There are so many articles about whether or not you should fly when you are pregnant and this isn’t designed to be one of those articles. You can find some guidance on the question of if you should or you shouldn’t fly and at what point of your pregnancy here on the Baby Centre website or here on the NHS website.
However once you’ve decided that you will fly, here are some tips about what to think about before and if you do.
1. How long do you want to fly for?
I flew to Barbados when I was 5 months pregnant with my eldest daughter and so glad we did. We haven’t been back since and it was a last blast before all 3 came along. I chose a direct flight from Manchester though and chose Barbados over other Caribbean islands due to the shorter flight time. I can’t tell you I was comfortable for the whole trip but I can tell you I am really happy we did it.
Look how happy and relaxed I look!
2. How long will you be in the airport for, will the airport be comfortable enough?
We flew to see a friend of mine in Ireland when I was around 34 weeks pregnant. The airport we flew into was tiny and on the way home there was a 5 hour delay due to high winds. The airport didn’t really have any facilities, had very uncomfortable chairs and very limited food options. It was awful. The delay in a bigger airport would still have been frustrating but it would have been bearable.
3. What are you going to wear?
Comfy clothes are a necessity. They can still be stylish but make sure they are comfortable. I love maternity jeans but for flying it was always a dress, leggings and cardigans (layers basically) so I could wear as much or as little as I needed. You are carrying your own hot water bottle as you know!
4. Take Snacks and Drinks
Regardless of whether you are travelling on an airline with food, take snacks and water with you. Cravings and the necessity to eat can hit you at any time during your pregnancy and you don’t want to suddenly need food a hour after you’ve refused the airline meal because you feel sick (yes that happened!).
5. Consider paying for Extra Leg Room seats
Most airlines won’t let you sit near an exit door, as you might not be able to move quickly enough (!). When I was pregnant with the twins I was health and safety assessed at work to see if I was able to navigate the stairs and safe enough to be in the building (but I digress!). Most airlines have extra leg room seats that aren’t at the doors and it might be worth for comfort reasons trying to negotiate, or pay extra for these.
6. Walk About
Get up and walk about as often as you can.
7. Pick a location it’ll be hard(er) to visit with the kids
Not really a tip about flying but I am so glad we had a last blast to the Caribbean. I think we are now at the point we can go back with them and enjoy it. Florida this year but maybe onto Caribbean next year!
8. Check your Insurance
A regular reader and contributor reminded me that it is important to check your insurance before you fly. Even if your Doctor is happy for you to fly your insurance company may not be. Don’t let that put you off flying though. It should be cheap enough to cancel the policy that isn’t happy (if you have an annual policy) or hunt around for a sensible one that does. Just make sure you check.