Next month I’m attending a conference for work on the west coast. It’s something that was planned well before I knew I was expecting. I’ll be in my 23rd week by the time I head out. I spoke to my health care provider because I was a little nervous about traveling by myself especially because the flight is so long. I’m mostly concerned about being uncomfortable, having to get up a million times to use the bathroom, weird plane food and jet lag.
If you are in good health and more than five or six weeks from your due date, traveling by air should be fine. If you are experiencing health problems during your pregnancy, air travel can be unwise. Be sure to speak with your health care provider if you are unsure about whether you should travel.
Pregnant women who travel may have special concerns including:
Seating - Try to get an aisle seat so you will have more legroom as well as the ability to get up and stretch periodically. This is important, especially during long flights. Blood can pool in your legs if you sit idle for extended periods. This pooling can lead to blood clots.
Changes in air pressure -This should not pose any unusual problems. During flight, the air pressure in the plane cabin is adjusted to approximate the pressure you would experience around 5,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level. At this height, you and your baby will each have less oxygen in your blood than you would at sea level. Your bodies will adjust however and you should get along fine.
Seat belts -The seat belt should be adjusted snugly beneath your abdomen, across the tops of your thighs.
Fluids - Drink plenty of nonalcoholic and decaffeinated fluids before and during the flight. The humidity level in the cabin is generally low and the extra fluids can help prevent dehydration.
For more information about traveling during pregnancy click here
Image: John Wardell, Flickr