Are you considering flying with morning sickness? I suffered terrible morning sickness when I was pregnant with both of my children and had to fly several times when suffering. This guide is full of top tips for traveling with morning sickness learnt from my dozens of flights I took while pregnant.
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Also before we get into our tips on surviving flying while morning sickness it is worth pointing out that you should always consult with a doctor before flying with morning sickness. While the American Pregnancy Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists both agree that for most traveling in pregnancy is safe, it is worth consulting with your health care provider first especially when suffering from morning sickness.
How to survive flying with morning sickness tips
As I mentioned when I was pregnant with both my children I suffered with severe morning sickness. And unfortunately for me my sickness lasted throughout my entire pregnancy.
Overall I ended up traveling to 10 countries while pregnant. So these really are tried and tested tips that I utilised on my many flights.
I really hope these tips help you like they helped me! So without further ado here they are:
Pick the best time to travel
If you are not having to fly for business and have the option of selecting a time of travel i.e. for a babymoon, there are certainly better times to pick. For most people, morning sickness is at its worst during the first trimester.
While during the third trimester many airlines will prohibit travel. For instance in many cases, in a single and healthy pregnancy, pregnant women can fly until 36 weeks of pregnancy. While in the case of multiples this is reduced to 32 weeks, according to the NHS website. After this time, the chances of labor are dramatically increased.
Therefore if you are looking to fly while pregnant say for a babymoon for instance, we think it is a good idea to do so during the second trimester. At this point many but of course not all pregnant people will be over the worst of their morning sickness and you hopefully won’t be needing these tips as much.
Pack Correctly for your flight
It is always important to pack correctly for travel, especially in your carry-on luggage. However it is especially important for pregnancy travel.
Some of our pregnancy travel essentials were:
It is always important to keep your important travel documents with you in your hand luggage and digitally in case of a los.
Important documents for all pregnant travelers include:
- health / travel insurance – that covers the length and destination of travel and of course all pregnancy complications,
- European health insurance card – for relevant travel to Europe,
- Fit to Fly letter – almost all commercial airlines require a fit to fly letter from your healthcare provider. This usually states your due date, week of pregnancy as well as declaration on pregnancy complications and fitness to fly. For international travel the requirements usually stipulate that you can not fly after 36 weeks while American Airlines have restrictions relating to the length of domestic flight in relation to due dates. Therefore it is really important to know the restrictions before booking your travel and know the documentation you need to go alongside it.
If you have prescribed or over the counter medicines. you are taking be sure to pack this in your hand luggage and keep on the plane. This is best practice whenever you fly but especially important for pregnant travellers.
And remember if you are traveling with prescription medication you should always have the prescription with you.
DVTs are a risk of long haul flights and air travel generally, but a way of reducing the risk of DVT, along with other measures, is to wear compression stockings. These compression socks improve blood flow and circulation while you are sat in a confined position on a long haul flight.
I never traveled without my compression socks when I was pregnant.
Bring Food and Drink
When I was pregnant, there were definitely smells that triggered my morning sickness. Now you can’t control what everyone is eating and drinking around you but you can control what you have. I always brought plenty of water and also my own snacks with me so I could ensure I had something to eat during the flight.
Some women report that ginger ale can help alleviate the symptoms of morning sickness and motion sickness generally according to the Royal college of obstetricians . I never found this worked for me. However if this works for you I would definitely bring some with you.
Note: I would always try a method like this before travel in case it has the adverse effect.
I also always carried some mints with me when I was traveling, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. There is no reason for this than, if I was sick I always liked to freshen my breath straight after by having a drink of water and a mint.
Although airplanes provide sick bags in case of extreme turbulence, I always traveled with ziplock bags when I was pregnant. This was actually a tip from my flight attendant friend. Ziplock bags are actually easy to throw up into at your seat and then can be zipped shut, which will reduce the smell of vomit.
I found this tip extremely useful so used this tip not only on long-haul flights but domestic flights and road trips too.
I have, and when I was pregnant had long hair. One thing I always did for flights was to tie up my hair with hair ties. Without giving TMI it is useful to have something to pull your hair away from your face should you become sick in flight.
For a full babymoon packing list check out this post.
Fly Business or First if you can
Ok, I know this is not realistically for everyone, especially if you are trying to do a babymoon on a budget for instance. However, I was lucky enough to travel business class when international travel was required for my work.
It was certainly a more pleasant experience on a long flight than flying in economy when pregnant as you had more space and could even put your feet up or have a nap.
Check out the seat configuration of the plane and choose your seat wisely.
I believe that picking the perfect airline seat is one of my talents in life. And although picking a good seat is a good idea no matter when you are flying it is extremely important when flying pregnant.
Personally I would never choose a window seat as my first choice seat for pregnancy travel. The reason is that it make it much harder to get to the bathroom if you need to use the toilet or are feeling sick.
Instead I always recommend selecting an aisle seat instead for easy access to the toilet and aisle.
Also think carefully about the part of the cabin you want to be in and want facilities you want to be away from (obviously this will look different on every plane). For instance I definitely did not want to be seated next to the toilets or even the galley when I was pregnant as I didn’t want to risk being near bad smells which could set my sickness off.
And if for some reason you can’t get an aisle seat when checking in I recommend speaking to airport staff at check-in, cabin crew or fellow passengers and explain the situation to see if anyone is happy to help. Obviously this is not guaranteed but it is always worth asking.
All travellers should try and stay hydrated when they travel, but this is especially important during pregnancy. For this reason we recommend having a supply of water with you or a reusable water bottle.
For more information on how to stay hydrated on planes check out this post.
Try and Rest
It isn’t always easy on planes to get some rest however if you can it is a good idea to try and get some sleep. I never travel without my trusty travel pillow.
But get up and move
Although rest is important for any pregnant woman, it is important on long flights to get up and move to help reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis. Many airlines will now provided recommend exercises in their in-flight magazines.
So there you have it my top tips for surviving while flying with morning sickness. I hope you have found these tips useful but if you have more questions be sure to pop them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them.
And while you are here why not look at our other pregnancy travel inspirations and guides:
- Winter babymoon ideas
- Cruising While Pregnant
- Babymoon in Dubai Guide
- Zika Free Beach Destination
- Best US Babymoons
- Best UK Babymoons
And if you have any tips you have learnt while traveling with morning sickness we would love for you to share them in the comments below!