The first trimester of a pregnancy can be amazingly simple for some women and complete agony for many others. Therefore, while it is safe to fly during this time, some women may have an easier time when they are up in the air and some will be more than ready for the plane to land as soon as possible. We’ve talked about general tips on how to make flying easier while pregnant as well as how to travel safely when pregnant. We’ve also discussed why you really should take that babymoon while you’re pregnant and hope that you do.
Here are 10 tips for safe flying in the first trimester:
1. Always Take Gallon Size Ziploc Bags with You
Morning sickness can hit at all hours of the day, so you know that it could always happen in the car on your way to the airport, at the gate in the airport, up in the air, or in the rental car as you are driving to your hotel after landing. Since the only place you might find an air sickness bag is in the seat pocket in front of you on the airplane, you will need your own in every other situation. I prefer Ziploc bags, because you can easily seal everything up and toss it away. It cuts down on the odor, a little, and those bags will never leak at the worst moment.
2. Stay Hydrated
You may not be able to take liquids through the security line with you, but you can fill reusable water bottles once you get to the other side. It you do not want to deal with that hassle, you can buy bottles of water from one of the stores, restaurants, or kiosks that line the terminals of every airport. Dehydration is the worst when you are pregnant and if you are queasy all the time, it can be difficult to keep drinking large amounts of anything. Therefore, take small sips throughout your flight, and when you are waiting at the gates, to ensure that you are staying as hydrated as you possibly can.
3. Pack Lots of Snacks
During your first trimester, you may find that you can only eat one type of food or you may have weird cravings that you can’t even figure out ahead of time. When you are flying, you will want to have snacks that will fulfill both those scenarios, while making sure that you have plenty to get you through the flight. You may even want to consider packing extras, because you never know when your flight may be delayed for a few hours.
4. Choose Your Seat Wisely
While you may prefer the window seats when you are flying, you may want to rethink that now that you are in your first trimester. An aisle seat will come in handy if you need to rush to the restroom, due to morning sickness or when you need to go to the bathroom. When you sit in an aisle seat, you will not need to make those sitting next to you move every time you need to get up.
5. Dress Comfortably and Wear Layers
While you should always dress comfortably when you are flying, it is more important to do that when you are in your first trimester. You may also want to consider wearing layers, because you may experience hot and cold flashes, due to your hormone levels changing. Comfortable shoes are also a must, because your feet may swell a little, especially on longer flights.
6. Do Stretches When Possible on the Airplane
It is important to keep moving when you are flying to keep your blood circulating. You will find that your legs and ankles will swell less, and you will have less leg cramps if you can move your legs and ankles a little or get up and walk around. While it is best to walk around for three or four minutes every hour, that might not be possible when you are flying. If you cannot get out of your seat, then try simple ankle rolls, lift your ankles off the floor, and anything else you can think of to get your blood moving. You may want to consider wearing compression stockings as well, because they can help prevent blood clots, varicose veins, and more. They may not be super comfy to wear, but if they help, they will be worth all the discomfort of putting them on!
7. Pack Medications that Are Safe to Use While You are Pregnant
Before leaving for your trip, you should talk to your doctor to see what medications you can safely take for certain ailments. It is always best to purchase these medications prior to your trip, so you know that you can find them when you need them instead of searching from store to store at your destination.
8. Take a Neck Pillow with You
Sleep is necessary during the first trimester of pregnancy, so be prepared to get some zzz’s on your flight by taking a neck pillow with you. You can place that around your neck and hopefully fall into a blissful sleep until it is time to land. If you do not think that a neck pillow will be enough, feel free to add an eye mask and ear plugs to your travel bag.
9. Select Your Meal in Advance on Long Flights
When you take really long flights, the airlines will give you a meal to eat. While you can wait to make your choices, it is usually best in your first trimester to make this selection prior to your flight. This ensures that you receive a meal that meets your requirements, whether it is low sodium, low fat, or full of vegetarian options instead of meat.
10. Consider Taking a Pleasantly Smelling Spray with You
You will be amazed at how many different odors set your stomach off during your first trimester! While you may think that you will be fine sitting next to the person who seemingly hasn’t showered for days or someone who forgot to apply deodorant that morning, it probably will not happen. Therefore, I recommend taking a spray that has a smell that you can tolerate and spraying it on your neck pillow, clothes, or anything else that will be close to your nose. You might want to consider taking a scarf with you, so you can pull that up to your nose and mouth to block some of those offending odors and give you the pleasant smell that will get you through your flight.
These ten tips will have you safely flying through your first trimester, so that you can still see the world, or work, despite the fact that your family is growing. Embrace this time in your life and have the fun that you deserve! And soon, you will be learning how to fly with a newborn! A story for another day.