10 Air Travel Tips for Pregnant Women

    Pregnancy is a wonderful time of life for most women and if you’re a frequent traveler you’ll find that travel can still be fun and exciting as well. Most doctors and airlines mandate that pregnant women can’t fly on international flights if they are more than 32 weeks pregnant and that they can’t fly on domestic flights after 36 weeks. The risk of health complications during this time is very high but the stress of travel can cause a woman to go into premature labor – something airlines don’t want to deal with.

    Airplane, Balice Airport Krakow, Airplanes, Airplane, Airport - 25

    If you are early enough in your pregnancy to fly there are a few things you can do to make yourself a bit more comfortable. Keep the following tips in mind.

    10. Always Carry Water

    My water bottle and Kim's water bottle

    Pregnant women can become dehydrated much faster than others. It’s important to carry water with you at all times so that you can quench your thirst before you begin to feel ill from dehydration. Just make sure you also take note of where the bathrooms are located within the airport or on your airplane.

    9. Tell the Flight Attendants

    Airtran airways flight attendant graduating class of 10/28/05

    You may be an independent woman who wants to do everything for herself but being pregnant does have its perks. If you let the flight attendants know that you are pregnant they’ll make sure to take care of you on the flight and may even work to make sure you have an aisle seat so that you don’t disturb others when you have to use the bathroom.

    8. Pack Your Own Food

    Healthy snack - fall fruits

    If you’re pregnant you may be on a special diet so you’ll want to pack your own snacks and foods to ensure you have something nutritious on hand at all times. Having your own food will make it easier for you to resist the call of fast food restaurants or junk food snacks served on the airplane.

    7. Move Around

    old blood clot passing through ureteral orifice

    One of the most common problems women have while flying is the development of a blood clot. The risk of developing a blood clot, or thrombo-embolism, is increased when women sit still for long periods of time. Try to get up and move around as much as possible after the flight takes off and the captain clears you to unfasten your seat belt.

    6. Carry a Pillow

    Kerri pretending to sleep on the airplane pillow

    When pregnant you’ll find it more difficult than most to get comfortable in your airplane seat. Leave your bulky pregnancy pillows at home, though – they won’t fit on the plane. Carry a small pillow so that you can make yourself comfortable or ask the flight attendant for a few extra travel pillows.

    5. Wear Loose Clothing

    30 Weeks Pregnant

    Wear the loosest clothing and most comfortable shoes you can get away with when flying. The change of altitude can cause additional swelling and may make you uncomfortable. Wear loose shoes or sneakers you can easily unlace if your feet begin to swell. Wearing a skirt may be easier as well, especially if you need to move around in a cramped airline bathroom.

    4. Call Your Travel Agent

    If you booked your vacation as part of a tour, call your travel agent to make sure there are no restrictions as to whether or not pregnant women can participate. Some groups do have restrictions and it would be horrible to arrive at your destination only to find that you can’t move along with the group.

    3. Take Time to Slow Down

    Our EFFING Awesome Hotel Room.

    Make sure you plan an extra day or so right after your flight to kick back and relax before you start touring. You’ll probably be a bit more tired than usual and you’ll want to build in a day to get over your jet lag or fatigue from all-day travel.

    2. Carry Your Medical Records

    Judy and Nola prepare more medical records

    Make a copy of your prenatal medical records and tuck them into your carry-on bag. If you do have any problems during your travels it will be easier for the doctor in your final destination to communicate with your doctors back home and understand the details of your pregnancy.

    1. Talk to Your Doctor

    me and the doctors that I got to shadow in interventional radiology at La Grange hospital

    Make sure you talk to your physician before you embark on any journey, whether you plan to take a plane or not. Your doctor will be best able to discuss your travel limitations and time frames within which you should and should not travel.

    Pack your bags carefully, remember to carry all the right documentation with you, and enjoy your trip. Travel can be just as much fun while pregnant as it is any other time – perhaps even more so!

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    2 comments on “10 Air Travel Tips for Pregnant Women”

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    2. Ethan marcotte says on April 22, 2013 at 11:27 pm:

      A flight journey during pregnancy is not easy, but with preparation, the whole process can go very smoothly. Remain the following steps
      Consult a Doctor for individual recommendations about airline travel during pregnancy. Shop around, if necessary, to find an airline that supports pregnant women during travel by plane. Inquire whether the airline in question has restrictions on how far along in pregnancy a woman is still allowed to travel and whether a physician’s release is required under any circumstances. Request additional courtesies of the airline staff and do not hesitate to let them know of the pregnancy. Plan for comfort during a flight of any length by packing essentials. Perform small exercises during flight to keep blood flowing and reduce swelling or discomfort.

      For more information visit Travel by Plane when Pregnant

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