive subject. It cannot be seen, touched,
smelt or tasted and yet it is present all around us. Whilst we know that there is no level of
radiation exposure below which effects do not occur, we can estimate the probability of
any harm occurring based on the exposure received. This, coupled with the knowledge of
doses received by crew in this airline and the available epidemiological studies,
reassures us that there is an extremely low probability of staff suffering an abnormality or
disease as a result of occupational exposure to cosmic radiation.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 20:52
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 8
Can you please tell me, do all airlines based in the EU need to ground their cabin crew and pay them whilst they are pregnant?
If the option of working in the offices isn't available, can crew really be fired?
Do you get any other pay or just maternity pay? But maternity pay does not normal pay out for 9 months prior to the birth, which is what cabin crew need, so how does it work - can someone explain?
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