Airline Travel in the Third Trimester

At the end of February, I went on a fun and much-needed trip to Salt Lake City to meet up with my best pal and see a concert. I was about 31 weeks pregnant at the time and a few friends have asked me about the logistics of flying in the third trimester so I thought I’d share.


It seems my obstetrician and most major airlines agree that flying after the 33-week mark is not a good idea, but up until that point, if you’re experiencing a healthy pregnancy, traveling can still be part of your life!

These are my tips for ensuring a safe and stress-free flight in the third trimester:

Consult your physician: This seems like an obvious one, but do it. Be clear about the plans for the trip.

Take a doctor’s note to the airport: I was never asked to show mine, but I had it in my purse just in case. The airlines I checked recommended this and said pregnant women may be asked to show a note from their health care provider clearing them for air travel.

Buy trip insurance: For less than $30 I purchased a policy when booking my flight that included reimbursement if I were to go into labor prior to taking the trip.

Hydrate: I take an empty water bottle and fill it up frequently. My doctor couldn’t stress this one enough. It might mean more bathroom breaks, but staying hydrated is so important.

Move, stretch, walk: Walk a lot in the airport before boarding the plane. While on the plane, get up and move (you’ll need to use the bathroom anyway) and continue moving and stretching your legs while seated.

Relax (on the trip): My friend and I kept the activities to a minimum. We took in a concert, did some light shopping, and had a spa day. If you’re traveling for work, take advantage of downtime to rest.

Keep it short: Salt Lake City in February isn’t the most lavish and exotic of destinations, but it is less than a two-hour direct flight from my home airport. It provided a good location to see a great concert and was convenient for each of us to reach by flight.


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