As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently discovered that boarding early to peacefully place my carry-on bag in the overhead bin is a major plus to flying when pregnant. But pregnancy has its special challenges that expecting moms may want to consider before boarding a plane. Here’s what I learned after taking 8 flights in less than two weeks…
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Flying tends to dehydrate every human being; and whether you are pregnant or not, male or female, retaining H2O is a good idea. But when you are pregnant, it’s that much more important!
For my Zurich to Chicago flight, I carried on a liter of water and always took at least one drink every time the flight attendants came by. Water is one thing we can never get enough of!
2. Reserve an aisle seat.
Because you’ll be properly hydrated and your bladder is getting squished by baby, you’re going to have to take frequent trips to the toilet. Having an aisle seat allows you to get up whenever nature calls and saves you from bothering your row-mates every half hour.
3. Bring your favorite snacks.
If you’re in the stage of pregnancy where eating frequently is a must, carrying your own snacks will help you keep hunger – and nausea – at bay.
4. Wear compression socks or stockings.
Pregnant women have a higher risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which is basically blood clotting in the legs. To minimize the risk, many doctors recommend that pregnant women wear a properly fitted pair of compression socks. For long-haul flights, full-length stockings are a better option.
Side note: In Switzerland, doctors often recommend that pregnant women take a heparin injection before long flights, as a precaution against DVT. I did it for my trans-Atlantic flights, but I know many women who choose not to do so.
5. Keep moving.
In addition to wearing tight tights, getting up and moving around the cabin can help keep your blood flowing and your swelling down. If you are sticking to Rule #1, you’ll be doing this automatically with all those trips to the airplane potty.
6. Wear layered clothing.
This is a practice everyone should do while flying, since you never know if your airplane is going to be freezing cold or blazing hot. Since pregnant women have a tendency to be even more sensitive to temperature changes, dressing with appropriate layers can allow for maximum comfort throughout your journey.
7. Go early in your pregnancy.
This may seem obvious, but the further along in your pregnancy the more uncomfortable a plane seat will seem to you. Plus, many airlines have a No Fly Policy sometime after the 30th week.
You’ll get through even the most uncomfortable flight with deep breaths and happy thoughts. Safe travels to you!
Hi there! Have you ever flown while pregnant? If so, do you have any other tips to share?