10 Air Travel Tips For Pregnant Women

Some women stall all their travel plans as they receive the great news that they are pregnant. Some ...

Some women stall all their travel plans as they receive the great news that they are pregnant. Some people cringe at the thought of air travel. In fact, you will not witness too many pregnant passengers if you are a regular flier. But, is air travelling really harmful during pregnancy? Do women stand the risk of injury or miscarriage if they travel in an airplane? Is it possible to take a flight, in case it is absolutely necessary? And if one has to really travel, what are the precautions that are needed to be taken?
Relax dear readers! All is not bad news when it comes to air travel during pregnancy. There are some precautionary measures that need to be taken to make a would-be-mother's airplane travel comfortable and risk-free. Read on to know some vital tips and information regarding air travel during pregnancy.

1. Speak To Your Doctor

Your gynaecologist is the best and most reliable person to give you the heads up for air travel. It is the doctor who will be able to tell you whether you have a normal or a complicated pregnancy. There isn't much to worry if your pregnancy is normal. You can live life absolutely like regular days, and that includes air travel too. In the case of a more complicated pregnancy, you will be given critical advice if you choose the flight as your mode of travel.

2. Have Complete Information About Health Policies Abroad

In case you are on a trip abroad, be well versed with the medical policies of the destination country. Keep their emergency hospital numbers handy, in case you go into an early labour during the flight. Most flights restrict travel for women in their 36th week of pregnancy, so the chances of delivering while on board are a one in a million.

3. Avoid Dehydration

A pregnant woman needs to be more hydrated than others. The dry air inside the flight cabin can dehydrate her. So it is highly important to drink lots of fluids and keep the body hydrated in order to remain comfortable and pose no troubles for the baby inside.

4. Avoid Taking Immunizations Or Vaccinations

Doctors advise against any vaccination during pregnancy because they may adversely affect the baby inside. So avoid flying to countries which require you to take immunizations for air travel. If you are planning an international vacation to a foreign land, choose the place keeping this tip in mind.

5. Hold & Walk Inside The Plane

As you may already know, flights are not the best places to take a stroll. But every once in a while, a pregnant woman may want to ease those leg muscles, or straighten her back with a quick walk. When the seat belt sign is turned off, you may walk about a little, but always remember to hold on to support, in case of a sudden jerk during turbulences. Be careful not to bump into anything and make sure the path ahead is clear of food carts or clearing bins. In fact, while booking the tickets try to opt for an aisle seat with the washroom in proximity.

6. Wear Compression Stockings To Avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis(DVT)

You may have experienced an uncomfortable swelling of the leg during pregnancy, or at least heard about this from pregnant women. This is a condition common in pregnant women and therefore they are advised to wear tightly fitted stockings to prevent DVT conditions during the flight journey. You tend to sit for hours together with your legs down which may give rise to DVT. Therefore, ensure you wear specially designed compression stockings for pregnant women during your air travel.

7. Take A Break To Stretch Every Half An Hour

Sitting in one place, especially during long flights can get uncomfortable, especially during pregnancy. You may get cramps which will add to your discomfort. One of the best ways to travel on a long distance flight is to take a break every half an hour and stretch. If you are not permitted to walk around, stretch in your seat; move the shoulders and arms in clockwise and then in anti-clockwise motions. Stretch your neck and arch your back a little to give it some respite from one tiring positing. Point your toes outward and rotate your ankles to relieve the leg muscles of any fluid build up.

8. Stick To Pregnancy-Friendly Food

Request the flight attendant to serve you food that is fully cooked. It can be a simple affair and may look bland in front of the other delicacies served. But it is for your best. Avoid uncooked raw food, even if it is a nutritious salad, because chances of contamination are manifolds higher in the closed, pressurized cabin of an airplane than outside. Do not eat anything that is raw or undercooked.

9. Avoid Caffeine Rich Beverages

Your body is already strained and it needs to rest as much as possible during the flight journey. Piling up on caffeine will only make it worse for you by keeping you awake. So do not drink caffeine-rich beverages when pregnant and travelling by air.

10. Plan Air Travel During Second Trimester

This is not a hard and fast rule, but for most women the second trimester is the best period during pregnancy. The first three months of pregnancy is quite critical and chances of miscarriage are higher, irrespective of whether you are travelling by air or not. It is the time when a pregnant woman is prone to nausea and morning sickness, which may add to the discomfort of air travel. By the third trimester, the body begins to feel the burden of the baby inside and is tired and fatigued easily. So if you wish to avoid the discomfort or immense tiredness during your flight hours, make air travel plans during your third to the seventh week of pregnancy.

Apart from the tips given above, it is most important to listen to your body. If your body permits, take that trip across the seven seas in an airplane. But if your body refuses to travel, postpone your travel plans till you are ready again. Now that you know how to go about with air travel when you are pregnant, go have some great time while your little one is still inside the womb.

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Contributed By: Kriti Mazumdar


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