I’m 25 weeks pregnant and have already taken 9 flights! Some have been just an hour long, and others have been upwards of 13 hours (here’s how to survive super long flights btw). Regardless of the length of the flight, here are a few tips for flying while pregnant.
P.S. This post doesn’t include any advice on the safety of flying while pregnant. I took my first flight at 12 weeks so right when I was “in the clear” by some advice standards but I suggest you check out the book Expecting Better, which provides a data-driven analysis of many of the pregnancy recommendations that we hear often and take as fact but are not always true. That said, I would have still taken that flight at 8 or 10 weeks – it just so happened to fall at the 12 week mark.
Get the Aisle Seat
Pre-pregnancy, I preferred window seats, because it was much easier to fall asleep and not be bothered for the whole flight, but when you’re pregnant you’ll definitely need an aisle seat so that bathroom trips can be executed as quickly as possible.
Drink LOTS of Water
Airplanes are already moisture sucking environments, and yes, you might be tempted to try and avoid drinking anything to try and reduce your already frequent trips to the bathroom, but you should try to drink as much water as you can so that it forces you to get up every once in a while and stretch your legs. Pregnant women are more susceptible to blood clots, which can develop while flying if the blood in your legs don’t get enough circulation. For long flights, consider buying compression socks to further protect against clotting.
Make Friends with the Flight Attendants
This is easier to do on smaller planes and when you’re more visibly pregnant, but flight attendants are generally quite friendly and accommodating and will agree to bring you extra water or snacks. I haven’t had success getting bumped up from economy to business class, but I’m planning to fly again in my third trimester so maybe I’ll have more success then lol!
Avoid Carry On Luggage
I tend to try and pack everything possible in a carry on luggage, but when you’re pregnant, trying to lug a carry on into the overhead compartment is the last thing you should be thinking about. Yes, it’ll take an extra 15 minutes for your bags to come out of baggage claim, but you’ll need to go to the bathroom once you land anyway. If your trip is short, try checking if the airline will gate check your bag so you can pick it up at your destination without having to pay baggage fees.