Rules for flying while pregnant have changed through the years. Here is a guide by trimester and some helpful tips to make it easy for you to stay safe and comfortable on your flight.
Flying is generally considered safe during the first trimester, although some airlines and physicians recommend waiting to fly until you are more than 14 weeks pregnant. To be sure consult your physician before flying. Even if your physician signs off on your flight, morning sickness may deter you from wanting to travel.
Your second trimester is a good time to fly! Not only are you, hopefully, past your morning sickness, but also your energy level should also be on the rise. If you’re planning to take a Babymoon, now is the time to do it (Check out our tips for taking a Babymoon here). To put your mind at ease, carry a copy of your prenatal chart so that in case of an emergency you will have all necessary info with you.
The general rule of thumb is that it is safe to travel up until 36 weeks of pregnancy. If you are carrying twins, it is recommended you cease plane travel at 32 weeks. During your third trimester it is always best to consult with your physician prior to planning your trip to ensure that all necessary precautions are taken. You will want to find a local OB/GYN through your hotel so that if you have any questions or concerns during your pregnancy you will have a resource on vacation.
Here are a few tips when flying during your pregnancy:
- Book an aisle seat so you can stretch your legs during the flight. An aisle seat is also much more convenient for using the restroom and taking walks during the flight. Stretching your legs once an hour lowers your risk of blood clots (aka deep venous thrombosis). Some doctors also recommend wearing supportive stockings to support circulation, which also lowers the risk of blood clots.
- Bring some anti-nausea medicine with you just in case you become nauseous mid-flight. Ask your doctor for medication recommendations. You can also try taking Vitamin B6, which is known to help soothe nausea.
- Stay hydrated, with water preferably, since air travel can cause dehydration.
- Metal detectors, despite popular belief, do not emit radiation. According to the TSA, both types of metal detectors (millimeter wave and traditional) are safe for pregnant women. If you feel more comfortable opting out of going through either metal detector machine you can always request a physical “pat down” from a female TSA agent.
- Avoid lifting heavy suitcases above your head. Ask a flight attendant or fellow passenger to help you instead. Lifting heavy objects when pregnant puts you at risk of injury as your joints and balance are less stable during pregnancy.