Traveling During Pregnancy: Here’s What You Need to Know

Kathy Haywood

For women with low-risk pregnancies, flying tends to be safe (but it’s important to check with your doctor beforehand, just in case). So, if you’ve been debating whether you should book that romantic getaway or trip home to see the family, do it! To make your flight more comfortable, follow these travel tips!

Second Trimester Traveling

There isn’t a rule of thumb saying you should only fly during your second trimester. However, if possible, this tends to be the best time to travel. The reason being is that the second trimester is typically when most pregnant women have the most energy and are feeling more in control of their bodies. Additionally, morning sickness has usually stopped at this point and the risk of miscarriage is much lower during this time.

Aisle Seats, Please

If possible, choosing an aisle seat is your best bet. With pregnancy comes and increased need to use the bathroom, and having access to the aisle seat will make your life easier when having to make bathroom trips, and will also give you more room to stretch out. If you choose to fly on an airline that lets you select your seats, vouch for the front of the plane. This will make boarding and getting off the plane less of a hassle.

Dress in Layers

During pregnancy, your body tends to have a harder time regulating temperature. Planes are notorious for being too hot or too cold, and pregnancy can make these temperature fluctuations seem even more intense. For this reason, dressing in layers is a must. Be sure to bring an easy to pull on and off jacket with you for comfort.

Take Care of Your Legs

Both flying and pregnancy put you at an increased risk of blood clots, so it’s important to take care of your legs during the flight. Wearing compression socks is an easy way to help blood circulate at a healthy rate. These pregnancy socks also help reduce uncomfortable swelling that is common when seated for long periods of time as well. When you can, try walking up and down the aisles of the plane as well to stay moving and further help your blood keep pumping. If getting up just isn’t possible, flex your calf muscles  up and down and elevate your feet as much as possible.

Stay Hydrated

Pregnant women need more water than the average person does, so keeping a bottle of water on-hand is a must for your flight. Plane cabins tend to be extremely dry, making it easier for your body to become dehydrated. Drinking lots of water will help you stave off constipation, bloating, and fatigue; none of which anyone likes.

Bring Healthy Snacks

Many commercial flights have stopped offering free snacks, and the meals for purchase tend to be less than healthy. For this reason, it’s a good idea to bring healthy snacks in your carry on incase pregnancy cravings strike. While it may be tempting to indulge in greasy potato chips or cookies during your flight, reach for things like hummus, fruit, granola bars, or nuts.

Find Comfort

It’s no secret that pregnancy can cause uncomfortable back pain. Sitting in the small seats of a plane can be unforgiving, leading to soreness. Pack a small pillow or purchase a travel pillow at the airport to put between you and the seat, to support your lower lumbar. Be sure to also bring an eye mask on your flight too, in case the need for a nap hits you.

Remember to check with your doctor before you book your flight, and ask them for any additional pointers on flying during pregnancy. By following the list above, you can make the trip to your destination more enjoyable one.

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