Traveling During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Traveling During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

If you’re an expectant mom, you’re probably familiar with all the lifestyle changes associated with pregnancy. From diet and exercise to the safety of certain medications and activities, pregnant women have a lot to keep track of in terms of what’s “okay” and what isn’t. And, unfortunately, travel is no exception.

While, for most women, traveling during pregnancy is perfectly safe, there are a few points to consider. Keep reading for more on traveling during pregnancy, including tips on staying safe, healthy and comfortable.


Airline Travel During Pregnancy

Generally speaking, air travel during pregnancy is safe. However, women who are high-risk, those in their third trimester, or those experiencing severe symptoms during early pregnancy may want to look into other forms of transportation. Especially during a  high-risk pregnancy, a doctor may advise against air travel; so, to err on the side of caution, all expectant moms should speak to their OB/GYN before flying.

Once you’re cleared for air travel, use the following tips to enhance safety and comfort during your flight:

Request an aisle seat. When booking your flight, ask for an aisle seat. This will allow you more room, and will make it easier for you to get up and move around or make trips to the bathroom.

Stay hydrated. Flying is known for its dehydrating effects, so be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your flight.

Move around. If possible, take walks up and down the aisle, or do simple stretches in your seat. This will help you avoid muscle cramps, promote healthy circulation and minimize discomfort.

Dress comfortably. Maternity leggings, loose tops, comfy shoes and well-fitting undergarments are essential. To enhance blood flow and prevent swelling, consider compression leggings like the ones at

Be prepared. Prepare for nausea, back pain and other symptoms by bringing along snacks, pillows, medications and other comfort items.

Trust your instincts. If you’re feeling unwell, having preterm contractions or experiencing any other complications, reschedule your flight for another time. Also, if you have a problem during your flight, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Flight attendants are trained for these situations, and can be of great help in an emergency.

Traveling by Car

Like flying, driving and traveling by car is safe for most pregnant women. However, there are a few things to remember when it comes to staying safe, healthy and comfortable. Tips like the following can help:

Monitor your symptoms. If you’re feeling nauseous, dizzy, exhausted or otherwise unwell, you definitely shouldn’t be driving. Either let someone else take the wheel, or postpone your plans.

Schedule breaks on long trips. In addition to bathroom breaks, you’ll need to stretch your legs and get your blood flowing on long trips.

Buckle up. Always, always wear your seat belt. Position the horizontal strap beneath your baby bump, and the diagonal strap over your collarbone and between your breasts.

Give yourself leg room. To avoid swelling, circulatory problems and discomfort, position your seat so that you have plenty of leg room.

Take the proper precautions. Keep your cell phone within reach, and be sure to bring along your birth plan, insurance card and other documents, especially if you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy.

Have your car checked out. Especially before long trips, make sure your car is in top working order. Have a tune-up and an oil change, have your tires checked, and make sure you have a spare, road flares and other emergency items.

For most women, traveling during pregnancy is perfectly safe. And with the tips provided here, expectant moms can travel safely and comfortably, while minimizing the risks to their babies and themselves.


  1. Sarah L says

    Very good tips. Water, water and more water to drink.

  2. These tips come at the perfect time since someone in my life is newly expecting and we already have a trip booked and planned for this fall. She will be around 30 weeks when we travel.

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