You can keep air travel stress-free with some tips on keeping it healthy, especially important if you're pregnant. You may have just received the news that you’re expecting and you already had travel plans booked. Or are you planning to take a babymoon prior to the big event but not sure about the safety of flying while pregnant? In any case, not to worry.
Air travel is generally safe for pregnant women. However, it does come with some warnings. To help ease some of the anxiety, read on for travel tips from the team at Cheapflights.com, whose Air Travel & Pregnancy guide has lots of good tips and answers to common questions.
Quick Tips for Healthy Air Travel While Pregnant
- Travel with at least one companion who also has your emergency contact info in addition to your doctor’s number programmed into their phone.
- Carry documentation with your expected date of delivery, doctor’s contact info, and your blood type.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration on airplanes can be worse when you’re pregnant, so drink plenty of caffeine-free, non-alcoholic fluids before, during, and after the flight.
When Is the Best Time for Pregnant Women to Fly?
According to the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, air travel is safest for pregnant women during the second trimester – weeks 18 to 24. If you are considering a flight during your pregnancy, check with both your doctor and the airline before you book.
According to one of our experts, Colleen Lanin of TravelMamas.com, “In the first trimester you may be too nauseated to enjoy your time away. In the third trimester you may be too uncomfortable and not feel up for doing much of anything.”
Check with your Airline on their Rules
Each airline has its own rules for flying while pregnant. If you’re booking your flights with an agent, let them know that you’re pregnant when you book and check that you are permitted to fly. If booking your flights online, be sure to check the airline’s website or the Cheapflights Air Travel & Pregnancy guide.
It is worth calling ahead to alert the airline about your pregnancy – this should also ensure that you get special service to keep you comfortable. It’s also recommended that you avoid smaller planes that fly below 7,000 feet, and choose larger planes with pressurized cabins.
Make Yourself Comfortable on Board
Especially during pregnancy, reserving the right seat on the airplane can make a difference. You will need to be able to get up and move around the plane.
Try and reserve a spacious seat when you make your booking. Many airlines’ websites have information about the varying legroom on each of their seats. If you plan to travel pregnant, it’s worth spending a few extra bucks to get a bit more room. Be aware, though, that traditional “extra legroom” seats, such as those on the exit aisles, are often not permitted to those who are pregnant.
Another expert, Jodi Grundig of MomsFavoriteStuff.com, adds this tip, “While I generally love direct flights, if you are flying long distance, two shorter flights may be better. That way, you can get out, stretch, eat a nice meal and recharge.”
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