Need to fly during your third trimester? You may be surprised to find out that flying during the third trimester isn’t all that difficult to arrange. All airlines allow you to fly in your third trimester, and the American College of Obstetrics says it’s fine up to 36 weeks. Still, it can be hard on your body. Check out these tips from a Traveling Mom of 3 who flew throughout all trimesters of her pregnancy.
I flew more times while pregnant with baby number three than I did during the five years between getting married and having kids. I always thought kids would slow down my travel, but it turns out it’s pretty easy to travel and fly with kids or while pregnant as long as you do it right. Flying in my first and second trimester was a no brainer, but when I scheduled a trip to occur while I was 35 weeks pregnant, I began to get a little nervous about flying so close to my due date.
After a little research, I found that many airlines no longer have restrictions for pregnant women. Even the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists says it’s perfectly fine to fly in your third trimester as long as you stop by week 36. So with one week to spare, I took my chances and went on vacation.
Here are tips for flying during the third trimester that I learned along the way:
Talk to Your Doctor First
Your doctor knows your history and can advise you on whether it is safe to travel or not. Be aware that most doctors are probably going to advise you not to go. It’s their job to make sure you have a healthy pregnancy. Make sure your doctor knows all the facts, hear what they have to say, and then make the decision that makes the most sense for your body.
Check With Your Airline
Each airline is different. Some don’t require you to have a doctor’s note and others do; however, none require it until after 36 weeks. It’s super easy to find out. Just Google “your airline pregnancy policy”.
Only Fly to Places You’d Feel Comfortable Delivering
Dying to go to a third world country? Probably not the best idea while in your third trimester. Try to only travel to places where you’d be okay giving birth. I felt completely comfortable flying 35 weeks pregnant because I was going to be near family the entire time. Had I gone into labor, I would have had a support system.
Same thing goes for your layover. Try to pick one where you know someone just in case you end up going into preterm labor. If you go into preterm labor and have to stay in the hospital for a few weeks, it would be nice to have friends or family nearby.
Make a Backup Plan
What would you do if you went into preterm labor while on your trip? Go ahead and discuss this plan with your partner so you are are the same page. Better now than later!
Wear Compression Socks
I know they aren’t the sexiest piece of clothing you own, but they are worth it. I wore mine for every single flight except one, and that was the only one that gave me issues with leg swelling.
Make sure to put them on first thing in the morning before your feet touch the ground and don’t take them off until you lie down again for a nap or to sleep for the night. It’s tempting to wait until you are at the airport, but trust me, they work so much better when you use them correctly!
If you’re sporting the compression socks, you might as well look the part with the rest of the outfit. My go-to third trimester flying outfit is yoga pants and an oversized maternity tank. I’m positive I look like a mess, but comfort is key.
Elevate Your Feet
It’s a common misconception that flying is what makes your feet swell. It’s actually sitting for too long. That’s why you need to prop up your feet when you can during your layover.
Walk Around Often
Alternate between walking and elevating your feet. The worst thing you can do is sit down for the entire layover. It’s also a good idea to get up and walk to the bathroom every hour of your flight. For this reason, you may want an aisle seat.
All that sitting, walking, and carrying luggage takes a big toll on your body. It’s a good idea to have some pain relief on hand for when you really need it.
Pack Food and a Water Bottle
Don’t rely on airport food when traveling while pregnant. It’s possible that your layover is so quick that you won’t have time to eat. That’s why it’s a good idea to bring some granola bars and other snacks to keep you from getting hangry. I also suggest traveling with a large water bottle that you can fill up between flights or even ask the flight attendant to fill up.
If you are experiencing a healthy pregnancy, there is no reason why you can’t fly in your third trimester. Make sure to be mindful of your body and give it the rest and attention it deserves! Flying in your third trimester can be a breeze if you follow these tips and take care of your body.