Air travel is generally considered safe during pregnancy, and most commercial airlines allow pregnant women to fly until they’re 36 weeks along. Pregnancy travel is common and can be safe and fun as long as you implement some simple precautions. Nonetheless, always consult your doctor before making travel plans, but unless you’re high-risk, you’ll likely be given the green light. Here are some tips to have a safe and comfortable flight while pregnant.
How to have a safe flight while pregnant
Flight during your second trimester
The second trimester (between 14-27 weeks) is the best time for pregnancy travel. By this point, the morning sickness and fatigue that typically occurs early on in pregnancy has hopefully passed, while the risk of miscarriage also drops significantly after 12 weeks.
Energy levels are also often higher during the second trimester, and you don’t yet need to worry about potential exhaustion and preterm labor that can occur during the third trimester. Travel can in fact be fairly difficult during the third trimester as you may not find it as easy to move around or sit still for long periods of time.
Get cleared by your doctor first
Get cleared by your doctor at least a few weeks before you intend to fly — this is particularly important for women with chronic medical problems, such as breathing difficulties. At your appointment, you can also ask your doctor if you should wear decompression stockings. By applying pressure to your lower legs, decompression stockings improve blood flow and reduce swelling and discomfort.
If you get motion sickness, you can also ask about nausea remedies. Acupressure bands may be another solution to mid-flight nausea. These are stretchy bands featuring a plastic dome that places pressure on the inside of the wrist to alleviate nausea. Lastly, you can also ask your doctor for other doctors and hospital recommendations at your destination. So, just in case you need medical care while away, you’ll know where to go.
Stay comfortable during your flight
During your flight, it helps to wear loose, comfortable clothing — this also goes for when you’re traveling as a new mom with a newborn too. Fashionable yet practical post-maternity wear is key to both looking and feeling good. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water during the flight — dehydration risks decreasing blood flow to the uterus.
Light exercise before the flight
Your doctor may also advise you to be active throughout your flight by getting up and taking a walk roughly every thirty minutes.
Exercise keeps your blood flowing, and you can also aid circulation by flexing and pointing your ankles while in your seat. And, since intestinal gas is prone to expanding due to the higher altitude, which causes discomfort, you can also watch your diet to help keep uncomfortable gas at bay. For example, before you fly, avoid gassy foods and beverages such as, fizzy drinks, beans, onions, cabbage, and broccoli.
Pregnancy travel is generally safe if you’re having a straightforward, uncomplicated pregnancy. By following a number of simple yet smart precautions, you can stay safe, healthy, and comfortable during your flight.