Seven Top Tips for Pregnant Travelers
1) Before you plan and commence your journey talk to your doctor first as he/she is the best judge to give you a time frame and also advise you on your travel limitations.Sometimes, a woman’s deep concern is that traveling may be detrimental to her pregnancy and that she should not move around much. This is fallacious and negative thinking. In fact, this is a period of baby mooning and you must take a trip and enjoy. There are, of course, certain pregnancies and travel related concerns and the information on these, if imbibed carefully, go a long way in facilitating the period of expectancy.
2) Before buying a ticket you must determine with the airline of your choice the pregnant flyer policy. Most commercial airlines allow pregnant women to travel up to 36 weeks though some require medical clearance from a doctor for third trimester travel. However, international flights may have an earlier cut off. The best time to fly, as per the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), is between 14-28 weeks, i.e., the second trimester, where medical emergencies related to pregnancy are least likely to occur. Also, this is the time when the comfort and energy levels are at a peak.
3) Check whether your travel insurance is covered for pregnancy as there may be a cap on the number of weeks of pregnancy.
4). Book an aisle or bulkhead seat. The reasons are twofold:
As a lot of intake of water is required to avoid dehydration (cabin air is dry and lacks humidity) you will need to go to the bathroom quite often. According to the American pregnancy association dehydration can cause preterm labor;
To save yourself from the deep vein thrombosis (dvt) you need to be on your toes and move around as much as possible.
5) In your carry on ensure you pack the following:
- Put in a lot of healthy, nutritious, fiber-rich, energy boosting foods like granola bars, trail mix, hummus, fruit and veggies, etc;
- Carry photocopies of your prenatal medical records and all the other documentation so that in case of some emergency, the doctor seeing the records can prescribe safely;
- Carry comfy socks or flip flops to change into on long flights. You can also carry and wear well-fitting elastic below the knee compression stockings during the flight;
- Pack in a light shawl or cardigan to use as a layer and a blanket which can also be bunched up as a pillow;
- If susceptible to motion sickness or any other problem stuff in your doctor’s prescribed medicines.
6) Before taking a flight avoid having foods like cabbage and beans which have a gas producing effect. Don the right clothes, shoes and accessories for travel as you need to be at complete ease and comfort in flight.
7) Wear the seat belt under your stomach and above your lower lap/upper thighs. It should not be on the bump. Let the airline personnel/crew be aware of your pregnancy. They will go the extra mile to ease you out all the way.