5 Tips for Flying while Pregnant 22


I was 29 weeks pregnant when I flew from India to the U.K., bump and I travelled with my mum a couple of days after my Dohale Jeevan. I was emotionally exhausted after saying goodbye to my husband and desperate just to get on the plane. I hate saying goodbye but I knew once I was in the air, I would be able to start feeling excited about seeing everyone in England. In the end, I was lucky to get on the plane at all!

Contact your Airline regarding their Policies on Pregnancy

Different airlines may have slightly different rules regarding pregnancy, so make sure you won’t be ‘too pregnant’ to fly. If you have had a healthy pregnancy and only carrying one baby, most airlines will let you fly until you’re 36 weeks. When you book your ticket, your travel agent won’t ask if you are pregnant but if you are showing, be prepared to be asked how far along you are when you try to check in.

This happened to me.

We were queuing at the check in counter in Nagpur airport. Sweating slightly and looking extremely nervous, a young man asked me whether I was pregnant. I could sense his relief when I confirmed that I was pregnant (could have been embarrassing) and he asked to see a doctor’s note.

Get a *Valid* Doctor’s Note

The airline is most concerned with the risk of premature labour. Generally, you will need a doctor’s note to fly from 28 weeks onwards. Airlines do have the right to deny you from the aircraft and I thought I was completely prepared for this. My obstetrician had written a note for me the previous week, saying I was good to fly and I had seen her again on the day of my flight; just to double check everything was well.

Unfortunately, it turns out that these notes have a short shelf life. Even though I had seen my doctor less six hours previous, the note was dated a week ago. Thirty tense minutes of phone calls between the young man and some airline authority followed. At one point I thought they were not going to let me fly, but luckily… they did.

So, learn from my mistake. Get a doctor’s within a couple of days, or the day of travel.

Try to Fly during your Second Trimester

You have so much more energy during your second trimester, compared to your first and third. I was quite uncomfortable during my first flight (between Nagpur and Qatar). Luckily I had an aisle seat (yes, try and get an aisle seat) so I could stretch out my legs a little.

On the second leg of our journey (Qatar to London), the plane was bigger and the seats were much more comfortable. I was stopped again when I tried to get on the plane, more phone calls made with concerned expressions. Luckily I was allowed on the plane and not stranded in the Middle East, but I sense only just!

flying pregnant avebury maternity

Avoid spicy and oily food before and during your flight

This was great advice I received from my obstetrician. Avoid any food that might give you stomach cramps which could be confused with preterm labour, sending everyone on the plane into a panic. Now that I have actually experienced real bone shattering contractions, I can safely say, no amount of oil or spice could imitate that! As a first time mum though, any cramps above the clouds would have been scary!

Keep active and hydrated during the flight

During pregnancy, you have a greater risk of becoming constipated and compacted due to the hormones, iron supplements and greater pressure in your belly. Yes, I did the leg stretches and wore flight socks (US, UK, India) to help prevent blood clots… but I didn’t consider my bowels. I’m not going to write too much about my experience with this, but trust me. If you are flying while pregnant, keep hydrated and active during the flight!

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About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.


22 thoughts on “5 Tips for Flying while Pregnant

  • Lala Rukh

    Wow. First of all Many many Congratulations I am SO happy for you. You look absolutely beautiful and fresh in the photo. Reading about you and finding you in such good health after so many days was exciting. Your tips are very useful specially for the first time Moms to be. Many best wishes for a beautiful future ahead ! Much Love xx

  • lenny

    Hi lauren Namaste, how are u… i am.so excited to read,ur story, am lenny from Indonesia my bf from Hyderabad india, am.falling in love wit my bf online 3 years ago, we have plans to meet next year and marry, can u share with me how when the first time u cum to india and its,difficult to registration u r merried or not in india, thanks jai sri ram

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you so much, Lenny. Congrats on your engagement. If you read my archives I’ve written a lot about my first impressions of India and about the marriage registration. I hope you are well xx

  • leggypeggy

    I flew from the USA to Jordan when I was several months pregnant, but that was many, may years ago. I don’t remember being asked any questions. So glad everything went well for you. Congratulations on the newest addition.

  • Senssi

    How did you choose to give birth in England and are you still happy with your choice?
    And what nationality does the baby have? (I am not familiar with the dual citizenship policies)
    Congratulations for the baby and what an amazing story! It’s very brave thing to fly pregnant (I can’t imagine) and I’m happy for you that everything went fine!

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      I had always imagined I would stay in India but Rohan was due in May when the temps reach 48°C with regular powercuts. I struggled so much the previous summer. We are both very happy with our choice. India doesn’t allow dual citizenship, only OCI (which is practically the same thing). Hoping you are well 🙂

  • Melissa

    Lauren,

    I am so happy for you and your husband, Rohan is just adorable! Glad you did not have problems going back home I am sure your family was happy for you to share some time with them. Bless you.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you so much, Melissa! Yes, it was very special to see all my grandparents, sisters, other family and friends for them to all to meet Rohan before we came back to India.

      I hope you are well! Lots of love xx

  • Padparadscha

    I didn’t take a flight during pregnancy, but I found travelling through Indian airports with a baby (at 6 months and later 1 year old) quite stressful. Once they tried to confiscate our powdered formula, and even the empty bottles and I had to explain a baby eats often and you can’t wash the bottles on the plane. Another time, they made a fuss because someone stamped twice the tag of a bag instead of stamping one tag per bag. Many officials arrived, the plane was delayed by half an hour, but as hubby made a comment in tamil, we were finally allowed on board… I’m happy your flight was not too bad.

  • anenglishwomaninmumbai

    That is such a beautiful picture! In the UK I got upgraded to first class for free whenever I did a long distance train journey. Wouldn’t it be lovely if they did that for pregnant ladies when traveling by air! I suppose it is always worth a try – if you don’t ask you don’t get 😉 Alternatively, just go sit in first class and see if they move you… I bet if the seats are free they will allow you to stay! Use that pregnancy card wherever you can!

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you so much! 😀

      You know, I got the train from Oxford to Swindon a couple of weeks before I gave birth and a lady was sitting on an aisle seat with the window seat spare and she refused to move over for me to sit down. I saw red, and all the men in the carriage ran away and I had plenty of seats in the end.

      It still shocks me that someone wouldn’t budge over to let me sit down. I should have just went straight to first 😛 xx

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