Since getting pregnant, my hormones have been all over the place (literally) so my husband suggested we go on a holiday before the little one makes its arrival. Note: I went during my second trimester, read: honeymoon period of pregnancy. It is suggested not to go abroad during the first trimester due to high chances of miscarriage and during the third trimester as there are chances of premature labour so I went during the second trimester, the best time to travel during pregnancy.
The NHS has lots of advice about travelling when pregnant on their website.
As I wanted the flight to be as smooth and comfortable as possible I took the following.
Maternity notes/any prescribed medications and to check with the airline whether a “fit to fly” certificate is required
I was flying with Emirates who require a certificate once you’ve reached 29 weeks (3rd trimester), which can be provided by your GP (there’s normally a charge) but luckily I was under 29 weeks so didn’t need it. I did take my maternity notes with me just in case though and took my prenatal vitamins too.
It is recommended to take compression stockings with you on long haul flights when pregnant as they are supposed to help massage the muscles which results in blood being forced upwards towards the rest of the body which then helps to relieve any swelling. I did wear compression stockings just in case although I never really got any swelling during pregnancy and didn’t expect to get any during the flight. In fact, walking down the aisle once every hour did help too as it stretched my legs and got the blood circulation going so make sure you get up regularly.
This is actually a great tip for anyone who is taking a long haul flight as it helps to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis and blood clots.
When choosing your seats, always pick the aisle seat
As you’ll probably be going to the toilet every 5 mins like I did, I would recommend choosing the aisle seat. It’s much easier to get in and out of your seat and less disturbance for other passengers and you’re not clambering over someone else to get out.
Dress for comfort, not for style
As much as I wanted to dress stylishly for the flight, I knew that sitting in a teeny seat in the plane for more than 6 hours was going to be uncomfortable as it is. Paired with uncomfortable clothing and pregnancy would have started my holiday off on the wrong foot anyway. So, I wore a huge hoodie with maternity leggings, trainers and my stockings and I was ready to go. I’m not saying the flight was seamless but my outfit was super comfy which really helped! I also suggest packing a lumbar pillow and eye mask to help you get some sleep on the flight. Ours was a night flight so I was exhausted anyway and didn’t need any help getting some shuteye.
Protect yourself against any nasty germs
This tip is for everyone, even if you’re not pregnant. As planes are well known to be notoriously dirty, I packed an antibacterial hand sanitiser and wipes to wipe down the armrests and pull down trays to keep germs at bay! I did get a lot of nausea during the first trimester so I packed mint tea too just in case it kicked in again as it’s such a great nausea deterrent! Make sure you drink plenty of water during the flight too, to keep you hydrated.
Please note, I’m not a medical professional and these products I recommend are entirely based on my own opinion and experience of long haul flights when pregnant. I would of course recommend taking your maternity notes, any medication you’re currently on and any documents required by the airline.