If you’re heading off on holiday or getting ready to jet off on a babymoon before your new arrival puts in an appearance, then check out these top ten tips on travelling when you’re pregnant.
Expecting mums, read on for some things to bear in mind to ensure you and bump have a smooth flight.
Talk to your doctor
It’s important to have a chat with your doctor before you book to fly anywhere. Provided there haven’t been any complications during your pregnancy, or with previous pregnancies, you should get sign off on your trip. It’s worth getting a letter from your doctor (and all your prenatal records) confirming you are fit to fly just in case your airline asks for it. Keep in mind that a number of airlines won’t let you fly after 36 weeks.
Check in with your airline
Not all airlines implement the same rules when it comes to pregnant women flying: While Gulf Air do not require a medical certificate up to and including your week 28 for single pregnancies, and week 22 for multiple pregnancies, they do recommend you carry a letter from your doctor with your due date. Between week 29 and week 34 you can fly if you have pre-approval from a Gulf Air doctor, and you can fly with this and a medical escort from week 35 to week 36. Emirates Airlines won't allow pregnant women to travel after their 36th week of pregnancy unless with special permission form the Medical Department of airlines.
Make sure your travel insurance gives you adequate cover. Most insurers will insist that you have at least eight to ten weeks until your due date for your return flight. Others may stipulate that cover only extends up until week 27 or 28 of pregnancy. It’s best to contact them to find out their particular conditions and exactly what you could claim for.
Keep it close to home
Your dream holiday might be a far flung exotic destination, but long-haul flights can be uncomfortable when you’re pregnant. There are more than enough fantastic domestic destinations to visit within three hours. By opting for a shorter light it not only lessens the time for any discomfort, but it means you get to your holiday faster – winner.
No heavy lifting
When you arrive at the airport, staff and airline personnel are available to assist you with lugging those heavy bags around so you don’t have to. Let you airline know in advance if you need assistance with your luggage or with getting to the gate.
Put your socks on
When you’re pregnant, slower circulation increases the chance of blood clots, so ask your midwife for elastic compression socks for your flight as these can minimise the risk. Granted they aren’t the most fashionable of things, but what’s a style faux-pas for some peace of mind?
Go walk about
No matter the flight, it’s good to get up from your seat for a bit as there is an increased risk of getting blood clots during pregnancy. Every half hour during the flight, stand up and walk, or flex and extend your legs to prevent swelling of the feet and to improve blood circulation.
If you can afford the luxury of flying in business class or premium economy then do it. If not, try to select an extra legroom seat before your flight. You could even just ask the flight staff if they can make some accommodations for you. If an extra legroom seat is unavailable, the second best option would be to get an aisle seat near the restroom, because you can relieve yourself without walking in front of people on a regular basis.
Drink water, lots of water because you can never drink enough water when you pregnant, and an airplane dehydrates you even more than being on the ground. So buy a large bottle of water to take on the plane with you – that way you don’t have to wait for the cabin crew to get to you with the drinks trolley.
Once you’re back on terra firma, it’s important to keep in mind that your skin is more sensitive to the sun’s rays during pregnancy so slather on the sun cream. Also, keep a copy of your medical notes and insurance policy with you and have details of local doctors, hospitals and the embassy in case of any emergencies.
Now you and bump are ready to hit the skies!
For more tips and advice on travelling with babies and children, visit www.skyscanner.ae