Flying can be stressful especially during your pregnancy however being pregnant should not be a reason for having to skip holiday getaways or going to see family members living far away. Here we have collected some trusty tips to help you prepare and make your journey as smooth as possible.
When is the best time to travel?
This all depends on your pregnancy and how your body is adjusting to it.
The first trimester can be a bit tricky if you are struggling with morning sickness. Your body is adjusting and your hormones are all over the place at times. This is completely normal however it might not be the best time to put yourself through the hassle of a long trip.
The second trimester should be a comfortable time to travel for most women. Usually, morning sickness and fatigue have subsided by this time, and you start to feel more energized. Your baby bump won’t be too big either which will make getting around much easier.
Most airlines will allow you to travel up till the 36th week if you had no complications during your pregnancy, however, we would recommend talking to your doctor before booking your tickets.
First of all research your destination. Make sure it’s generally safe for pregnant women to travel there and if so what vaccinations are needed, if any, beforehand.
Check airline policy
Before booking your tickets make sure you check your selected airline’s policy. Depending on who you are flying with and where there might be some restrictions.
Get a doctor’s note
Have a doctor’s note stating your due date ready just in case. Not all airlines need it but it’s always a good idea to have it at hand.
Check your insurance
Make sure your insurance covers pregnancy-related issues. It’s likely that you won’t need it but it’s better to be safe than sorry especially when your baby is involved. It will make you feel safer so you can enjoy your trip with an additional piece of mind that, if anything were to go wrong, you don’t have to worry about the financial cost of medical bills.
Book aisle seat
Book an aisle seat ideally close to the bathroom so you don’t have to climb over people with your bump when you need the toilet. It will also give you easy access to short walks. Depending on the length of your flight we recommend getting up and stretching your legs a few times to avoid blood clots.
Don’t eat gassy foods
Before your flight make sure you avoid gassy foods like beans, chewing gums, and certain greens. Also avoiding fizzy drinks if possible.
Give yourself some extra time to get to the airport. Flying during your pregnancy can be stressful enough on its own so make sure you don’t have to rush.
Pack for the flight
Pack a pillow with you on your flight. This can be a total game-changer, especially during longer flights. You can even get a lumbar pillow as they can help with muscle fatigue, lower back pain and it can increase blood flow while sitting comfortably. Don’t forget to bring some form of entertainment along as well. Be it a book or your tablet to watch something on. Time flies quicker if you occupy your brain and it can help you relax as well.
If you are flying in the third trimester of your pregnancy, pack an overnight hospital bag with your bare necessities. Pack toiletries, underwear, your birth plan and a phone charger for sure.
Dress comfortably and wear layers. Avoid tight-fitting clothing, depending on how close is the due date you will likely need to use the bathroom occasionally, so wear something that’s easy to get in and out of.
Chose accommodation wisely
Find suitable accommodation. Pregnancy can take its toll on one’s body. Make sure you book your hotel or Airbnb strategically to avoid long walks in crowded places.
In case of an emergency
Prepare for an emergency. Have all the necessary phone numbers at hand. Research hospitals in the area where you will be staying and save their number in case something doesn’t go according to plan.
During the flight
Drink enough water
Make sure you stay hydrated. It can help you reduce the risk of blood clots. Get a water bottle and fill it up once you pass the security check.
Prepare for the nausea
If you are flying during your first trimester and struggling with nausea it’s a good idea to let the flight attendants know that you are pregnant. It’s also good practice to stock up on nausea remedies before your flight.
Bring some wet wipes and hand sanitizer with you for the journey. The airplanes get cleaned after each flight but they hardly go through the trays and armrests. It’s good practice to give them a quick wipe down before settling in for your journey.
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Flight attendants are there to help you, so if you have any concerns or need a hand with anything don’t hesitate to ask them. If you feel a bit wobbly at the airport you can always request a wheelchair. Regardless of when you are flying during pregnancy, you may feel nauseous due to turbulence. Ask if they have any ginger ale or salty treats to settle your stomach.
At your destination
Chose your meals carefully
Once you arrive at your destination, be careful of what you eat. Avoid cold drinks with ice and salad or any raw vegetables that may have been washed in non-drinking water. Make sure you clean your fruits thoroughly using bottled water. While traveling to different countries it’s quite common to end up with an upset stomach but you need to be especially careful while pregnant. Even though they are common and easy to get over the counter, not all diarrhea medicine is suitable for pregnant women so double check before taking anything.
Keep in mind that staying healthy throughout your travels is very important. Make sure you eat well and stay hydrated at all times. Avoid walking a lot in the heat and in crowded places in general. Try to put together the most stress-free travel plan possible and just enjoy your holiday.
Air travel when you are pregnant can seem daunting at first however flying commercially during your pregnancy is generally considered safe. If you are well prepared you can definitely make the whole experience much more comfortable and stress-free. We hope you found our article helpful and if you have any other tips please share down below in the comments!