Making Air Travel More Comfortable While Pregnant
Flying can be an unavoidable fact of life when you’re pregnant. Maybe it’s a last minute corporate meeting or maybe it’s your last vacation before you give birth. Either way, it doesn’t have to be miserable and you don’t have to avoid it either. Flying while pregnant is simply a matter of taking advantage of some simple steps that will help make your flight pleasant.
Pregnancy can be particularly uncomfortable in the first and third trimester so if at all possible, plan your travel during the second trimester. Most doctors will give you the go ahead to fly up to one month before your due date but it’s best to check in with your OBGYN before you depart. When you do book the tickets, make sure you have the option to cancel or reschedule. You may not feel well that day and may need to fly at later flight or the next day to avoid making yourself extremely miserable. Direct flights may seem nice but your body might appreciate the chance to reboot and refuel during a short layover.
Bring your medical records.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, particularly if you’ve never flown while pregnant. Make sure you pack your prenatal records and keep them close to you during the flight. Should anything happen, you want to be prepared with any pertinent information and contact information for your doctor.
Opt for a pat-down during security screenings.
Metal detectors have been around for ages and haven’t been found to cause any harm to unborn babies, but those new fangled Advanced Imaging Technology scanners don’t have the long-term results to back them up. If you get selected for the new technology, let TSA know that you’re pregnant and that you would prefer a pat-down instead. When you’re all done, let someone else do the heavy luggage lifting. TSA or a friendly traveler will help you avoid the heavy lifting.
Wear comfy clothing.
It seems like an obvious and moot point but it does need to be addressed. Depending on the length of your flight, you could be spending several hours on a plane so there’s no reason to spend it in discomfort. Wear stretchy or loose clothing that won’t add any additional discomfort. Comfortable shoes are also important, particularly since the change in altitude can cause your body to swell.
Bring water and healthy snacks.
It’s important to maintain your healthy diet, even for your brief flight so pack plenty of water and healthy snacks. Veggie sticks and fruit not only make a healthy snack but they pack some additional water to keep you going as well. Plus having your own food will make it easier to stick to your healthy diet and avoid the fast food that is fervorantly attempting to lure you in.
Let the crew know you’re pregnant.
If you’re not showing enough to shout it from the rooftops, it’s a good idea to let the flight crew know you’re with child. It comes with some great perks like aisle seating and early boarding that you’ll want to take advantage of. Besides, that aisle seat doesn’t just give you additional space, it also allows you to get up without disturbing others.
Get up and move around.
Once the crew gives you the all clear, you should be up and moving around when possible. Walk around the plane at least once an hour to prevent blood clots. All of that water you’re drinking will likely send you to the bathroom a few times, so that aisle seat will come in handy. The light walking exercise will keep your blood flowing properly during the altitude change. Plus, that seat isn’t exactly made for pregnant lady comfort.
Bring a pillow.
You may or may not be able to sleep on planes, but that pillow can serve more than one purpose. Additional lumbar support may be needed to make that plane ride comfortable. A small pillow that you can adjust as needed should do the trick and if you’re in need of extra support, feel free to ask the flight attendant for some extra travel pillows.