flying high: airplane travel while pregnant

Summer is here, meaning it’s time for a vacation! Whether you’re taking a babymoon or even just traveling for work (but hopefully the former), you might have some questions about flying while pregnant. To quote a total birth boss Chrissy Teigen, "My nose and gums are bleeding and my skin runneth over my compression socks... Such is life when you are...pregnant on a plane."

I hear you, Chrissy, pregnancy problems are BEYOND real. While your body is doing its thing, there are some tricks to make your airplane ride super smooth. Read through for some tips about how to make traveling while pregnant as safe & stress-free as possible.

Safety First

If you are having a normal, healthy pregnancy, there’s no cause for alarm. Some care providers might want their high-risk patients to stay close to home in case any problems arise, so check in with them first before booking that all-inclusive (virgin pina coladas are recommended either way). 

That being said, for most expecting people, flying in your first and second trimester is totally safe. Unless you’re keen to get your little one an international passport, most recommend staying close to home after 36 weeks. Being safe while flying and being comfortable, however, are two very different things.


flying while pregnant - the birth boss

Staying comfortable during pregnancy is an effort in itself, but there are a few things you can do to stay comfy during your long-haul flight. First off, you have full permission to rock the athleisure - loose, comfy clothes and shoes you can easily slip on and off in case of swelling is a birth boss approved look.

Airplane kits that provide you pillows and blankets are your bump BFF. If you’re feeling lower back pain, roll up your blanket and place it behind your back for extra support.


The altitude and recycled air can be super dehydrating, so be sure to pump liquids throughout your flight. Staying hydrated is incredibly important throughout pregnancy, as dehydration can restrict amniotic fluid, shut down blood flow to your reproductive organs, and trigger preterm labor. No thanks! Superboost your water with Emergen-C packets for an extra immune boost. Alternatively, pack a ginger tea bag to help with any altitude-induced gas. If you’re worried about your pregnancy bladder, plan ahead and book an aisle seat.

When flying, you can never predict when you’re going to be stuck on the tarmac for 7 hours. Always bring more healthy snacks than you’re planning on using in case you get stranded. Granola bars or protein balls are super easy to fly with.


Are you the type of person who’s prone to motion sickness? Pair that with pregnancy-induced nausea and you’ve got a less than settled flight ahead of you. Keep your stomach at bay by flying with motion sickness wristbands on. Fan of essential oils? Peppermint oil on the ankles and the back of your neck can help with nausea.


As cute as compression socks are, rocking that look while flying is a great way to limit swelling in your feet and calves while flying. There are some pretty cute compression leggings out there too, like this pair (on sale during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!)

To keep your circulation going, make sure you get up at least once an hour to walk the cabin and do a little stretch. You can also do some stretches while seated to avoid DVT and blood clots, such as rolling your ankles clockwise 10 times, then counterclockwise 10 times. Another quick stretch you can do is to flex your feet so that you feel a nice burn in your calves. Once all stretched out, prop your feet up on your carry-on to keep them elevated to keep swelling down.