Flying While Pregnant: Everything The Traveling Mama Needs To Know
The first question that you have is probably, “Can you fly while pregnant”…..”is it safe for baby?”. There is absolutely nothing unsafe about flying while pregnant, as long as you get the ok from your doctor.
Some women are concerned that the scanning machines during security are not safe for pregnant women. The levels of radiation that are emitted from those machines are so low that it doesn’t cause any threat to you or your baby. But if you would rather avoid the scanning machines, you can inform them that you are expecting and would like to opt out of the scan. In my experience, they have had me step aside and go through a physical pat down by a female security officer. It’s completely up to you and what makes you feel most comfortable and safe!
Bring A Doctor’s Note
While flying is completely safe for women with low risk pregnancies, it’s always important to check with your doctor and make sure they clear you to fly. There are a couple cases in which your doctor might suggest that you not fly. Women who have gestational diabetes or hypertension might be advised not to fly.
The last thing you need is to try and check into your flight and have your airline tell you that you’re not allowed to fly because of whatever rule they have. Each airline has their own policy when it comes to letting pregnant women fly. This is why it’s always good to have a doctor’s note saying that you are cleared to fly and also how far along you are.
Get An Aisle Seat
I know, I know, the aisle seats are awful. You have no where to lay your head if you want to sleep and you get hit by everyone walking up and down the aisle. Before I had children, the window seat was my best friend. I would put on my headphones and fall asleep. Just like that. I have since flown while pregnant, with a baby, with a toddler while pregnant, and with a toddler and a baby. Let me tell you, the aisle seat is now my new best friend.
On a side note, here are the best tips and tricks if you’re traveling with a baby.
Since one of the awful side effects of pregnancy is needing to use the bathroom every five minutes, the aisle seat will allow you to get up and go without having to ask anyone to move for you.
Pregnant women are also at a higher risk for blood clots and can easily build-up fluid in your legs and feet. For this reason, you’ll need to walk around every hour or so to keep your circulation flowing. This shouldn’t be a problem since you’ll probably have to pee anyways, but it’s always good to keep in mind.
Bring Compression Socks
Like I mentioned above, pregnant women can often experience swelling of the legs and feet while flying because of the cabin pressure and elevation. Not to mention all the other reasons pregnant women retain extra water. Compression socks will help to keep any swelling from happening which will make you feel so much more comfortable. Put a pair of leggings on over top and no one will even know you’re wearing them!
Another golden tip is to wait until the last minute to board the plane. This means less time sitting in a cramped seat and more time for you to walk around. Although the overhead bins might be filled up if you wait too long, so be sure to think about that as well.
Bring Extra Snacks And Drinks
Food was the first thing on my mind at all time while pregnant so I always had extra snacks packed wherever I went. But if you’re not like me, let me remind you to bring extra snacks and drinks. If you think you will need one pack of crackers, pack two just in case. You never know when that pregnancy hunger is going to hit you!
You’ll want to avoid high salt food. The salt can cause you to retain water, and you don’t want that while on a flight for several hours. You want to avoid drinking too much caffeine since it’s known to cause dehydration. Stick with water and drink lots of it. Believe me, you’ll feel so much better when you’re hydrated.
Remember that you can’t bring liquids in with you through security, so instead of packing drinks, plan on stopping at one of the stores inside the airport.
That’s it! You absolutely don’t have to dread flying while pregnant. It’s completely safe and can even be comfortable if you’re prepared! Okay, maybe not comfortable, but it won’t be awful with these tips. Now get on that plane because you deserve to go on vacation and get a little alone time before the baby comes!
I’m Bre and I blog over at Maintaining Me about my life as a Pastor’s wife and mom of two kids. After being born and raised in Hawaii, I played soccer in college and got my degree in Communications and Public Relations. Now I enjoy freelance writing, organizing, and Starbucks.