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Tips for Flying While Pregnant

When I asked my doctor what was the latest point in my pregnancy that I could fly, she got excited and asked if we were planning a baby-moon trip. I laughed and told her no. Just trying to squeeze in trips to bring our 4-year old to see grandparents before I’m grounded.

Second-time moms don’t really get baby-moons. Alas.

We did travel by air twice this pregnancy, once in the second trimester and once in the third. The second trimester trip was as easy as can be since it was only a 45 minute flight and I was still able to see my feet at that point. But the longer flight we took this past weekend to see my husband’s parents was more of a challenge.  While it was all doable and there were no risks to me or the baby, I will say that airplane seats were NOT built with pregnant women in mind. But the trail mix I bought in the airport was exceptionally tasty, so there’s that!

Here are a few of my thoughts on how to make flying during pregnancy as safe and comfortable as possible:

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  • Check With Your Doctor 1 of 8
    Check With Your Doctor
    Make sure you ask you doctor before booking any travel! While most pregnant women can fly without health issues, it's worth double checking to make sure it's a good idea for you.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Stay Hydrated 2 of 8
    Stay Hydrated
    The air up there? Is dry. Once you get through security, grab a couple of bottles of water to take on the plane with you. If you can't do that, flag down a flight attendant and ask if they can bring you water once you're in your seat. And keep drinking when you get on the ground! I found the drying effects of flying lingered for 24 hours.
    Photo Credit: Zsuzsanna Kilian
  • Grab Some Snacks 3 of 8
    Grab Some Snacks
    That little bag of pretzels isn't going to cut it if your flight is more than an hour. Pick up something to eat before you board. Try to avoid anything too salty since it will make staying hydrated harder and make swelling in hands and feet worse.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Use Compression Stockings to Combat Swelling 4 of 8
    Use Compression Stockings to Combat Swelling
    I may be unusual but my ankles have a tendency to swell on planes even when I'm not pregnant. To combat that, I wore compression stocking for the whole flight this time and they really cut down on the bloat. They're available at drugstores if you want to pick some up.
    CVS
  • Stand Up and Stretch 5 of 8
    Stand Up and Stretch
    Being pregnant puts you at a slightly increased risk for blood clots if you sit still too long, so try to get up every hour to keep your circulation going (you'll probably need to pee anyway!). When you're sitting, extend your legs and flex feet and ankles, too.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Choose the Aisle 6 of 8
    Choose the Aisle
    The aisle seat lets you get up often to stretch aching joints, promote blood flow, and get to the rest room easily.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Break Up Your Flights 7 of 8
    Break Up Your Flights
    This is one time that planning a layover might not be a bad idea. Being able to get out of the cramped, dry quarters of the plane will feel good and give you a chance to stretch before you get to your final destination.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Ask For Help! 8 of 8
    Ask For Help!
    This is not the time to play Supermom and try to hoist the heaviest bag or run from gate to gate! Ask your travel companions, airline staff, airport security or friendly-looking strangers to give you a hand if you need it. The guy with the beeping golf cart in the airport or the nice lady in 7C will be more than happy to get you and your bags where you need to go!
    Photo Credit: photo stock

For more on travel while pregnant, check out these articles from Baby Center and the Mayo Clinic.

Read more from Rebekah at Mom-in-a-Million, The DC MomsThe Broad Side
Follow Rebekah on Facebook and Twitter too!

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Photo credit: Photo stock

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