As I prepare to fly back to Boston in a few weeks for my baby shower, I can't help but get a little anxious about flying alone. Here's a pic of my belly at the gym last night (and I still have 2 more weeks til I fly):
Since I feel nervous/anxious about everything these days, I decided to research some travel tips to help put my mind at ease. I compiled the "Top 8" of what I thought would be the most helpful, and some of these tips are great for non-prego travelers, too!
- Get your Doctor's OK. Before you travel, make sure to check with your doctor to be sure you are progressing without complications, especially if you are in your second and third trimester. Also check with your airline to read up on their specific travel policy. Typically, it is advised not to fly after 36 weeks with one baby or after 32 weeks with twins. Some doctors recommend not to fly after 20 weeks with twin pregnancies...it's all up to your OB and how comfortable and healthy you are. Err on the side of caution, and please play it safe.
- Stay Hydrated. Even when not traveling and for non-pregnant women, this is a must!! Drink [at least] the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. When flying, I suggest mentioning to the flight attendants that you are expecting and you may be asking for extra water. When I flew back from Boston in September, I got EXTREMELY ill and mentioned to them I was pregnant. They gave me water and an extra pillow. It was very nice of them. I also find it helpful to bring some packets of Gatorade powder to mix with bottled water to switch it up a bit (especially if you get sick, the electrolytes and the flavor is helpful).
- Move Frequently. When you're flying, I find it helpful to stroll up and down the aisle. Not only will frequent bathroom trips be necessary, but I've read that moving around every hour or so helps prevent blood clots in your legs. Move and stretch as much as possible on the plane.
- Pack Healthy Snacks. Carry some nutritious snacks for when hunger strikes. I suggest fresh or dried fruit, nuts or trailmix, sunchips or energy bars. Nothing is worse than being trapped without any food or stuck with places that are 100% unappealing -- plus, snacks help with the the nausea. And may I suggest, the more protein-packed, the better.
- Wear Comfortable Clothes. Stretchy, comfy clothes are the best to travel in, and comfortable shoes are a must because feet tend to swell when you're pregnant. Layers are great, too! You need to stay warm on the plane, but also be able to shed the layers if you are sweltering. And shoes with good arch support for walking around are very important.
- Change your Bag. Recently, I've found using a backpack instead of a shoulder bag helps cut down on back/belly strain and pain. I love using my brown Brookstone travel set, but for this trip I am reverting to my 7th grade L.L. Bean backpack with "SHAZZY" written in caps on it. Funny story about this backpack. After my wedding in 2010, I was wearing the backpack at the airport. I was also carrying the top tier of our wedding cake and my flowers since I couldn't part with them. While boarding the plane from BOS to LAX after the wedding, a young guy behind me asked if I was Chrissy's sister. I was shocked, but he said he worked with her at Meditech! He knew my name was Shaz and that I was getting married that weekend. Little smartie put two and two together.
- Pack a Travel Health Kit. Some good things to include in a little travel health kit are acetaminophen (or Tylenol - one of the only things we can have), Dramamine, Preparation H wipes, Tums and Unisom/Tylenol PM for insomnia. Insomnia has pretty much taken over my life lately, and that's trying to sleep in my comfy bed at home. I can't imagine what the flight will be like in a few weeks.
- Download Books/Music/Movies. I fly across the country often and I must say that having your own movie or book on your iPad is super helpful. You never know what the plane will be playing, if anything. Just don't forget your headphones! It is also nice to have a hard copy book if you have room in your bag. I just started reading "The Power of Now" which I will be bringing on the plane with me. I hope it helps with this anxiety I've been having lately.