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Flying While Pregnant: 10 Tips for a Comfortable Flight

One of my more uncomfortable pregnancy experiences was flying when I was about 6 months into my pregnancy with my second baby. My husband and I were sharing one 17-month-old lap-child between the two of us, and I absolutely could not get comfortable. I felt cramped, and my rear and lower back hurt, and I kept shifting just trying to get through the three-hour flight.

I tried to get up and move when I could, but forget dozing off like I typically do on a plane. So while flying while pregnant will probably not be the most fun you’ve ever had, there are a lot of ways to make it a little bit more comfortable. And hopefully you’re on your way to an awesome vacation destination, and flying while pregnant is totally worth it …

Today, we have Dr. Luis Navarro, a circulatory expert and director of The Vein Treatment Center, who is offering up some ways to optimize blood circulation for flying while pregnant in order to prevent blood clots in the lower legs.


10 Tips for Flying While Pregnant

1. Stay active. During the flight, walk around every hour to promote circulation. If driving long distances, be sure to make stops to stretch out along the way.

2. Rotate and flex. Rotate your ankles and feet whenever possible, and flex your toes to promote leg vein circulation.

3. Elevate your feet. Raise your feet 6 to 12 inches above your heart whenever possible to assist circulation.

4. Airplane yoga. Since elevating your feet can be tough on a plane, do some easy stretching with a little airplane yoga to keep moving.

5. Avoid high-salt foods. Unhealthy foods packed with salt can cause constipation, which puts pressure on the venous system.

6. Wear compression stockings. Compression stockings act like an added layer of muscle, aiding the performance of the “second heart” and venous circulation. Wear them when flying while pregnant for sure!

7. Take vitamin C and E. Both of these vitamins help blood flow by promoting better circulation.

8. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water during your flight; dehydration can cause the blood to become more concentrated and lead to blood clots.

9. Avoid alcohol. Obviously, alcohol is typically a no-no during pregnancy, but in addition, alcohol is dehydrating, which is bad for circulation. A good reminder for us all — flying while pregnant or not!

10. Avoid caffeine. Avoid caffeine directly before and during your travels. It is also a dehydrating substance.

Have you ever flown with a big belly bump? What made you more comfortable flying while pregnant? —Erin

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  1. VividBaby says:

    such great tips, thank you so much, i could tell them to my aunt

  2. Emma says:

    I am a first time mom who will be flying home to Canada from China at 24 weeks in June. In November I had vein surgery on both legs due to varicose veins, therefore, I am extra nervous for this flight home!

    Any extra trips for someone in my position would be greatly appreciated!

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