Flying in late(r) pregnancy...anyone have experience?

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Marite13's picture
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Flying in late(r) pregnancy...anyone have experience?

Thought I would post this here, instead of elsewhere for a broader wealth of experience...

So I've flown when pregnant before... in my first pregnancy, I came home from Angola (Africa)- a 16 hour leg the longest part of the trip) at about 21 weeks. This pregnancy, over the holidays I did 7 flights over 3 weeks, some as short as 15 minutes, and some as long as 4 hours.

But, in five weeks, I'm flying home- from Laos to the US (Vientiane, Laos -> Bangkok, Thailand -> Seoul, Korea -> Chicago, IL, USA) all in one fell swoop. I'll be traveling with my nearly 2 year old daughter (who THANK GOD will have her own seat for the first time ever!). I'll be 29.5 weeks pregnant.

I already have some compression socks, which I certainly plan to wear. I know enough to get up frequently to keep blood flowing and to drink plenty of water.

Anyone else have any other good advice- either on dealing with that very long trip (we'll be traveling for over 24 hours) or for dealing with the flying while that pregnant part?? I don't know many people who have flown when that pregnant.... and one lady I know who did it sort of 35 years ago, flew at 32 weeks, and it was only a trip cross-Canada (like Vancouver to Ottawa) and she ended up having the baby the next day! Needless to say, That freaks me out!

So I'd love to hear your "I did it and didn't end up with a preemie" stories...or just advice on how you got through it! Smile

TIA!
Mara

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I flew 2.5 hours from Dallas to Vegas when I was 26 weeks with my DD. I know that's really nothing, and everything was fine. My sister flew from Seattle to Austin and then rode in a car another 4 hours carrying around a 14 months old while she was 38 weeks pregnant. She did that to attend my wedding in 2007. She then flew back a few days later with just her and her belly and her 14 month old lap child. The actual flight was a nightmare for her with her monkey and being that pregnant, but everything turned out fine. She was induced 3 weeks later. So the flight did not cause her to go into labor and she had no issues or complications as a result of the flight at 38 weeks.

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My SIL flew from Connecticut to New Orleans to be a bridesmaid in our wedding at 36 weeks pg! (She and DH are REALLY close Lol Her ankles swelled up pretty badly and she spent most of the weekend sitting down, but she said the second she got home her ankles returned to normal and she had no further effects. Baby came right around his due date. That's of course not as long as you'll be flying, but it's no puddle jump either, and MUCH later in pregnancy.

With compression socks, hydration, and walking around, you should be totally fine!

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I flew from Stuttgart Germany to Dublin Ireland when I was about 34 weeks preg. I didn't have any problems and DD came 40 +9. The only other advice I have is to not be afraid to ask for help. Ask to use the business class security lines, at customs ask to move up and ask if there is anyway to be upgraded on flights (pre-check in helps with this). People are usually very willing to help, especially since you have a LO and preg. Good luck.

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I flew when I was 36 weeks with Tiven and had no problems other than feeling dehydrated (I wasn't) even though I was drinking plenty of water. Now the ferry boat out to Catalina Island, that was its own problem! I had to fly a couple of times while pregnant with Weston, and my midwife advised using "EarPlanes" because the normal membrane swelling & fluid retention in pregnancy can make it more likely to have ear pressure problems while flying. They are available in drugstores in many parts of the world, but Laos isn't on the list. They come in a child's size, too, which I've never tried since I haven't flown with my kids yet, but I will use them when we fly over Spring Break. I'd be happy to mail some to you if they'd get there in time. PM me if you're interested.

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Wow, that will be a long flight for the both of you. I'm sure it will go great.
I flew at about 35 weeks with DS1 but it was only across CA so a short little 1.5 hour flight. With Southwest I could pick my seat and I just made sure to sit close to the restroom so that I could use it as needed. Maybe see if you can bring on some extra snacks with you as well so that you can eat between food service if needed. Also might help in case you feel nauseous during the flight.

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*lurking again*

I flew and did well at 24 weeks. I did get to know the restroom a few times, but the movement helped a lot. I did a cross country drive (3 days of full driving) at 28 weeks. That was much rougher because I couldn't stop much since there was literally no where to stop many times (I was driving my car, DH was driving his). Back killed me. Legs had issues. Headaches. It was awful. I'd take a full day of flying over 3 days of driving any day. Blum 3 But I had no issues with BH that I wouldn't have had any other day, etc.

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I flew at 30 weeks and had no issues and didn't do anything special. Actually, I did have one issue. We had pointedly booked an exit row seat for the extra room as it was a 5 hour flight, and the flight attendant would not let me sit there because I was pregnant (and huge by 30 weeks in my 3rd pregnancy) and in the event of an emergency she worried about my ability to open the door. This was total lunacy as I had just been GOLFING AND HIKING for 5 days with my husband. I threw a fit, but legally I had no recourse.

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I flew from Las Vegas to Nashville in the last trimester of my second pregnancy and I had no problems. My only advice is to make sure you drink TONS of water and try to get up and walk around as much as you can. Try to rest if possible as well.

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I've been wondering about this too. A very good friend's wedding is in early June and I REALLY want to go, but I'm worried about flying so late in my pregnancy. It would be a short flight, just a few hours from VT to MI, but still, I'd be around 36 weeks and my OB says not to fly after 36 weeks. So I dunno. It's tough too, because I want to buy tickets, but what if things are not going according to plan and I can't go for whatever reason? I guess I'll just decide when it gets closer and I may just end up buying my tickets at the last minute.

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I've flown and traveled with all of my pgs....I think the latest I've flown was with my 3rd, when I flew from DC to Denver at 37 weeks on the nose. All was fine.

I also plan to fly this time-- heading to Florida at 35 weeks and returning at 36 weeks. But I'm on the road for my job frequently, so I've already flown many many times this pg-- to Asia and back, Arizona, Seattle, etc.)

I've never had any trouble. Just make sure you hydrate and plan high protein snacks. Get up and move frequently to avoid blood clots. Don't count on anything on the flight being edible (it seems they always serve fish on the SE Asia flights...and the smell can be horrid IMO.)

The good news is that you are stopping at great airport hubs. Bangkok has a large selection of food and amenities-- as does Seoul. If you can take a good long walk at each of those stops, then I think you'll be okay. The haul from Seoul to Chicago will be long (I think it is 12 or 13 hours to San Fran, so you'll likely be in the air for 15 hours or so to get to Chicago.....)

My only advice is to pack good snacks and food and layer your clothing. And don't over pack with "stuff"-- your hands will be full enough, as is. You don't need 400 toys for DD or 32 books to read. Go lightly.

Good luck!

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***Lurker***

Something that I always forget to do, but think is such a good idea Smile When traveling with your little one find a pair of headphones that will fit on her ears nicely, BEFORE you go, and take them with you. I find the airline ones are really flimsy and constantly fall off my kids as they dont go down small enough.

I know not everyone lets there child watch TV, especially at that age, but during such a long flight, it is nice to have the option, even if it is just a 20 minute distraction every once in awhile to give you a break from being the constant entertainment.

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Audra, I'm a veggie, and always request appropriate meals, and I have to say, I don't think I've ever had a fully inedible one. Also, off all the stops, I think Bangkok is the one where I might even have to request help to make my connection on time.... but, I will pack some good snacks to take along! And yes, you're right- that Seoul - Chicago leg is about 15 hours I think. Not the longest flight I've done, but, the longest I've done this pregnant!

Kyla, I'm torn on the TV thing for DD... she used to watch TV, and then we decided to stop that. Also, the long section of this flight should be mostly during her sleeping hours... but what are the chances she'll actually sleep? Not sure...

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My personal take on screen time on long flights is it won't hurt them that once, and can really be a lifesaver with a wiggly toddler. We used to fly across the country a lot when we lived in CA. We would usually bring some kid DVDs for the laptop, and only get them out if he started to lose it or just got too rowdy, but at least having the option is a good idea, especially if you will be flying by yourself. You don't have to get them out if she's fine without it, but having to entertain a small child in 4 feet of space for that long can get to be challenging. Also, we don't limit snacks on the plane like we might normally. He can eat as many cinnamon graham crackers as his little heart desires. We try to kill time with snacking, lol. Basically, none of our usual rules apply on the plane! Smile

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Agreed-- none of our usual rules apply when traveling. We also offer unlimited tv and snacks when on airplanes--lol. Good luck!

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Last time we flew (when DD was 11 months) I went to Target and bought a bunch of flashy, noisy toys of the type I normally avoid. Having several little new fun things to pull out one at a time whenever she started to get squirmy worked REALLY well...between that and napping, we made it across the country and back with almost zero drama. Now I'm going to be taking a solo flight to Central America with an almost-2, though, so I'm thinking the laptop is almost certainly going to be introduced.

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I flew from NY to Israel (12 hours) with a 2 yr old at 32 weeks (pg #2) about 5 years ago. I was more worried about giving birth when we hiked Ein Gedi than with the flight! Funny story: When we asked the park ranger if he thought the trail would be ok for me he answered, (in classis Israeli fashion) "yes, of course! And if not, so? Isn't this a beautiful place to have a baby?" Sooo classic!

As far as keeping busy on the plane, ita w/ Audra, et al, about "plane rules" screen time and snacks can be a welcome distraction in-flight. another awesome and cheap option is scotch tape! A friend suggested it to me and it was awesome! give the kid a roll of scotch tape and let her go wild - sticking it, crinkling it, making little figures, etc... it's fun, sensory, and doesn't leave a mark!

And for you, keep hydrated, move around, keep a towel with you in case you get nauseous and the "fasten seatbelts" light is lit... but you know that stuff! GL!