Whether traveling for work, a family obligation or even just a vacation, many pregnant women will fly at some point during their pregnancy. I flew throughout all three trimesters (for all those reasons stated above) so here are a few of the tips and tricks I found helpful in ensuring a safe and comfortable flight.
Check with your doctor
It is most important to first get the ok from your doctor. Everyone’s situation is different so make sure you are cleared for flying before booking anything. I was pretty cautious and would mention upcoming travel plans at all my doctor visits.
Check airline regulations
It is typically recommended that domestic airline travel should end at the start of 36 weeks and international airline travel should end at the start of 32 weeks. Double-check a specific airline’s policy on their website.
Bring a doctor’s note or medical records
This is helpful in case of an emergency but also to prove how far along you are. Some women look further along than they actually are and you don’t want the airline staff having to guess and potentially refuse boarding.
Book a refundable flight or get flight insurance
This is especially important if you like to plan trips really early. Best case scenario, you might think planning a babymoon for your second trimester is a great idea only to discover you are not really feeling up for it. Worst case scenario, your doctor decides you no longer are cleared for travel.
The sweet spot for travel and babymoon trips tends to be in the second trimester. Any morning sickness is usually gone and energy level are typically high. Speaking of morning sickness, if you do tend to get sick at a certain time, try to avoid scheduling a flight at that time of day.
Metal detectors and body scanners
While both are supposed to be safe for pregnant women, some people are concerned that there have not been enough long-term studies on the effect of body scanners. My doctor reassured me I should be fine and did not hesitate to walk through them while pregnant herself. Still, if you are concerned do not hesitate to request a pat-down instead.
You probably already know stretchy fabrics are your friend. There are plenty of cute and comfy options so you don’t sacrifice comfort for style. Although not typically considered stylish, compression stockings are recommended to decrease swelling and improve circulation especially if you are over 24 weeks. Surprisingly, there are some cute options. Check out this pair.
All passengers should maintain adequate hydration levels but it is especially important if you are pregnant. Carry a water bottle with you so you are not dependent on beverage service. My all time favorite water bottle (keeps my water ice cold and never leaks) is my trusty Klean Kanteen. If you are not great at keeping hydrated, check out this crowd favorite that keeps you on track.
Sit in the aisle
Since you will be drinking all that water to stay hydrated, you will probably need a few extra trips to the bathroom. Avoid disturbing your seatmates, or feeling crammed in the window, by choosing an aisle seat.
Make sure you periodically move and flex your legs. This will help improve circulation, decrease swelling and prevent blood clots in the legs.
Bring healthy snacks
You never know when there will be a delay so be prepared and bring a few healthy snacks with you. Don’t just rely on the airline meal service or airport food court options.
Morning sickness/motion sickness
If you are prone to motion sickness or unfortunately are still in the morning sickness phase, speak with your doctor for some recommendations. Popular options include ginger drops and motion sickness bands. I was fortunate enough to never have to deal with either but both items were packed in my carry on just in case.
This is always good advice but especially so if flying solo. Be mindful of your bag’s weight and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
With a few common sense rules, traveling while pregnant can be a fun and comfortable experience. Happy travels!
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