It may be for work or to visit family or to take a pre-baby vacation. Whatever the reason, you are likely to find yourself on an airplane at some point while pregnant. Before you fly, check out these 9 tips for flying when pregnant
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If you have a low risk of preterm labor, then it is likely safe to fly up until 36 weeks. However, if you have risk factors, your doctor may advise you to keep your feet on the ground sooner rather than later. Make sure to talk to your doctor early about what air travel restrictions she recommends for you.
Know Your Airline’s Policy
Airlines really don’t want you going into labor while on their plane. Therefore, they have policies about letting women who are close to their due date fly. If you have
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The air in planes is dryer than normal; therefore, you are likely to get dehydrated more quickly. This can happen to anyone, but when you are pregnant, being dehydrated can increase Braxton Hicks contractions, so it’s important to drink plenty of water. Airplanes do generally provide drinks while you are on the flight. However, turbulence can prevent service or drastically delay it. Be prepared and grab a big bottle of water before boarding. If you don’t want to spend the money to purchase airport water, you can bring an empty bottle through security. Many airports have water bottle filling stations, or some restaurants will fill a bottle for you.
Plan for Lots of Bathroom Breaks
The more pregnant you are, the more baby is pushing on your bladder. You also have more blood volume during pregnancy which means more for your kidneys to filter out. Therefore, you will likely need lots of trips to the bathroom. This doesn’t mean you can’t still snag the window seat, but make sure you are okay with asking the person in the aisle to get up. You may decide you are better off in the aisle.
Move Around Frequently
When you are pregnant, you have an increased risk of blood clots in your legs, also known as Deep Vein Thromboembolism (DVT). Moving around decreases your risk and sitting for many hours increases that risk. Therefore, you want to get up and walk around at least once every hour while flying. Getting up to go to the bathroom counts for you hourly walk. You can also consider wearing compression socks. These help to keep blood flowing to help prevent DVTs, and they are also helpful for keeping the annoying foot swelling at bay. When you can’t get up and walk around (i.e. lots of turbulence), flex your feet up and down to keep the blood flowing through your legs.
Know it May be Harder to Breathe
The air at 30,000 feet is thinner with less oxygen than the air at sea level. When you aren’t pregnant, you probably don’t notice any difference when sitting on an airplane. However, when you’re pregnant, it’s already harder to
Know the Signs of Labor
Dehydration can increase the frequency and intensity of Braxton Hicks contractions which isn’t harmful but can be uncomfortable. However, the biggest risk with flying is that you will go into preterm labor. Therefore, it’s important to know the difference between Braxton Hicks and actual labor.
Get TSA Precheck
Taking your shoes and sweatshirt off for security is a pain when you aren’t pregnant. When you are pregnant you want to avoid having to remove and put back on your shoes if at all possible. TSA precheck allows you to leave your shoes and light jacket on when going through security. It also means a shorter line.
This isn’t the time for high heels and pants with a real
If you have flown while pregnant, do you have any tips I didn’t mention? If so, share them in the comments.
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Mom, wife, veterinary pharmacist, equestrian, ice cream lover and occasional hot mess