Pregnancy is an exciting but uncertain time! And flying 6 weeks pregnant, early in your first trimester, is certainly no exception. Each stage of flying has its own obstacles and things to consider before boarding your next flight. Today I wanted to discuss some tips and tricks for airline travel early in pregnancy.
First, to our regular readers, yes this is now being written from personal experience! My husband and I are excited to be expecting our first child in May! Hopefully Ben’s daughter (my niece) can share all her wisdom in having a points obsessed parent with her cousin 🙂
Flying 6 weeks pregnant
I’m going to approach this mostly based on my experience as I flew multiple times in the first trimester. I also will include some general anecdotal advice as well. It should go without saying to always consult your doctor with any questions you have and that none of the following is medical advice.
When flying at 6 weeks pregnant, or anytime in the month after finding out you’re pregnant, be prepared for anything! This is mainly because you’re so early on that symptoms can change rapidly. At 6 weeks the baby advice, such as found at TheBump.com states:
Because it’s still early in your pregnancy, you may not yet be experiencing symptoms—at this point, some women are terribly nauseous, while others feel almost nothing. At 6 weeks pregnant, either is normal, but the most common 6 weeks pregnant symptoms include fatigue, nausea, sore breasts, frequent urination, gas bloating, mood swings, and cramping or spotting.
Growing a life is so glamorous, right?
Safe to fly when 6 weeks pregnant?
This seems to be a common concern, the answer is yes, perfectly safe! Flying, assuming you don’t have any specific complications, is considered safe and the amount of radiation minimal. In fact, flight attendants continue to fly pregnant. The only limitations on flying is in the third trimester because the airline doesn’t want you going into labor during the flight.
Since you really have NO idea what you’ll be getting at this stage I’d come prepared. I felt perfectly fine the first couple weeks after finding out I was pregnant. Then BAM, the day before my first pregnant flight I got horribly nauseous. So I walked into my flight not having any idea of whether I was going to feel fine or puke on a seatmate.
- Use the points: Points are awesome for lots of things. Including luxurious international trips, last minute flights, and in general just to make you more comfortable. Upgrading to domestic first on a transcontinental flight may not be the BEST use of of points but don’t feel bad if you use them during your pregnancy. I certainly wish I had considered it more instead of sharing a bathroom with 50 other people.
- SNACKS: this will be a tip during every one of these posts I do. Flying at 6 weeks pregnant means you might get nauseous in the morning, at night, all day, during takeoff, or just all the time. A snack or something to nibble on can help take the edge off. Or if you get nauseous when your stomach is too empty, or too full, snacks will help keep you at that perfect level. I suggest pretzels, saltines, and a granola bar. But everyone is different so if you’re not sure just bring a smorgasbord of items to be safe.
- Aisle Seat: An aisle seat will be key throughout your pregnancy. At the beginning to have easier access to a restroom in case you need to throw up (thankfully I never did, but I know for many it does happen!). Or in case you have that pesky frequent urination symptom mentioned above.
- Close-ish to the bathroom: For the above reasons. But not too close because the smell may set you off.
- Drink: Not alcoholic drinks sadly but something that can help calm your stomach. Ginger ale is popular but many airports don’t offer ginger ale past security in a resealable container (trust me on this). I would get a Sprite which some say does actually nothing but the carbonation always seemed to help settle my stomach. But this leads me to my next point…
- Ask for help! On my flight at 6 weeks pregnant I was so worried that horrible nausea would kick in I asked my American Airlines flight attendant for a puke bag just to be safe. After she had a horrified look on her face I quickly said I was pregnant, NOT ill. Then she insisted on making me a whole care package including an ice pack, a cup with lemons to smell, a puke bag, a small trash bag, and a can of ginger ale. It was an incredibly kind gesture I will remember for years to come.
Flying 6 weeks pregnant is very uncertain. But it also is manageable. Physically you’re not any bigger but you do need to come prepared. Cover all your bases and do not assume that how you felt the day before is how you will feel on the day of your flight.
Most importantly, even though you don’t look pregnant, you should still feel free to ask for help on your flights. I asked for a can of ginger ale on all my first trimester flights just to be safe. And of course had a puke bag tucked inside my under the seat bag just to be over overly cautious as well.