Now that I live 3,000 miles away from all my loved ones, I’m finding myself flying the friendly skies more often than usual. In fact, over the course of my pregnancy I have taken eleven flights, most of which have been cross-country. Yep, I counted. And that doesn’t include connections!
Air travel is always unpredictable, uncomfortable, and usually stressful. Add pregnancy hormones, fatigue, and emotional instability to the mix and it can feel pretty overwhelming. But in my many jaunts across the country these past 30 weeks, I have learned a few lessons for how to make air travel while pregnant a little more tolerable.
1. Splurge on an upgrade
When we flew to Las Vegas for our babymoon, we asked if there were any seat upgrades available when we reached the ticket counter. For just $50, we were able to upgrade to first class where we enjoyed non-stop free beverages (sparking water!), roomy seats with comfy cushioning, and precious extra legroom.
2. Carry a water bottle
Air travel is dehydrating for everyone, and we pregnant ladies are even more susceptible to getting dehydrated quickly. It can take a long time for the first beverage cart to roll by, and even after that mine cup is usually empty within minutes. Pack a water bottle that you can fill up in the airport (once you get passed security) so that you aren’t left feeling dehydrated and hitting the “assistance” button every 20 minutes.
3. Wear comfy shoes
After my last cross-country flight from Seattle to South Carolina, I was amazed at how swollen my feet and ankles were by the time I exited the plane. My feet felt like the were literally going to burst out of my shoes, and my cankles were quite the sight. For the flight home, I learned my lesson and wore shoes with a little extra room to allow for some expansion.
4. Check your baggage
I have never been big on asking for help, and pregnancy has made me realize that I am most definitely not superhuman. As someone who has always carried her own weight (and her own bags!), it has been humbling to realize that now I need a little more help than usual. Hauling extra luggage around the airport, lifting it into overhead bins, and trying to navigate bags down tiny aisles along with a giant belly is totally unnecessary. Do yourself a favor and spend the $25 for a lighter load and a lot less stress.
5. Carry a travel pillow
Yes, they are super dorky. But you know what? They are also super comfortable, and they make a huge difference when your flight is in hour three and your neck and back are aching. I have used mine as a pillow for my head, a support for my arms, and even a cushion for my butt. In pregnancy, there can never be too much cushion or support for all those aches and pains, and a pillow can make a huge difference.
Now that I’m 31 weeks pregnant, I’m hoping my pregnant air travels are over (at least for this time around!). What are some other tips that you can offer to expecting moms who are planning on flying soon?