Being prepared when traveling is always essential. Flying while pregnant is a completely different lesson to learn. I thought I could prepare as I always do with the same necessary items, but my list needed some edits.
At seven months pregnant, flying is perfectly healthy, but there were things that could have ensured more ease. Of course, always be sure to talk with your doctor prior to any type of travel. No pregnancy is the same, so while this was cleared for me, your situation may be a bit different.
Comfort is key whether on or off the plane, and there are ways to make certain that your body and baby get the most out of it. Here are some strategies to eliminate stress and guarantee that you (or your partner) are ready for take-off.
Packing Your Carry-On
Pregnant or not, I always try to put extra thought into what I want on the plane with me. Consider things like lost luggage, sickness, and entertainment. As a pregnant woman, this can make or break travel. In addition to your usual, some specific items might include:
- Tylenol extra strength; this was approved by my doctor and made all the difference in the world when it came to sudden headaches, backaches, and general pains.
- Refillable water bottle (32 oz); so many airports are jumping on board with the filtered water stations. This prevents you from spending too much money on bottled water in the airports and it helps you stay hydrated.
- Extra pair of underwear; for those unexpected, “not again” moments. You know the ones where coughing, laughing, sneezing, and the average gravitational pull can make you lose all control of your bladder.
- Snacks; duh. Less sodium and more protein. Nuts, dried fruit, and whole grain crackers can easily be packed into your carry-on and guarantee that you will have something available should your eating schedule get disrupted.
What To Wear
Obviously, comfort is the thing to strive for. Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, it can be a relative term. It is important both on and off the plane. Don’t let it all catch up to you by adding:
- Compression socks/leggings/hose; you’re going to swell. Flying can make anyone swell, but pregnancy tends to guarantee it. I am a big fan of Pro Compression socks because they keep my feet, ankles, and calves in order. Plus, they are great for exercise before, during and after pregnancy.
- Belly support band; standing in security lines, walking across airports, and hauling luggage can do a number on your lower back. Not to mention, you have precious cargo in the front. Support bands like the AZMED maternity belt can help take the pressure off.
- Light cardigan/jacket/sweatshirt; because hot flashes are real. Most airplanes and airports are notoriously cold, but when your body heat turns on high, you will want something that you can easily remove.
- Comfortable shoes; extra points if they slip on and off easily. Who knew bending over to tie your shoes could be exhausting? TSA security will make you remove your shoes. Plus, airports typically guarantee a bit of walking.
Extra Nuggets of Information – Just For Fun
- Aisle seat; so it is easier to get up and down as needed. If you can manage to snag an aisle seat on the plane, your bladder, body, and those around you will be very thankful.
- Walk the aisle; keep that blood flowing! Once the seat belt light goes off, make the aisle your playground. Of course, avoiding any beverage carts. This will help prevent swelling and stiffness.
- Walk the airport; but listen to your body. Long layovers are great for getting some movement in. You can even pick an empty space for a few squats and stretches. However, if your body is telling you to rest, listen to it. Be sure not to overdo it.
- HYDRATE; always. This may be the most important one of them all. At this point, your doctor has probably pointed out that you should be drinking plenty of water. This is no different while traveling.
Every experience and pregnancy is different. If you are planning on flying while pregnant, these tips will hopefully help you travel with a bit more ease. As mentioned before, always consult with your doctor first.
Traveling mercies to you and your little one(s)!