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Flying while pregnant

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I know someone asked about the safety of this earlier on in our DDC but I thought I'd revive the discussion and ask specifically for tips on being comfortable while flying!


I will be flying from Vancouver to Tokyo for work in early April. I'll likely fly direct so about 9 - 10 hours on the plane. I'll be 23 weeks when I leave. I've never flown while pregnant...any tips on how to stay comfortable? I'm actually worried about the seat belt even fitting innocent.gif

post #2 of 17

23 weeks is not a bad time for flying.  Seat belt goes under the belly, so I imagine it will probably be ok.  I had no seatbelt issues much later on but I am normally quite slim.


Get an aisle seat!  You will definitely want to get up and move around and be able to go to the bathroom.

If for some reason seats are all booked and you can't get one in advance, then try to trade when you get on the plane.  I usually just explain that I'm pregnant and have to get up to pee every half hour, that usually works.


Bring a big bottle or two of water for the flight.  You will get even more dehydrated on the plane than normal.  You can buy expensive bottled water after security or just bring empty bottles and fill up at the water fountain.  And bring snacks that you like.


Make sure you really do get up and move around a lot.  Pregnant women are at more risk for clotting issues.


Also it's been a while since I've been to Japan so maybe this has changed, but if you end up taking the train, some trains (like the Shinkansen - bullet train) you buy tickets for specific seats in advance.  If that is the case make sure that the tickets you get are specifically for non-smoking cars.  Otherwise you will probably end up in a smoking car and a smoking train car in Japan is about as concentrated smoke as you can get. grossedout.gif

post #3 of 17
Good tips, Somegirl! smile.gif

Also, if you are having any trouble with swelling, you might consider wearing support hose. Not pretty, but they do help a lot. My dad was a diabetic and he always wore them for flying, and it helped a lot with swelling. I had a girlfriend do the same during her flight while pregnant.

Here's a tip I learned the hard/stupid way: if you're about to miss a flight across the airport, just go ahead and miss it. Don't run in unsupportive shoes and then miss it anyway. You'll feel pretty yucky for a good hour after that at least. And your feet will hurt. wink1.gif
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

Awesome tips from both of you! Thanks very much!

LOL at the running to catch a flight lol.gif


I'm also super nervous about being away from DD for so long..usually DP and her travel with me and we tack on some holiday time but it just isn't realistic with how busy I'll be this trip and DP isn't keen on being in Tokyo with a 3 year old all day and night by herself for 8 days ;) We plan to skype every day so I hope she does alright...I've never even been away from her overnight before (DD that is winky.gif)!

post #5 of 17
Too bad for DH. I loved Visiting Tokyo with my LOs! I had lived in japan for a while before that though, so i can understand how 8 days might be daunting. There was a lot to do with them there. Though I heard my favorite kid place there was one of the few places damaged in the city and they had no plans to re-open soon greensad.gif

I would be surprised if smoking is allowed on the bullet train still. They've gotten a little more strict about where smoking is allowed in recent years, but you never know.

I'm jealous! I hope you can have at least a little free time on that trip for fun!
post #6 of 17
Oh man, Crafty, excellent point about missing flights. I ran what felt like the entire length of the airport in Denver(ie. the mile high city!) when I was about 5 mos pregnant and still missed my dang flight. I had contractions for like 30 minutes after that. Won't be doing that again. I thought I was going to pass out from hypoxia. Sheesh.

Otherwise I had no problems other than needing to drink a ton.
post #7 of 17
Originally Posted by AUvetmom View Post

Oh man, Crafty, excellent point about missing flights. I ran what felt like the entire length of the airport in Denver(ie. the mile high city!) when I was about 5 mos pregnant and still missed my dang flight. I had contractions for like 30 minutes after that. Won't be doing that again. I thought I was going to pass out from hypoxia. Sheesh.

Otherwise I had no problems other than needing to drink a ton.

OMG, I can't imagine having done that in high altitude! I did it at Dallas/Ft.Worth and it was bad enough. I literally ran down an escalator in really loose flats (how did I not break my neck? I was already ENORMOUS!) and then sprinted like a 1/4 mile to the very last gate. When I saw them close the door from a couple gates back, I started crying and I begged them to let me on. I was looking at the parked plane! They said no, so I cried and had Braxton-Hicks at least 30 min before waddling on my sore feet to the airport Chili's for an enormous conciliatory meal! I was stranded for like 4 or 5 hours and when I did land in glorious Amarillo, my feet were really swollen, even though that was the only time in my pregnancy that happened.

Don't let this be you! Or do- because it's kind of funny in retrospect. smile.gif
post #8 of 17
Yes, the 2 hour rest I had afterwards was nice. I distinctly remember being so sad I couldn't have a margarita. :-)
post #9 of 17

Aisle seat and prepared snacks, great advice!


I flew while about 6mos pregnant from NM to WA.  I got a window seat, because I usually love looking out of the window.  I was SO claustrophobic the entire time!  I could read or do the crossword.  I just fidgeted, and twisted and turned in my seat... so totally, go for the aisle!  Such a short distance, but that was the longest flight of my life. 


We got to the airport waaay in advance to avoid the aforementioned dash to the gate.  So, I ate most of my snacks and a burrito while waiting.  I just had some nuts and dried fruit by the time we were flying, but it was perfect.


Good luck!

post #10 of 17
I'll be traveling from Portland, OR to Ohio (5.5 hours) at 29 weeks so I'm happy to read these stories and suggestions!
post #11 of 17

Safe travels carmen and oregon!  I did lots of flying (almost all for work) last time, none this time around though.


Every flight was fine, except for the last trip.  7 months pregnant going to Brazil and traveling around the country.  At that point DS's feet were up in my ribcage and I was in agony every time I sat on anything besides my yoga ball because it would push his feet up further.  So you can imagine the fun of all those long flights.   I stood as much as I possibly could.   Plus I had agreed to the trip early on in pregnancy, not really thinking about it, but oh, the stress once I realized that 7 months was pretty far along and Brazil has a 99+% c-section rate.  And there was no way I would be able to find much vegan food there but my sweet DH packed a large suitcase full of food for me, so that was one less worry.

post #12 of 17
I've flown while pregnant a few times, in my first and second trimester. It was totally fine. I'm flying to Boston next week with my 21mo DS which will be fine as it's only just over 1 hr (from Buffalo) and I'll be 16 weeks then.

Our whole family is flying to New Zealand (from Toronto) for 3.5 weeks in a month from now by which time I'll be 20 weeks (24 when we return). I haven't flown that far while pregnant before so I'll def wear my support stockings. We are trying to pack light - 2 suitcases - so that I won't have to lift anything heavy. Hmm... 5 people, 2 suitcases. Well at least it's summer there!

Good luck on your travels Carmen & Oregon!
post #13 of 17

Hi, I'm flying to Singapore from NYC on Monday, and I'll be about 10 weeks along. Hubs bought me some compression socks (supposed to help prevent clotting I think) and I'm planning on bringing on lots of healthy snacks & water. I've been advised to get up and walk around every couple of hours as well. Also, we splurged and paid extra for the bulkhead seats with tons of room in front of them, and I think that is going to make all the difference.

post #14 of 17

Brooklynkat: safe travels! I'd kill to go there right now, as I think it would satisfy about 98% of my food cravings.

post #15 of 17

Have a safe trip brooklynkat!  That is one of the longest flights.  I think you will enjoy having the bulkhead. 

I'm not sure if you have been having cold weather in NYC but you will certainly warm up in Singapore!

post #16 of 17

Thanks guys! The trip was great, and the flying part was fine. Super long-haul flights always kind of suck, but the pregnancy didn't make it any worse. Drinking tons of water and having room to stretch out made it totally bearable.

post #17 of 17

I need to remember to get compression socks when I fly in June!

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