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Need advice - long-haul flying during pregnancy

(23 Posts)
kiwiblue Thu 07-Apr-16 21:41:58

Hi all,

I really need some advice so any thoughts you have are much appreciated!

So, in February DH and I booked flights to New Zealand for October for a family event. We had been TTC for more than 2.5 years and had been diagnosed with unexplained infertility. We had recently seen our consultant and were expecting to have IUI or IVF later this year. We had given up all hope of conceiving naturally (this may sound a bit stupid but those of you who have gone through infertility will understand). We thought that even if I did get pregnant it wouldn't be till later this year.

A month after we booked the flights I got a BFP. I'm 7 weeks. I haven't yet had a scan but I believe if all goes OK, I'll be due at the end of November. So obviously I can't fly to NZ in October.

It's unlikely the airline will give us our money back or let us change our flights, but we can try to negotiate with them, so first need to figure out what we want to do. I think our options are:
1. Bring the trip as far forward as possible - the soonest we could go with work commitments would be June
2. Push trip back until after the baby is born (quite a bit after presumably!)
3. Can it and try to get some money back/resign ourselves to losing the money

My question is, will I feel up to flying in June (assume I'll be about 16 weeks)? I obviously have NO idea how I'll be feeling as I've never been pregnant before. A trip to New Zealand is not for the faint hearted (30 hours) and I'm not the best flyer so think it will be quite a stress on me and I don't want to cause harm to the baby.

Thanks very much.

BeaArthursUnderpants Thu 07-Apr-16 21:48:45

It's impossible to say. But your best chance of feeling good is definitely between around 14-25 weeks. So it's worth a shot. Congratulations!!

SushiAndTheBanshees Thu 07-Apr-16 21:51:11

Agree with first poster. Congrats!

KayTee87 Thu 07-Apr-16 22:20:18

Congratulations! I felt pretty good at 16 weeks, just try to sleep as much as possible, drink plenty water (I always find you aren't offered enough when flying so have to ask all the time) and wear compression socks. You won't harm the baby at all by flying don't worry smile

Shanster Fri 08-Apr-16 02:45:27

Not quite as long as a flight, but I flew from US to the UK when I was 27 weeks (travelling alone with an 18 month old). Was absolutely fine. Don't rule out a long haul flights with a tiny baby either - I took my kids on transatlantic flights at 7 weeks and then 13 weeks - they just eat and sleep at that age. Doing the same flight with an 8 month old is not quite as easy!!

Sootica Fri 08-Apr-16 03:58:33

I went to Bali and Australia at 22-26 weeks and was absolutely fine. I'd do it in June. 16 weeks is generally an OK time when all your pre 12 week exhaustion has lifted but you're not big and uncomfortable yet. Some women with bad sickness still are very sick at 16 weeks but most sickness and tiredness is first trimester.
I'd go pregnant over going with a baby a million times over (but I have good pregnancies and find baby stage hard)
It's easy to travel with a newborn but you may feel v shell shocked so prob not with your first
I went to NY with a 6 month old and found being out of routine and time difference extremely tough

Sootica Fri 08-Apr-16 04:00:45

PA forgot to say congrats? Actually - are you from NZ (guessing from your user name?) If you'd like to visit home with the baby I'd say do it around 6'weeks.

DessertOrDesert Fri 08-Apr-16 05:03:57

Congrats!
Look at the airline guidance for how many weeks pregnant they will let you fly. And calculate how many weeks pregnant you will be on return flight. Some airlines let you fly til 36 weeks with a low risk pregnancy.
If you will be over the nu!ber of weeks they will let you fly, that is one opening to use in you discussions.
Also, do you have travel insurance which may cover you if you are unable to fly?
Would DH go on his own if there is no way to get money back on the tickets, so St least one ticket is used? If you can't change / refund, make sure you get all taxes etc back, and it is "just" this ticket price you loose.

Yes, flying 16 weeks is pretty OK. I did half your journey at 3-4 months, with an 18 month old.

Or a small ish baby (3 months ish - old enough to have got a passport, small enough to just need milk, nappies and cuddles!)

marsbarmarsbar Fri 08-Apr-16 05:13:04

I flew from NZ to UK last Thursday, I'm 31 weeks pregnant. I did the 16.5 hour flight to Dubai then Dubai to London. It was absolutely fine, you need a medical cert after 28 weeks (with emirates - not sure about other airlines). Air hosts gave me a large bottle of water so I didn't have to keep asking and I helped myself to loads of inflight snacks as I was walking around quite a bit.

I've also done that flight when DS1 was 6 months and it was really easy, I was breastfeeding so didn't need any paraphernalia, he slept or looked around. He's 18months now and while he was amazing on the trip last week it was much harder work.

That said I don't know how much fun you'll have in NZ being heavily pregnant, or visiting in winter if you bring the trip forward. It's a fabulous place but it's all about the outdoors and physical activity. I'd be inclined to wait till baby is born and go in Jan/Feb which is the height of summer.

Congrats!! X x

MooseBeTimeForSnow Fri 08-Apr-16 05:37:30

I flew to Canada from the UK when I was about 16 weeks pregnant. I didn't know at the time ...

kiwiblue Fri 08-Apr-16 07:24:51

Thanks everyone, that's really helpful.

I'll check with the airline how late I can fly, I think I will be about 36 weeks on the return flight. I think then based on your advice June might be best, although our families (we're from NZ) would probably prefer we go with a newborn!

We had worldwide travel insurance at the time we booked but then it lapsed and we didn't renew as we weren't going anywhere soon. I don't think it would cover this anyway but we'll check.

We thought about DH going on his own but we'd rather not- we'd rather use some of his annual leave to add to paternity leave if possible.

As we're from NZ we're not so worried about outdoor activities but I agree going in winter would be a shame, but oh well! I doubt we'll get anywhere with the airline, we'll be getting special treatment to change this, but worth a try.

Thanks all, extremely helpful!

smellsofelderberries Fri 08-Apr-16 10:52:51

Whenever I've had to change flights with Emirates or Singapore Air I've only had to pay a penalty charge (and I always buy the dirt cheap tickets!) It'll probably cost you an extra few hundred £ but better than loosing your seats.

smellsofelderberries Fri 08-Apr-16 10:53:08

And congratulations on your baby!!

kiwiblue Fri 08-Apr-16 11:13:55

Thanks smells - it's with Thai Airways and they haven't been great so far. DH rang to enquire and they said we can't change or cancel without losing all money except taxes. But we will pursue further!

CityMole Fri 08-Apr-16 11:45:01

Perhaps a silly Q, but do you have travel insurance? Some bank accounts come with benefits such as travel cover, it's worth checking what you have!

Congratulations!

Wait4nothing Fri 08-Apr-16 12:50:05

I flew uk to USA (New York) with a transfer around 22 weeks - was absolutely fine. Was sick on the plane on the way out. Though I had pretty bad sickness until about week 20 so twice over the holiday was nothing! I felt best around weeks 23-26.

MrsJoJo Fri 08-Apr-16 14:20:49

Flew from UK to Bangkok at 16 weeks, DS was born in Bangkok because I was living there at the time... Made sure I asked for an aisle seat, wore compression socks and drank loads.

I retruned to the UK for a trip when he was 7 weeks old (earliest I was allowed to fly following emcs). Was breastfeeding so no bottles, just lots of additional clothes & nappies.

Both times were fine so it's totally up to you!

kiwiblue Fri 08-Apr-16 17:06:33

Thanks guys - citymole not silly at all, I will definitely investigate that further.

Really helpful to hear of all of you that did it! Feel a lot better about the idea of it. Thank you all smile

kiwiscantfly Sat 09-Apr-16 05:48:49

Hi Kiwi,

We had our DD in the UK and I flew home by myself when she was 3 months for a holiday and if you can change your flights till then I'd def recommend it. Flying with a tiny baby was heaps easier than when she was 8 months and we flew to the US or when she was 11 months and we flew home for Xmas. Good luck!

kiwiblue Sat 09-Apr-16 08:45:34

Thanks kiwi- love your username! smile

malvinandhobbes Sat 09-Apr-16 09:08:13

I just went to California at 21-23 weeks and it was mostly fine. I did this trip in my last pregnancy as well. This is a yearly trip to see in-laws for us, so not a holiday that I really needed to experience in full energy.

The flights were fine - I drank a lot of water and moved about. I was in premium economy because I struggle with restless legs (and arms) during pregnancy - but it isn't too bad this early on.

The struggle is that the jet lag is even harder with pregnancy fatigue. I feel okay in the second trimester, but I am not one of those pregnant women who get extra energy. I also caught a cold on the plane which was a bit harder to shake than normal. The kids and DH were surfing and in and out of the water in wet suits, and I had to mope a bit as a I watched but didn't participate. (mostly because I can't fit in a wet suit). I found hanging out with the in-laws a bit trickier when I did not have my two favourite coping mechanisms of very hard aerobic exercise in the morning and lots of good CA wine in the evening. I felt kind of low-level cranky a lot of the time.

I have travelled with newborns and found that more fun than travelling while pregnant. Once they are about 12months - 4 years old they are a bit of a pain on long haul flights because they need a lot of entertaining and my kids tend to suffer jet lag pretty seriously. But, we travel to the USA 1-2 times a year and it is always fine.

JassyRadlett Sat 09-Apr-16 09:17:07

I did Australia at 11-14 weeks pregnant last year and again just now with 5 mo DS2. Travelling with a baby is easier than pregnant - but I didn't have an easy pregnancy, and even so flying when pregnant was fine.

Where is the flight refuelling? When you rebook get a 12+ hour layover and get a hotel at the airport (Singapore has them airside) - makes a huge difference.

Artioo2 Sat 09-Apr-16 09:23:10

If it's visiting family, I would go with the newborn rather than while pregnant, then they get to meet the baby. It would be much easier flying with a tiny baby than an older one.

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