Pregnant and flying abroad? Packing your hand luggage carefully is the best way to ensure a comfortable, safe and trouble free trip. But what if you’re not sure what to pack?
Don’t despair, as we’ve come up with a handy guide to the travel essentials that will make your flight an enjoyable one
- The rapid changes your body undergoes during pregnancy can result in sore muscles and an achy back, so it’s worth packing a small cushion or pillow in your cabin bag. If space is tight, why not buy an inflatable version? You could also consider packing a lightweight bump band, which wraps around your bump for extra support.
- Because flying during pregnancy can slightly increase your risk of blood clots, your carry-on luggage should definitely include a pair of compression socks. These will help to keep your circulation flowing during the flight, meaning that you’re less likely to suffer from swollen feet or ankles.
- When it comes to your outfit, go for comfortable but versatile options like leggings or a maxi dress. Add a cardigan or jacket in case you feel cool and wear a pair of flat supportive slip on shoes, as these will be easy to remove when you go through security.
- Flying is the perfect opportunity to rest and unwind, so why not use the time to get lost in a good book or record your thoughts in a pregnancy travel journal? Alternatively, pack an eye mask and enjoy some well-deserved shut-eye. After all, growing a baby is hard work!
Health and beauty
- Having a baby on board means taking extra care of your health and wellbeing, so pack accordingly. Make sure you pop some hand sanitizer and wipes in your hand luggage, as these will enable you to stay clean and fresh on board.
- Moisturiser, lip balm and a spray mister will also come in handy while you’re flying, because air conditioning can dehydrate your skin. And don’t forget to take blister pads for your feet, as even well fitting footwear can rub.
- If you’re travelling to a hot country, it’s a good idea to pack some high factor sun cream in your cabin bag. This can be applied shortly before you arrive at your destination. You could also consider packing some insect repellent, as mosquitoes love mums to be! While Insect repellents containing up to 50% Deet are considered safe for pregnant women to use, natural alternatives containing citronella are also available.
Food and drink
- Your travel bag should always contain a few nutritious nibbles, so that delays or tasteless airline food don’t leave you feeling hungry. Dried and fresh fruit, cereal bars, nuts and biscuits make ideal snacks. If you’re still battling morning sickness, try eating little and often and if you’re suffering from heartburn, don’t forget your antacids!
- Staying hydrated is very important when you’re pregnant, so pack at least one bottle of water in your hand luggage once you’ve passed through the security scanners. If you’re taking vitamins, bring these with you too.
It can also be useful to carry a list of foods you should avoid eating in order to protect your developing baby. These include unpasteurised cheeses like Brie and Camembert, undercooked meat, raw fish and pate.
Whether the tap water is safe to drink depends on your destination, so check this with your travel agent. If you have any doubts, always buy bottled water and avoid eating salads washed in tap water.
- Suffering from pregnancy related forgetfulness? Then we recommend double checking that you’ve packed your passport just before you leave home. If you’re hiring a car, you’ll also need to bring your driving licence.
- As well as packing your holiday insurance documents, it’s worth making a separate note of the insurer’s helpline number. Keep this in your travel bag and give a copy to your travelling companion, just in case your luggage gets lost en route.
- If you’re flying while pregnant you’ll also need to carry your maternity notes with you. After 28 weeks, most airlines will require an additional letter from your midwife or doctor confirming that you’re fit to fly. If this applies to you, ask your airline whether they have a standard letter you can print out for your GP to sign.
- It’s also important to find out which number you should call if you require emergency treatment while you’re away. Your travel agent will be able to give you this, as well as details of local hospitals and doctors.
Finally, don’t forget to bring a list of key contact numbers, so that you can inform family members, friends and pet sitters about any travel delays.
We hope our packing tips have helped you to feel fully prepared for your flight. All you have to do now is kick back, relax and enjoy the journey.Rebecca Patterson