Travel Tips for Flying While Pregnant
Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, now that you are pregnant you may be wondering what steps and precautions you should be taking. Since pregnancy by itself is hard enough on you, here are some basic guidelines to keep in mind to make flying more enjoyable:
- Check the Airline’s Flight Policy for Pregnancy
In general, there are no restrictions on flight travel during a healthy pregnancy. Discuss any concerns with your physician first and then check the specific policy with the airline you’re using. As you reach the third trimester, each airline may have slightly different regulations for how long into the pregnancy you are allowed to fly. Generally, domestic flights are allowed up to 36 weeks but international flights vary greatly by airline from 30-36 weeks. If you’re traveling later in your pregnancy, it may be smart to have a written letter from your doctor stating how far along you are and that you are healthy and allowed to be traveling.
- Bring snacks
Growing a human requires extra calories with the paradox of having limited space to actually eat! Pregnancy hunger is the worst and can leave you feeling exhausted and nauseous. Travelling is already rough enough with a prego belly, so come prepared with snacks. Try to choose nutrient-dense snacks that you will enjoy and can get through security (cheese sticks, nuts, fruit, etc.).
- Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water is so important during pregnancy to minimize issues with swelling, blood pressure and constipation while optimizing the health of your growing baby. Bring your own empty bottle and fill it in the terminal. Almost all airports have drinking fountains so take full advantage. The one small glass they give you on the airplane (if they even give you that) just isn’t enough, especially when you’re breathing dry recycled air. Plus, who wants to pay $5 for a bottle of water in the airport! If you follow this step, you’ll be happy to follow the next recommendation.
- Get an Aisle Seat
This may not matter for a shorter flight, but if it’s is over an hour, chances are you will be back and forth to that bathroom a few times. Trying to hold it will increase your chances of a bladder infection and having an accident (especially if you have to sneeze!). Pregnancy also increases your chance of blood clots when you sit for too long, so take advantage of the aisle and try to get up and stretch and walk every hour.
- Maximize your Comfort
Pregnancy is already uncomfortable enough and airplanes are notorious for their terribly uncomfortable seats. So bring some tools from home to maximize your comfort. Bring a small pillow or roll up a sweatshirt to tuck behind your low back for some spine support in your seat. A neck pillow will help you comfortably get some much-needed rest without waking up with your chin on your chest. And lastly, invest in a good pair of compression stockings to help with swelling and cramps in your legs. These are all affordable items that will make your travel experience much more enjoyable.
- Ask for Help
Know your limits for lifting. If you have a particularly heavy bag or are suffering from back pain to begin with, don’t be shy to ask for help with putting anything in the overhead bin. People are generally more than happy to help if you just ask!
- Plan Ahead
Minimizing stress is important for your pregnant body. Plus, those pregnancy hormones might lead to an embarrassing full-on meltdown if something goes wrong. Try to arrive at the airport ahead of schedule with all your necessary documents well rested, fed and hydrated. Don’t leave packing to the last minute and maybe even make a list ahead of time so you don’t forget something in your pregnancy fog. Good preparation will prevent unnecessary stress.
Follow these simple tips and traveling will be easy and manageable at any stage in your pregnancy. Enjoy the last few moments you have of traveling without having to worry and care for a tiny human! Hopefully, you find traveling so enjoyable that you’ll go on a relaxing babymoon!
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