5 things every pregnant woman should do when she’s flying

You're set to hit the skies for a vacation/work trip/babymoon, but flying while pregnant (by this, we mean before the doctor-recommended cutoff at 36 weeks) requires just a bit of extra prep. Here, five things to do before you're 36,000 feet in the air.

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Pack Plenty of Snacks

Yes, you're scheduled to a get a meal on board, but there's no predicting when hunger pangs—and blood sugar drops—will hit, so it's better to be prepared. (This is as simple as throwing a pack of almonds or a piece of fruit in your carry-on.)

...And Water, Too

Yes, like the snacks, airlines supply water on board, but typically it comes out after you reach cruising altitude...and in a teeny-tiny cup. (Hello, you're preggo and will be pinging the flight attendant to request constant refills so you don't get dehydrated—a pregnancy no-no.) Instead, treat yourself to a supersized bottle right after you get through security that will last the duration of the flight.

Ask for a Pat Down at Security

The regular metal detectors are A-OK, but just to be on the safe side, it's probably best to bypass the full body scan. Here's why: It's still too soon to know the long-term effects on pregnancy since the machines are so new. Instead, just flag one of the security guys and volunteer for a full-body pat down. Is it your favorite thing in the world? No. But safer for baby? Most likely.

Get Up and Walk Around

When you're pregnant, you're more susceptible to blood clotting up in the air, which is why it's important—especially on lengthier flights—to make an effort to stand up and move around to get your circulation flowing. Bathroom breaks (especially with all the water you're guzzling) should be enough. And if you want to be extra safe, invest in a pair of compression socks.

Alert the Flight Attendant

This is a good precaution to take if you're traveling alone during your first trimester and not showing yet. That way, someone on board can keep an eye out for you and make sure you're super comfortable during the flight. (Maybe they'll give you a complimentary upgrade to a seat with extra legroom? You never know.)

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