Is It Safe To Fly While Pregnant? 7 Things To Know About Traveling As A Mom-To-Be

Ad failed to load

They say flying is tough with a baby in tow, but what about those nine plus months a baby is chilling inside of your body? You’re uncomfortable, your body has stretched into a shape you couldn’t even fathom, and you’re not even sure if it is safe to fly while pregnant.

I get it. Travel is stressful enough without worrying that you’re going to put your baby, or yourself, in harm’s way. But flying doesn’t have to add to the stress. The Mayo Clinic noted on that, for most healthy, low-risk pregnancies, a woman can fly until she’s 36 weeks along. After that, the chances of going into labor are too high for your health care provider to give you permission to board a plane. Your doctor may also have reservations about certain trips, so seeking out their expertise on the matter and asking them if they think it’s safe for an eight hour flight to London is important.

You can also breathe a sigh of relief that the TSA’s medical detectors do not use X-rays to scan the body and have been approved by the FDA as safe for pregnant women to walk through. There have also been concerns over in-flight radiation exposure causing problems for pregnant passengers, but an article in the National Center for Biotechnology Information stated that, for casual travelers, “the impact on pregnancy from cosmic radiation exposure during flight is trivial.” For more frequent travelers, and airline employees like pilots and flight attendants, work schedules or travel times may have to be altered to stay under the limit for radiation exposure.

Ad failed to load

Let’s be honest, the biggest issues you might find while flying during your pregnancy is trying to comfortably strap a seat belt around your baby bump and being hungry at 39,000 feet with nothing to eat but a bag of peanuts to fill the void. These seven tips can help you travel safely as a mom-to-be and keep the stress of flying at bay.

Ad failed to load

1Check The Airline Policies


Just because your doctor says you can fly at 30 weeks doesn’t mean the airline agrees. Each airline has a policy on their pregnant passengers, so do your research to save yourself some time and stress.

2Ask For Help With Your Bags


The American Pregnancy Association notes that lifting heavy objects during pregnancy is a big no-no, so make sure to ask for help when hoisting your suitcases to be weighed or lifting your bags for security. You should also use a cart when retrieving your luggage and ask for someone to grab your bag off the belt.

3Request A Pat-Down


Although the TSA is adamant that their machines are safe for you to walk through, the organization notes that you can request a pat-down. A female TSA officer will assist you and properly screen you for your flight without making you head through the metal detectors.

Ad failed to load

4Choose A Comfortable Seat


This could mean something different for everyone. If you want to sit near the bathroom, choose a seat that makes that trek easy. You might prefer to sit up front with the extra leg room or an aisle seat rather than a window seat so you don’t have to clamber over anyone. (Because nothing says “How you doin’?” like straddling a strange who’s trying to enjoy their in-flight movie in peace.)

5Stay Hydrated


This can not be stressed enough! According to Everyday Health, the low humidity levels in the cabin can leave you feeling dehydrated, so keep up your fluid intake. It’s already recommended that pregnant women have 64 ounces of fluid a day and being in flight makes that even more important.

6Pack Snacks


Nobody wants a hungry pregnant lady around, especially if she’s stuck in an airplane with them. Pack plenty of snacks for your trip and try to avoid foods high in salt so you can keep yourself as hydrated as possible.

Ad failed to load

7Move Around


The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists noted on their website that one of the most common fears in air travel for pregnant women is experiencing venous thrombosis, a deep blood clot that usually affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh and can be extremely dangerous. To minimize your risk, you should make sure to move around and keep the circulation flowing. Take a few laps around the cabin and stretch often. If you’re going on a particularly long flight, talk to your doctor about the best way to minimize your risk. They might suggest purchasing compression stockings or support hose to keep the clots away.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Umm, Toys "R" Us Has A BOGO 50 Percent Off Deal So You Better Stock Up

After the holidays, you were probably hoping that your kid's massive toy collection would keep him entertained for a little while, at least. But that was wishful thinking, wasn't it? Because now that a couple of months have passed, all those must-hav…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

A Hot Mess Mom's Guide To Surviving Winter

As I sit here at my home office in Connecticut, it's cold. Damn cold. Winter is a rough season in New England and it's even worse when you're a parent and have to manage cooped up, restless children. It's even worse when you're a hot mess as it is, u…
By Jamie Kenney

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

8 Reasons I Let My Toddler Play Outside Unsupervised

I'm not a helicopter mom, but I'm not exactly a free-range parent either. I like to think of myself as safely ensconced somewhere in the middle. I insist on certain safety measures, like car seats and helmets. I prefer to keep my 2-year-old in my sig…
By Kimmie Fink

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack