Whether you are planning on a baby-moon or just going to see family a far, traveling by air while pregnant can be a little nerve racking. You may have a lot of questions revolving from how safe is it to travel on a plane while pregnant or how comfortable you am going to be during the whole flight.
Traveling by air while pregnant is very doable and with the following tips, your flight to your destination and back will be both stress and anxiety free.
1. Consult With Your Doctor First
Most likely your doctor will tell you that you are good to go, but if you are in a high risk pregnancy category, your doctor may advice you to stay close. It is always good to get the extra clearance and will give you peace of mind as well.
2. Time Your Trip Appropriately
If possible time your trip between your 20-30 week mark. You should be out of the first trimester so your nausea and morning sickness should have subsided and you shouldn’t be too uncomfortable by your size. It is best to fly during your second trimester. This is when medical emergencies are least likely to happen and it is when you will have the greatest amount of energy and still feel comfortable. Avoid traveling after your 36 week mark as you could go into labor early.
3. Check With Your Airport Carrier On Their Policy
Some airport companies have policies about women flying who are pregnant. Be sure to check with your airline to see what their rules are. You can fly without restriction during your first and second trimester but when you get to your third, there may be some restrictions. You can play it safe by getting “permission-to-travel” from your healthcare provider if you want to caution on the safe side. Some airlines need this if you are 4 weeks to your due date.
4. Get Your Flu Vaccine
Because you are traveling in close quarters with people, it is best to get a flu shot before your trip. You never know who you are going to come into contact with and it is best to get it even if you are not traveling. Wash your hands frequently as another precaution from getting sick.
5. Pack Comfortably
Make sure you pack items that are comfortable to wear on your body. Don’t back 4 inch heels because you will be regretting it after half an hour you are in them. Pack things that are light and can easily be layered. When you are pregnant, you never know when you will be freezing one moment and then hot the next. When you dress in layers, you can take off or put on items accordingly. If you are going somewhere warm, your best item will be a sarong. You will love that the waist ties are flexible and will accommodate your growing belly. Stay clear of any clothing items that may be restrictive with buttons or zippers around the waistline. Maxi dresses are the best! Super comfy and your and your baby bump will look super stylish.
6. Pack Your Prenatal Records
No matter where you are going, be sure to get a copy of your prenatal records just to side with caution. If you need medical treatment while you are on vacation, these records can be vital starting point to the treating physician.
7. Choose A Domestic Destination
To caution on the safe side, try to limit overseas travel and stay domestic. When staying closer to home, you don’t have to worry about the cleanliness of drinking water or reduce your nervousness of contaminated food or having the worry of possibly dealing with foreign care. If you do plan on going overseas, venture to places that are not high altitude and be cautions of the types of excursions you decide to do. Don’t do anything that could potentially hurt your baby such as snowboarding, snorkeling or skydiving. If you are planning a destination that requires a vaccine be sure to consult with your doctor well in advance before booking your trip.
8. Locate The Nearest Hospital Or Medical Facility
Wherever you go, be sure that you know where the closest hospital or medical facility is. Knowing exactly where the closest place to go in case of emergency will be most helpful and can determine whether or not that destination is a good place to visit. You may want to avoid traveling to places where the nearest medical facility is 4 hours away.
9. Drink Lots Of Water
Make sure you stay hydrated! Drink lots of water before your flight and even after. This will help the drying effect that many of us feel when we are up in the air for long periods of time. Once you are through security, be sure to grab a couple of bottles of water to take with you on your flight. If you are unable to do that, you can always ask the flight attendant at the beginning of the flight for some water as well.
10. Stock Up On Healthy Snacks
A bag of peanuts wouldn’t probably hold most pregnant women over till they reach their destination. Be sure to stock up on healthy snacks and yummy treats. Avoid picking anything that is too salty as it will be harder for you to stay hydrated and can also cause the swelling in your legs to get worse.
11. Let The Staff Know You Are Pregnant
Even if you are not showing, let the staff know that you are pregnant that way they can accommodate you. They can help you with your luggage so that you are not doing any heavy lifting and can help make the trip easier for you.
12. Upgrade If You Can
If you can afford to upgrade your seat to first class or business class, now is the time to do it. Take advantage of all the upgrades now because this is the time to pamper yourself. You will be thankful for any and all the extra comforts during your trip.
13. Combat The Swelling
To prevent the dreaded ankle and leg swelling, make sure you pack some compression socks and wear them on the plane and even when you plan on doing a lot of walking. These socks help move fluid throughout your legs so that they don’t swell. These are also great to have if you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing as well on your trip. Be sure to buy multiple socks.
14. Remember To Stretch
Make sure you take moments to stretch out your body a bit. Try to get a seat at the aisle instead of a window seat. This way you can get up easily and as much as you like throughout the flight to stretch your legs. With all the water that you are drinking, taking several trips to the bathroom will be a nice stretch time for you as well.
15. Embrace The Layover
If your have an option of doing a layover in a decent time frame, this is a great option to go with when you are pregnant. You will have a moment to get out of the cramped airplane and walk around the terminal before your next flight. Even though it may take a bit longer to get to your destination, it can be worth the extra comfort and stretch.