Flying during pregnancy is surrounded by a lot of questions and concerns on behalf of the pregnant woman. Before you fly during pregnancy, it is better to relieve yourself of every concern and safely travel to your destination.
Knowing exactly how flying will affect a pregnant woman may help in easing and relaxing during the flight. Also, some health measures are to be taken during flying, which is considered very important.
The Most Common Questions About Traveling While Pregnant
The common questions asked about traveling during pregnancy are:
- Is it safe to travel during pregnancy?
- How should I keep myself hydrated?
- How much water should I take?
- Does the air pressure in any way hurt the baby?
- How can I prevent the air pressure from affecting the pregnant body?
- What other measures should be taken while flying?
Is it safe to travel during pregnancy?
The answer to the first question is it is fine to travel during pregnancy. However, it is advised by the doctors to try not to fly at least until the initial 12 weeks are over. This is mainly due to the early symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea, getting drowsy, feeling weak, etc. These conditions will not in any way make the journey a pleasurable experience. Instead, it will exhaust you and make things worse.
It is, however, safe to travel after the 12th week to the 34th week of pregnancy. Doctors advise that it is safe to avoid flying from the 34th to the 36th week of pregnancy as labor is expected near now, and staying close to home is recommended. You would not want to have the baby while traveling or in a foreign location. The traveling time is further safely narrowed down to 18 to 24 weeks of pregnancy as the chances of miscarriages are the lowest, and preterm labor is also not expected.
How should I keep myself hydrated? How much water should I take?
Drinking lots of water during your flight is recommended. You should take almost a liter of water every two hours while you are flying. It is advised to keep yourself hydrated enough to not experience preterm labor or any other type of sickness while flying. You should also walk for at least two to three minutes every hour to prevent any blood clotting.
Does the air pressure in any way hurt the baby?
Another common question is if the pressure in the air cabin hurts the baby. The airplane cabin is pressurized to a safe level for us though it will not affect the baby.
What other measures should be taken while flying?
For women who decide on flying during pregnancy, it is suggested to have a contact sheet with you all the time. It is also recommended that you keep a copy with yourself, and one should be given to your traveling partner or spouse, whoever is traveling with you. The contact sheet should include your name, your healthcare provider’s name and contact info, and all your emergency contact numbers.
Your medical insurance information should also be given in it. It is helpful to add up any health history that you think might become useful, such as your medical history or specifically your prenatal history. It should include the detailed descriptions of earlier births, any allergy history, or any information related to immunization should also be on this list. Listing all these things on paper will aid if any assistance is needed when you are away from home.
Tips to Stay Safe When Flying While Pregnant
Flying is considered safe during pregnancy, except for some exceptional cases where the doctors will inform you not to fly. When you get ready to fly, you should take some precautions and follow some safety rules to make yourself comfortable in the flight and after it.
First things first, you should wear something comfortable for your journey. It is advised that you pick loose-fitting maternity clothes for yourself. The same goes for shoes; opt for a size larger than your regular one as due to a long flight and sitting for a longer period, your feet may swell and cause discomfort during and after the flight.
Also, you should avoid rings and other tightly fitted accessories to prevent any pain or discomfort in case of body swelling.
Moreover, make sure that your luggage is rolled and you have someone to carry the luggage for you. Never take anything heavy with yourself to carry on the journey.
#Find an Appropriate Seat
Before boarding the plane, you should ask the attendant on the flight counter for a comfortable seat or at least one with an empty seat next to it. Try acting more pregnant and weak to give the impression that this journey is tiring you out to gather the sympathy of the attendant.
You do require room for stretching a bit. Walk as much as possible to improve blood circulation and blood clotting and try to board the plane after everyone else as it will prevent the hassle of rushing in the plane and save the extra waiting time sitting in the plane.
#Wear Your Seat Belt & Stay Well Hydrated
Always place the seat belt below your belly. Drink a lot of water during the flight, and don’t depend on the flight attendant to bring you water. Ask for a bottle and drink at regular intervals.
#Avoid High Sodium Foods
Also, avoid peanuts and flight snacks as they contain sodium, and it will swell the body even more. Ask for fresh fruits or carry healthy items to eat for yourself.
Furthermore, you should walk every half an hour or at least after an hour to keep yourself active and prevent blood clotting. This is important for you and the baby, whether the other flight passengers like it or not. You have to ignore comments and stares and do what is best for the baby and your pregnant body.
#Ease Yourself After Landing
After your flight has landed, walk a little to ease yourself and regulate the blood flow again, and do not shy away from asking someone else to pick the luggage off the ramp for you. Drink lots of water or other fluids, avoiding caffeine even if you are too tired.