Family Vacation Tips

10 Important Tips For Moms Flying while Pregnant

[fa icon="calendar"] Dec 13, 2012 2:46:00 PM / by Sally Black

Sally Black

flying while pregnant

Babymoons are one of the hottest trends in family vacations. Parents look forward to one last hurrah and splurge before baby arrives. babymoons can involve flying while pregnant. It's generally safe to fly while pregnant but moms-to-be do need to know these 10 tips to make their journeys easier and more comfortable...

1. CHECK-UP - Your first bit of travel planning should be a prenatal visit to your obstetrician. Get the green light from your doctor before you go anywhere. Your doctor knows you, your baby and your health best so be sure to include your doctor in your decision making process. Inform your doctor of precise where you will be traveling, especially if you're planning to travel outside of the U.S. Some foreign countries may require special vaccinations that may or may not be safe during pregnancy.

2. Travel Insurance - Don't leave home without it! Many U.S. health care companies do not cover Americans traveling overseas or out of their areas of coverage. Many Travel insurance companies consider pregnancy to be a "pre-existing condition" and may not cover you either. Read all fine print and ask questions. Some foreign countries will take traveler's passports when they are admitted into the hospital and will not return them until all medical bills are paid in full.

3. SMART SCHEDULING - Do your best to plan your babymoon during your second trimester of pregnancy, from about 13 weeks to 25 weeks. This is the time you're likely to be feeling your best. During the first trimester, morning sickness can cause problems which can be compounded by traveling. During the last trimester, size can cause back pain and foot swelling not to mention complications like high blood pressure and premature labor. Most airlines do have restrictions regarding moms more than 36 weeks pregnant (32 weeks for moms of multiples). Your airline may need a letter from your Obstetrician signed within 48 hours prior to your flight giving you medical permission to fly. Be sure to ask and be prepared.

4. PAPERWORK - Besides your travel documents like tickets and passports, it's a good idea to create a medical file for yourself...just in case. Ask your obstetrician for a copy of your prenatal history. Create a work sheet that includes copies of your hospital and travel insurance policies. Make a contact list of names, phone numbers and email of people you'd like contacted in case you deliver. Include a copy of your birth plan and the direct dial phone number of your obstetrician. If you're traveling overseas, be sure you know the number of the local hospital,American Embassy and how to telephone home. Murphy's law, if you're prepared with all of this information, you'll never need it!

5. UNDER PRESSURE - Large aircraft are pressurized for passenger comfort and safety. Altitude will not really effect you or your baby. Be careful and ask questions if your trip involves smaller aircraft often used in sightseeing or island hopping. These aircraft that fly at lower altitudes may not be fully pressurized putting your baby at risk of not receiving enough oxygen.

6. PACKING SMART - Do your best to travel light. If possible try to ship your belongings ahead so that you don't have to carry heavy bags. If not, it's better to tip a porter while navigating the airport. This is not a time to play super woman! Ask for help if you need it and play the pregnant card if you have to. A couple of inflatable pillows may come in handy to help you stay comfortable during your flight. A tiny bottle of hand sanitizer can go a long way to keep you and your baby healthy while traveling. Remember to use it often. Be sure to pack your vitamins and any medications that you may need into your carry on bag and be sure to follow the The 311 Rule.

7. FASHION STATEMENTS - First and foremost, Be Comfortable! Wear relaxed, comfortable clothing and slip on shoes. Remember you will need to remove your shoes at airport security so easy slip on shoes are best...especially if you can't see your feet! If you're traveling to a tropical destination, wear cotton clothing and underwear. Don't sit in wet bathing suits as pregnant moms are more prone to yeast infections.

8. EATING AND DRINKING - flying can be very dehydrating so be sure to drink extra water and juices while avoiding caffeine when possible. Check in advance to see if your airlines is offering meal service on for your flight. Many airlines no longer serve meals so be prepared. Take along extra pre-packages snacks to nibble in case of any flight delays. Small frequent snacks instead of a heavy meal prior to your flight may help to alleviate bloating and gas. Eating a high fiber diet may also help prevent constipation, especially if you're taking pre-natal vitamins with iron. Most resorts now have purified water systems to their restaurants and bars but often, water to guest rooms may not be fully purified. It's best to use bottle water for drinking and teeth brushing.

9. PREFERRED SEATING - Many airlines will allow you to reserve your airline seat ahead of time. Many pregnant moms prefer aisle seats close to a bathroom. Others prefer bulkhead seats that offer a bit more leg room. Pregnant moms are not allowed to sit in wider exit rows...sorry. While flying it's best to stay seated with your seat belt fastened low across your hips and below your bump. If you do get up to use the toilet, be sure to hold on. Remember your center of gravity is not really centered and a little bit of turbulence can really send you flying!
DVT better known as Deep Vein Thrombosis or blood clots. Pregnant women are considered at high risk for DVT. DVT can be caused by long periods of inactivity, especially when you're crammed into a tight airline seat for a long flight. Airplane exercises done frequently throughout your flight can make you feel better and help you avoid ankle swelling and DVT. You may want to ask your doctor about the use of special hosiery that can help circulation while easing the risk of DVT.

10. COMMON SENSE - Use your head when it comes to your adventures and activities during your babymoon. Let's face it bungie jumping and bar hopping may not be your best choices while pregnant. Be sun smart and play it safe. If you're active and healthy you certainly don't need to be a wall flower but swimming with sharks may not be your best choice when you're traveling for two. Do try to maintain your usual exercise program to stay healthy but include lots of down time for rest and relaxation. This is certainly the best time to pamper yourself.

Topics: Baby Vacations

Sally Black

Written by Sally Black

Sally is the Founder of Travel Agency and author of the book "Fearless Family Vacations". She is also the Director of Travel Agent Initiatives and Training at The Family Travel Association.

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