Useful information on air travel in the first trimester and advice to help make flying during pregnancy a more comfortable experience.
As long as you are deemed healthy by your doctor, air travel in the first trimester poses little risk to you or your unborn baby. The only exception is traveling 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 plain can be quite dry so make sure you drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated drinks - this will help to reduce fluid retention too (although may result in even more frequent trips to the toilet - hence why an aisle seat can come in handy!).
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.
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