7 Tips for Safe and Healthy Air Travel While Pregnant
By: Colette Bouchez
Air travel during pregnancy is never easy – particularly during these tense times. From managing airport security to balancing those carry-on bags AND your growing tummy, to the crowds, the smells, even the temperature, all can turn even a much-anticipated vacation into a “Gilligan’s Island” nightmare! But pregnant travel can be easy and fun – if you just use a little forethought and some careful planning. Doing so, can make air travel for business or pleasure easier and more pleasant – not to mention safer and better for you and your baby. Here are some tips to make it all “fly by” without a hitch!
Pregnancy Flying Tip #1
Most airlines have some restrictions about pregnancy, particularly when flying in the third trimester. Some even have rules that pertain to the second trimester, and many airlines require a doctor’s letter of permission signed no more than 48 hours before you plan to travel. Since ticket agents aren’t likely to mention this, knowing your airlines policy on pregnant flyers ahead of time will help you avoid hassles and problems the day of your trip.
Pregnancy Flying Tip # 2
Dehydration is always a problem when you fly – and more so during pregnancy. So, be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your trip.
Pregnancy Flying Tip # 3
For more flying comfort during pregnancy, request a roomier “bulkhead” seat, on the aisle – which can also make it easier to walk around during the flight, important for your circulation and for making those all-important bathroom trips faster and easier.
Pregnancy Flying Tip # 4
Wear support hose when you fly during pregnancy, particularly if your flight is more than one hour. Also, periodically get up, or at least move your legs about. Both will help reduce the risk of blood clots.
Pregnancy Flying Tip # 5
Always wear your seat belt – but during pregnancy strap it low on your abdomen and pelvis. And if it’s not obvious, be sure to inform your stewardess that you are pregnant and ask for assistance whenever needed.
Pregnancy Flying Tip # 6
During pregnancy travel, always carry a copy of your medical history containing your blood type, any chronic health problems, a listing all medications you are currently taking, any medical or food allergies, your doctor’s name and your due date.
Pregnancy Flying Tip # 7
Ask your obstetrician for the name and phone number of a physician colleague at the destination where you will be traveling. If you have any special pregnancy needs give the destination doctor’s office a quick call or send a fax, letting them know who you are, the name of your recommending doctor, and the fact that you might be calling them while you are in town. Be sure to give the specific dates when you plan to be there, and make sure to include your own doctor’s name and phone number on the fax or note.
Safe To Fly During Pregnancy?
If you’re wondering if it’s safe to fly during pregnancy, the latest guidelines released by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that as long as you are suffering no pregnancy complications – like high blood pressure, placental abnormalities, or history of premature labor or miscarriage – and you are in good cardiovascular health, you can safely fly up to your 36th week of pregnancy.