LONDON, May 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Holidays can be your last chance to spend time alone as a couple before baby arrives. But travelling can be stressful - especially with a bump on board! However a new survey by Netmums and The London Ultrasound Centre shows that mums-to-be are confused by the lack of consistent guidance on when it's safe to travel during pregnancy, with 20% unsure whether it's safe to fly at all when expecting.
Some airlines allow mums-to-be to fly up to 37 weeks of pregnancy, while for others the cut-off date is 34 weeks or even earlier1. So it's not surprising that the majority (85%) of women surveyed want standard guidance to make it easier to plan their pre-baby holidays.
Siobhan Freegard, founder of Netmums, said: "Mums want clear information about when it's safe to fly. While every pregnancy is different, standard airline guidelines would relieve some of the stress and time spent planning a holiday, making that all important relaxing holiday that little bit easier to come by."
The survey found that mums-to-be are taking matters into their own hands rather than relying on inconsistent airline guidance. Nearly two-thirds (61%) of women surveyed stressed the importance of checking their pregnancy health before they travel, with 81% talking to their midwife before confirming travel plans.
Mr Darryl Maxwell, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and Medical Director of The London Ultrasound Centre, says: "The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends that the safest time to fly is before 37 weeks if you're carrying one baby or before 34 weeks if you're having an uncomplicated twin pregnancy(1), and I would urge airlines to follow these guidelines. In the meantime, finding out your chance of early delivery is a must if you're planning a pre-baby getaway, since babies don't always turn up to schedule. Premature Birth Screening can take away a lot of the guess work, giving mums-to-be an accurate prediction of their chances of going into early labour."
Premature Birth Screening combines the results of an ultrasound scan, fetal Fibronectin test and medical history to give mums-to-be an accurate prediction of their likelihood of going into early labour. Over a third of respondents said they'd consider having the screening to help them make their travel plans.
The London Ultrasound Centre is a pregnancy and gynaecology scanning clinic near Harley Street, London offering a range of scans in addition to Premature Birth Screening. To book a scan or find out more visit http://www.thelondonultrasoundcentre.co.uk or call +44(0)20-7935-4450.
Notes to editors:
- Case studies, interviews with Mr Maxwell and statistics on preterm birth are available on request
- The London Ultrasound Centre survey was carried out in conjunction with Netmums.com to reveal mums' and mums-to-be's attitudes towards travelling during pregnancy. 3,350 women took part in the survey.
Premature Birth Screening:
- Premature Birth Screening consists of a review of medical history, ultrasound scan and a test for fetal Fibronectin. When analysed using the Preterm Predictor algorithm, these can provide an accurate prediction of due date, with significant improvement of and impact on patient management(2)
- For women with a negative result labour is not likely to begin in the 2 weeks after testing. A positive result is a good indicator that they may go into early labour in the 2 weeks after screening
- Premature Birth Screening tries to identify low risk from high risk women but it cannot guarantee that women will not go into early labour, and is not a diagnostic test.
1. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Air travel and pregnancy - information for you. 2011. http://www.rcog.org.uk/air-travel-and-pregnancy-information-for-you
2. Furdon and David. Prematurity. Medscape 2010. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/975909-overview
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SOURCE The London Ultrasound Centre