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When you are pregnant, comfort is key. However, flying and comfort don’t often belong in the same sentence. If you find yourself flying while pregnant, make sure to avoid these 5 mistakes that I learned about the hard way.
1. Taking the Window Seat
The window seat may be prime airplane real estate for some people. However, when you are pregnant, you will want to rethink your seating choices. I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that pregnancy makes you pee a lot. If you have a window seat and need to ask multiple people to move every time you go to the bathroom, you are likely to be tempted to hold it which can lead to a UTI. If you are sitting on the edge it’s easy to get up whenever you need to.
2. Staying in Your Seat
When you are pregnant, you are more prone to DVTs which are blood clots in your legs. Anyone can get DVTs, but pregnant women have a higher risk, and the risk increases when you are on an airplane and sitting for an extended period. Therefore, you want to get up periodically and walk around – a bathroom trip counts. This is another situation where having an aisle seat comes in handy. It’s generally a good idea to try and get up once every hour to 1.5 hours. Other things you can do to decrease your risk are to wear compression socks that reach your knees and flex your ankles while sitting.
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3. Skipping the Snacks and Water
Pregnancy requires more calories than normal, and you want to make sure you eat plenty while traveling. If you have short flights, this isn’t as big of a problem, but if you have a long flight, you want to make sure you plan to snack. These can be snacks you brought from home (I really like these protein bars) or snacks you buy on the plane. Try to find snacks that incorporate some protein and aren’t just carbs.
You also don’t want to turn down an offer of water. It may seem like a good way to not have to go to the bathroom so often, but you are more prone to dehydration while flying because there is less water in the air. If you get dehydrated while pregnant, that can increase the risk of Braxton Hicks contractions and general discomfort. I recommend purchasing a large bottle of water prior to boarding and then accept all offers for water while on the plane. If you cringe at the price of airport water, you can bring an empty bottle and fill it at a water fountain.
4. Flying During Late Pregnancy
Flying during the first and second trimesters isn’t too much of a problem. However, things get a little more difficult during the third trimester. Check with your doctor, but in general it’s okay to fly up until you reach 36 weeks. However, the closer you get to that point, the more uncomfortable flying will become. There are the obvious issues with feeling huge and being cramped in a tiny seat. However, there is also the problem of catching your breath. When flying you are at a high altitude which has less oxygen. Therefore, it’s a little harder to breath for everyone. Most people won’t notice, but when you are pregnant, it can be hard to catch your breath even at sea level. When flying it becomes much more noticeable. I continued to fly until 32 weeks, and the last couple of trips I took were really uncomfortable because I couldn’t catch my breath.
5. Wearing Stylish Clothes
It seems like travelers are either in the ‘leggings’ camp or the ‘must look good because everyone will see me’ camp. When you are pregnant and flying, stick to leggings. You don’t need uncomfortable pants pushing on your already uncomfortable belly and you don’t need nice shoes making your already sore feet worse. The chances of seeing someone you know are quite slim, so travel in comfort. If you have to go straight to a work function or other event where you need to look nice, bring a change of clothes in your carry-on to change into when you get off the plane.
Get all my tips for what you should do while flying during pregnancy here.
What mistakes have you made flying while pregnant? Let me know in the comments.
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Mom, wife, veterinary pharmacist, equestrian, ice cream lover and occasional hot mess