Congratulations! A new baby and a new airplane trip. You've got two things to look forward too.
Plus you get another bogo - for the price of your airline ticket, your new baby gets to ride for free...well until the airline figure out a way to charge pregos for extra baggage or something. Just kidding mommies!
Although you have a lot to look forward too, there are a couple of important points new moms need to know if they will be flying while pregnant...
1. Airline Rules - If you online and book your flights without knowing the rules it may cost you. Each and every airline has their own policies and rules regarding pregnant passengers. To complicate matters, these rules often change. This rules are in place for the health and safety of all concerned. No mom wants to find herself giving birth at 30,000 feet and flight crews look to avoid any possible emergencies.
Generally, for MOST U.S. domestic flights, pregnant moms are allowed to fly up to a week prior to their due date as long as they have a letter of permission from their doctor. If you do not have an approved, original doctor's note, you will not be allowed to board and you will forfeit the cost of your airline ticket. Not that a pilot wants to divert a flight for a pregnant mom, it's easier to do so if your flying domestically. If you're heading over the Pacific to Hawaii, there simply isn't any local hospitals that would allow a pilot to divert. This is one reason why besides citizenship issues, most foreign or international flights, especially long haul flights over the oceans, moms may not be allowed to fly after 28 - 30 weeks of pregnancy and again doctor's permission is also required.
Every single airline has their own policies and rules regarding pregnant passengers. These rules can vary depending on specific flights and schedules. It is important to know the rules for your particular flights. Check with your travel agent or call the airline to be sure.
2. Have Travel Insurance - Some medical insurance does not cover you if you are more than 100 miles from home. Make sure you have proper medical coverage while traveling. Read the fine print of any travel insurance you are considering to purchase. Some policies consider pregnancy to be a "pre existing condition" and do not cover any medical care related to pregnancy. It's also recommended to be covered for trip cancellation and interruption as these, along with medical are the most costly issues for travelers pregnant or not.
3. Be Prepared For Emergencies - Make sure you have contact phone numbers for your doctor or midwife. Have a list of any medications that you are taking or information about any health issues you may have. This will be very important to have should you go into labor or need emergency help.
4. Stay healthy While In the Air ...
- Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer in airports & planes
- Keep your seat belt fastened at all times on the aircraft.
- Request an aisle seat close to the bathroom for frequent breaks
- Stretch your legs and arms frequently to avoid blood clots
- Wear loose comfortable clothing and shoes
- Stay hydrated - drink 8 oz of water every hour
- Bring pre-packaged, nutricious snacks and meals (most airlines to not serve food. Also be prepared for delays with extra water to drink)
5. Ask for Help - From the cabin staff when it comes to lifting overhead luggage or if you need any personal assistance. Airline staff can also offer you assistance in the airport with a ride to your next gate if you are connecting flights or help with luggage.
Again the main objective is to keep you happy & comfortable while keeping your baby healthy and safe.