4 Tips for Flying While Pregnant

When work sends me out of state I usually pack a good book, make sure I build in time to Skype my toddler each morning and evening, and look forward to having a bed all to myself. Recently, though, as my belly has begun to grow with my second baby, I’ve found traveling much less enjoyable. Long waits at the airport, expensive snacks and meals, and dealing with the discomfort of tiny airport seats is just no fun when you’re pregnant. There are some actions I take that can alleviate some of the discomfort and stress of flying, so whether business or pleasure takes you on in the air while you’re pregnant, use the tips below for a more enjoyable experience!

airplane, pregnant
Image via Flickr/ Mike Liu

1. Give yourself extra time 

Most experienced travelers are used to cutting down their wait time by arriving at the airport with just enough time to get through security and head to the gate. However, when you’re pregnant giving yourself more time than usual is a good idea. Moving quickly can be difficult and uncomfortable in your third trimester, as can stressing about whether you’re going to make your flight. Use the extra time you have in the airport to pick up a magazine and a smoothie, sit back, and relax.

2. Pack snacks and bring a water bottle

Usually, when I travel I don’t buy any snacks at the airport (they’re just too expensive!). The first time I flew with a baby on board though I found myself feeling very hungry and had to splurge. Water, a pack of nuts, and a yogurt parfait ended up costing over $15 and I quickly decided that I’d be bringing my own snacks next time. Now before I travel, I stock up on easily packable snacks like granola bars, nuts, and fruit, and I bring my own (empty until I get through security) water bottle to make sure I stay energized without breaking the bank.

{ MORE: 6 Tips for a Successful First Flight with Baby }

3. Spring for the exit row

It’s no secret that airplane seats are tiny. Many people have trouble sitting comfortably when they’re not pregnant, so when you are the lack of leg (and belly) room can be pretty awful. If you’ve got the funds, spring for an exit row seat where you’ll be able to stretch your legs and put your seatback tray down without worrying about squishing baby.

4. Get up and move around

Most pregnant women are told by their doctors that they should get up and move around throughout their day and that they should avoid sitting for long periods of time. This is doubly important if you’re flying because moving around can both help you stay comfortable and help you avoid DVT, a rare but serious condition in which moms develop a blood clot in their legs. As you fly, make sure you make time to get up and walk the aisle a few times mid-flight. 

Enjoy your travels, mama! 

{ MORE: American Airlines Attendant Overreacts to Breastfeeding Mom }

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4 Tips for Flying While Pregnant

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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