Before pregnancy, you may agree that you don’t give catching flights or planning a trip much thought or worry. However, when you get pregnant, this changes.

Air travel can be easy to navigate or manage when you’re not pregnant or in the early stages of pregnancy, but as the pregnancy progresses, you start to feel the stress and weight of travel.

While flying is discouraged for high-risk pregnancies, it has little to no impact on low-risk pregnancies.

Here are useful tips to help you fly comfortably during pregnancy:

Get medical green light

Before you book that trip, it is advisable to check with your healthcare provider to get medical clearance. You’ll be advised whether or not you’re fit for air travel and the safest time for you to travel. For most pregnant women, the best time to fly is during the second trimester because the risks of common pregnancy emergencies are at its lowest.

Get medical green light

Check with the airline

The guidelines for pregnant women may vary between airlines and destinations. However, most airlines allow air travel for pregnant women before 36 weeks. Some airlines may require you to bring documentation from your healthcare provider, stating the age of gestation. Also, if you have a specific dietary need, speak to the airline about it.

Check with the airline

Keep your documents accessible

Keep all necessary travel documents within reach, to save yourself the stress of rummaging through bags at check-in or boarding. Have your medical and travel documents handy and secure.

Keep your documents accessible

Travel light

It is undeniably difficult to get through an airport with heavy luggage, much less while pregnant. You don’t want to put yourself through such heavy lifting. Pack light and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need to lift your luggage onto conveyor belts and into the overhead compartment of the airplane.

Travel light

Dress for your trimester

Be sure to dress with your trimester in mind. Comfortability should be priority. Loose-fitting clothes are ideal. Wear maternity clothing and compression stockings because changes in cabin pressure and air circulation can cause excess fluid to be trapped in your body tissues which results in swollen ankles and feet. Opt for lightweight, supportive, and comfortable shoes that are easy to take off and slip back on at any given time.

Dress for your trimester

Bring your own pillow

As your pregnancy advances, it gets uncomfortable to sit for long periods. Get a travel-friendly pillow that offers good support when you need to sit or sleep. Place it where you desire and make yourself comfortable.

Bring your own pillow

Choose the right seat

Pregnant women are required to take frequent bathroom breaks and walks in-flight. So, you may want to consider selecting a seat that’s easily accessible to the bathroom. Pick a seat at the front/back of the cabin, and on the aisle because it won’t be pleasant to have your seat partner excuse you each time you need to use the bathroom.

Choose the right seat

Be on the move

Long flights can get uncomfortable and so it’s advisable to take occasional walks up and down the aisle to keep your blood flowing. Avoid sitting for long stretches but if you must sit, flex your arms and ankles at intervals.

Pack snacks and stay hydrated

Depending on the trimester, pregnancy often makes you hungry. Your airline may not have healthy options available for you, so it is essential that you pack your own.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Keep a large water bottle with you and refill when it gets low or empty. It is important to stay hydrated in-flight because low humidity in the cabin can cause dehydration.

stay hydrated

Be prepared for emergencies

When it comes to travel, uncertainties can happen, so it is advisable to prepare in the case of an eventuality. When pregnant, extra care must be taken as you don’t want to be caught unawares and unprepared while on a trip. Travel insurance prepares you for any emergency. Buy adequate travel insurance and get protective cover.

Also, when travelling to a place you are unfamiliar with, it is important to do some research on the local medical facilities you can visit there, should you need obstetric help. Take into account affordability, quality of medical care they provide, and proximity to you.

Be prepared for emergencies

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