Flying When Pregnant
Flying when pregnant in the first trimester
As long as you are deemed healthy by your doctor, flying when pregnant in the first trimester poses little risk to you or your unborn baby. The only exception is travelling on non-commercial flights where air pressure is not adjusted. This is because the amount of oxygen in the air decreases as altitude increases, potentially leaving you in short supply. However, if you travel by commercial airline you have no need to be concerned as air pressure in their cabins is adjusted so that there is a sufficient supply of oxygen on board.
It is advisable to ask for an aisle seat so that you have clear access to the bathroom and keeping a sick bag to hand is a good idea in case of bouts of nausea. Seats situated level with the wings tend to provide the smoothest ride and are favourable if your stomach is already doing somersaults.
If you are suffering badly with sickness and nausea it can be a good idea to take your own snacks for the journey in case you are unable to stomach the food served on the plane. Dried fruit, biscuits or crackers can be conveniently kept in your hand luggage and will help to keep your energy levels up. As amniotic fluid develops in the first trimester it is especially important to keep hydrated. The atmosphere on the plane can be quite dry so make sure you drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated drinks.
The risk of deep vein thrombosis is slightly increased during pregnancy so you should aim to be as active as possible during your flight. Get up and walk around every hour and stretch your legs and feet every half hour to help boost circulation. Compression stockings are also a good idea.
Before you embark on your travels make sure that you are covered by a comprehensive health insurance policy. It is important to check that your policy provides sufficient cover for pregnancy related treatment in case you fall ill while you are away. If you are unsure of what is covered by your policy, you should contact your insurance provider to check the details and arrange for an upgrade if necessary.