Tips and advice for flying when pregnant

Flying while pregnant can be daunting but before you rule it out, check out our top tips for taking your baby on their first ever holiday. While they won’t remember the trip, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy it!

Watch: Nicky’s top tips for pregnant flyers


1. Stay hydrated on the flight

Pregnant women tend to become dehydrated quicker so make sure you have some water to sip while in the air. On an average 3 hour flight you can lose up to 1.5 litres! Vitamin-rich fruit like oranges, grapes or kiwis will help with hydration.

drinking water

2. Pack wisely with multiple layers

Any pregnant woman knows the torture of hot flushes, so wear thin layered clothing that you can take off when needed. A loose fitting, comfy pair of shoes is a must for potential foot swelling, and a travel pillow and blanket will keep you cosy when temperatures drop and allow you to nap if you encounter any delays.

3. Don’t rush

When you’re carrying a very delicate cargo you don’t want to be running through the airport or panicking in the queue for security. To avoid all the stress of last minute airport dashes, add an hour onto your journey and if you don’t need the extra time you can sit and have a leisurely tea before you stroll calmly onto your plane, relaxed and ready for your holiday.

4. Don’t worry, be informed

Flying while pregnant up to the end of week 27 is allowed and totally normal. Starting from week 28 to the end of week 36 (or end of week 32 for multiple pregnancy) you will need a doctors certificate to fly. The doctors cert must have been written no earlier than 10 days before the outbound date of travel.

There’s no need to worry about the airport metal detectors or x-rays either, these are perfectly safe, and even flying itself has been proven to be fine for your unborn baby.

Do note that from the start of week 37 (or start of week 33 for multiple pregnancy) flying is not allowed.

5. Choose the aisle seat

Try to reserve your seats early and opt for the aisle so you can move around or take bathroom breaks as much as you need. When seated, make sure your seat belt buckles underneath your bump and if baby is too big, ask a steward for a seat belt extender, most flights carry them.

aisle seat

6. Wear compression socks and keep moving

Pregnant ladies are at a slightly higher risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) while flying. Don’t panic though, just make sure to move around regularly, we recommend moving for three to four minutes every hour. Practice exercises like stretching your legs and rolling your ankles left and right, or consider wearing a pair of compression socks to help keep the circulation flowing and avoid swelling.

7. Think about the flight time

Long haul flights can be a struggle when you’re pregnant so it could be a good idea to plan your holiday a little closer to home; try to aim for only three or four hours in the sky. Destinations like the Canaries or Balearic Islands are just a short flight away and can offer just as much sun and relaxation as a long haul destination.

8. Avoid heavy lifting

If you have large luggage try to use ones with wheels to avoid heavy lifting. It’s always a good idea to ask the cabin crew to help when getting any heavy luggage in or out of the overhead locker.

Holidays when pregnant

Full details on flying with Thomas Cook Airlines when pregnant.

If you have further questions check the NHS for further details on safe flying while pregnant.


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