Traveling During Pregnancy: Is It Okay To Fly?
If you’re pregnant, especially if you’re expecting your first baby, now is a great time to travel! Traveling after the baby's arrival is much more complicated, as you’ll have to bring a whole arsenal of baby gear with you and expect everything to take longer than you’re used to. Now is the perfect time to soak up all the one-on-one quality time you can get with your spouse before your worlds take a monumental shift when you become parents. And the good news is, unless you have a history of pregnancy complications or other health conditions to consider, most doctors agree that it’s totally fine to travel during pregnancy, especially before the third trimester!
Here is everything you need to know about flying while pregnant:
1. Talk to your doctor first.
Before traveling, you’ll definitely want to speak with your doctor first about the risks and benefits of traveling during pregnancy. Only your doctor knows your specific health history and risk of pregnancy complications, so you’ll want to seek a medical professional’s approval before booking your vacation. Based on your pregnancy history and how your current pregnancy is progressing, your doctor may advise you not to travel, or travel only within a certain time frame. Certain conditions like preeclampsia, premature rupturing of membranes, gestational diabetes, hypertension, having twins, or a history of preterm labor are all factors to take into consideration.
2. Consider the timing of your trip.
Most airlines will allow pregnant women to travel up to the eighth month of pregnancy (up to week 36), although rules for international flights might be different. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll want to travel at almost 9 months pregnant! Take into consideration when you are looking to travel. In the first trimester, you are able to travel, but you might also be dealing with pesky pregnancy ailments like back pain, morning sickness, nausea, and extreme fatigue. In the second trimester, you might welcome back your normal energy level, as well as lose most first trimester problems like nausea, headaches, and vomiting, making this trimester (weeks 14 to 28) the ideal time to travel. As a precaution, consider buying travel insurance for your trip - pregnancy can be full of surprises, and you never know when risk factors will arise. And although you can still travel in the third trimester, it might be harder on your body to sit for long periods of time. Opt to travel during a time when you’ll still feel comfortable!
3. Consider the length of the flight.
Pregnant women are at a higher risk of blood clots, so it’s important to be able to stretch and move around frequently. Very long flights can cause soreness and swelling in a pregnant woman’s legs and feet, so it’s important to get up periodically and move your body. You can also buy compression socks to help reduce swelling and pain. Several times each hour, be sure to spend a minute wiggling your legs and toes when you’re seated. You might also want to take into consideration how often you’ll have to use the bathroom, too. Many pregnant women report having to go to the bathroom much more frequently as the growing baby pushes on her organs, so it’s important to be able to find time to get up and use the bathroom or book an aisle seat so it’s easier to get in and out of your chair.
4. Consider the location of your trip.
You can choose whatever destination you’d like, but be aware of the location of your trip. How close is your hotel to the nearest hospital? Is there a nearby urgent care facility? Will you have a rental car or easy access to taxis or rideshare companies? Although it’s entirely up to you, most doctors would advise that pregnant women stick close to areas with easy access to medical care, should complications arise, so camping in the middle of a remote jungle might not be the smartest option. Before you leave on your trip, look up a few of the closest medical facilities to your hotel, and be sure to bring any insurance cards or documentation you might need if you require medical attention.
5. Bring helpful documents and medications.
Be sure to bring along any important documents and medications on your trip. Bring your insurance card (or a copy of it) in case you need medical attention. Pack any medications you are taking, including prenatal vitamins and nausea medications. Ask your doctor if it’s advisable to take any additional medications as well.
6. Consider the pandemic.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be getting better in many areas of the country and many places around the world, it’s still important to consider the fact that the pandemic is not over. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19, so be sure to research how the pandemic is currently affecting the location of your trip. Pregnant women are eligible for the vaccine, so it’s important to discuss with your doctor whether that is an option for you as well. And of course, be sure to pack plenty of masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant products.
Pregnancy is a wonderful time to travel, because it allows you to enjoy all the special quality time you’ll get with your partner before your new baby arrives. If you plan on taking a trip while pregnant, be sure to take the aforementioned factors into consideration, and always consult your doctor first.
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.