Skip to main content


Click to enlarge

How to have a comfortable and safe trip while you are pregnant

Travelling while pregnant can be daunting but with the approval of your doctor or midwife there’s nothing that says you have to stay at home. Whether it’s a business trip or a ‘babymoon’, just be prepared to put your safety and comfort first.

1.       Time your trip

Before booking anything, check with your doctor or midwife and get written approval to show to your airline. For many women, the second trimester is a good time to travel – often it’s in between the morning sickness stage and the heavy and exhausted stage. It’s not advisable to fly after 36 weeks. If it’s a holiday you’re booking, choose your destination wisely. Long haul flights can be uncomfortable at the best of times so choose somewhere closer to home. Avoid a long transfer time from the airport to the hotel.

If you’re travelling to somewhere exotic, make sure you book a consultation with a specialist travel nurse to discuss the possible health risks and necessary vaccinations six to eight weeks before you travel.

2.       Pack for the plane

It’s a good idea to have these items to hand in your carry-on luggage:

  • A supply of healthy snacks
  • A bottle of water – buy one in the departure lounge to avoid security problems
  • Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer
  • Your maternity notes – particularly if you’re in your third trimester
  • A letter from your midwife or doctor – many airlines insist on them for pregnant passengers
  • Any prescribed medication
  • Heartburn tablets
3.       Get comfortable

It’s easy to become incredibly uncomfortable and stressed when you’re pregnant. To reduce the chances of this while travelling, book a bulkhead seat for more legroom during the flight and prevent swollen ankles by taking your shoes off and slightly elevating your feet. Keep your seat belt on loosely and be sure to drink plenty of water and herbal teas as you dehydrate quickly during air travel. Wear whatever makes you comfortable and try layering, so you can be prepared for sudden changes in temperature. Both pregnancy and travel can be very tiring so try to get some rest; take a pillow with you if possible.

4.       Keep safe

If your doctor says you have a low-risk pregnancy, flying doesn’t present any risks in itself. However, pregnancy can make you more susceptible to deep vein thrombosis so take regular walks up and down the aisle, keep wriggling your feet and wear a good pair of flight socks. You may be prone to dizziness so don’t be afraid to ask if you can sit down while waiting in airport queues. When you arrive, take steps to avoid water- and food-borne diseases as your immune system takes a hit during pregnancy. Check the local water is safe to drink or choose bottled water if you’re unsure. Research the area you’ll be staying in and identify the nearest hospital or medical centre in case of emergencies. Don’t forget your travel insurance. The NHS has some great advice for pregnant travellers too.