AIR TRAVEL AND PREGNANCY; ADVICE AND TIPS

It’s also recommended that you avoid smaller planes that fly below 7,000 feet and choose larger planes with pressurized cabins.

Keep in mind that ticket change fees and penalties cannot be waived for pregnancy. If you’re traveling after your 8th month, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to be sure travel is not restricted.

Consider insurance

You might already have some insurance coverage and just don’t know about it. Check with your health insurance provider, credit card company or auto club and see what’s covered during travel. Some travel insurance plans include overseas medical coverage; some just cover personal property and transportation expenses. Be sure to check with your current medical insurance provider to see what’s covered out of state and overseas. Travelers can also buy supplementary travel insurance that provides benefits like emergency medical evacuation. To ensure peace of mind on flights while pregnant, look into air travel insurance in case your trip is cancelled or cut short due to your pregnancy. It’s also good to check your medical insurance to see if you are covered in case you have to deliver while traveling.

Stay connected

Check if the medical facilities at your destination are adequate to address any medical issues that may arise. Keep a list of local hospitals from the embassy or tourist board. Learn the contact information for the nearest Nigeria embassy or consulate. Pack a list of emergency and essential travel numbers to take with you: credit card companies, your doctor’s office, the Nigeria embassy in the country you’re visiting; and airline/hotel/car rental phone numbers. Provide this information to your family and friends in case of an emergency, and carry emergency contact information for your family with you when you travel. Be sure to also pencil this information in the emergency contact information section of your passport.

Pack like a pro

No matter your packing habits or style, follow these tips for traveling light and smart:

Pack everything in your carry-on that you would need to survive if you lost your luggage, including your passport, ID, wallet, all tickets, travel documents, medications (prescription and over the counter), cell phone and laptop. Don’t over pack your carry-on since you shouldn’t be lifting or carrying heavy items during pregnancy.

         Wear layered, loose, and comfortable clothing. Since feet may swell inflight, wear compression socks to promote blood circulation. Bring a small lumbar pillow for comfort. Travel times vary and the worst experience would be getting delayed and being very uncomfortable. That can cause a lot of stress.

         Carry snacks with you – things like granola bars and snack mix generally travel well. While the airlines may have some food available for purchase, there is no guarantee it’ll be healthy.

         Pack nausea fighters; You may be more sensitive to the motion of the plane, as many pregnant women are more sensitive to just about everything. To prevent nausea, try wearing Sea-Bands, which are wristbands with a plastic bead that puts pressure on your P6 acupuncture pressure point. You can put these on after you feel ill too.

No heavy lifting

Pack light as heavy lifting should be avoided during pregnancy. Consider checking your bag or asking a TSA agent to help you put your bag on the conveyor belt. When boarding the plane, ask a flight attendant to help put your luggage in the overhead bin.

DURING TRAVEL

Select a seat

Reserve an aisle seat, so it’s easy to get up, move around and use the restroom without having to climb over your seatmates. Some airlines will not permit pregnant passengers to sit in emergency exit rows. Pregnant passengers may want to consider upgrading their seat for more legroom. If you can’t reserve ahead, arrive at the airport early and ask for a bulkhead seat. The bulkhead is the partition between business class and economy, for example, which often offers more room. Finally, don’t be shy. When booking or checking in, explain that you’re pregnant and ask if there is any possibility of being upgraded or having a seat with a couple of open seats next to you.

Get up and go

Walk around and stretch during the flight. Keep your feet on the floor and avoid crossing your legs or feet. Pregnant women can be susceptible to colds. By having the vent at their seat directing air down directly in front of them, it can keep fresh air circulating away from them and hopefully decrease exposure to all the viruses their fellow traveling companions may have brought with them.