Morning sickness is one of the symptoms of pregnancy that involves nausea and vomiting. For many pregnant women, this is the toughest part of early pregnancy. Although not all women experience this (I didn’t have any during my first pregnancy), it could be uncomfortable and inconvenient when traveling.
I had mild morning sickness during my second pregnancy, and it didn’t stop me from traveling the world with my family. We went to the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Jamaica, and Florida successfully! Until my 33rd week, I was traveling to the US from Qatar with my son.
I could easily advise flying business class or first class. Though pleasurable, it is impractical and not all can afford it. I have come up with a few tips on how to deal with morning sickness while traveling. But take note: many women find morning sickness symptoms disappear after 12 to 14 weeks.
Remember your medicines.
Before your flight, I’m sure you consulted your doctor. Some airlines would ask anyway for Doctor’s Certificate if you are fit to fly. If the doctor prescribed medicines or recommended some remedies, please bring them or don’t forget about them. Flight attendants will never give you any medicine if they know you are pregnant.
Choose your seat wisely.
When you choose your seat online, they usually show the seating arrangement so you know which is the aisle and window seat. Each of us has a preferred seat. Seating on the aisle seat means it is easier for you to go to the lavatory. Window seat means leaning on the window and not be woken up by passengers if they need to go to the lavatory. Bulkhead seats mean able to stretch your legs. Whichever seat you choose, just don’t sit at the back! Lavatories and galley are usually located at the rear part of the aircraft. If it’s inevitable that you have to sit at the back, sniff some lemon slices (if available) or chew a spearmint gum. Remember, morning sickness is usually smell-associated. Again, choose your seat wisely.
Most airline carriers offer meals and/or snacks onboard for a fee or for free. Either way, you can always pack your own snacks or food you think might relieve your morning sickness. I know that eating is the last thing you want to do, but you need food in your stomach. You can bring ginger candy, gingersnaps or gingerbread. You can ask for a green tea (or mint tea) if available, or flat ginger ale. Try munching bland, carb-rich snacks like crackers, dry cereal, and pretzels. Fatty and spicy foods usually upset stomachs, but if you find that they work for you, eat them.
We want to always look and smell fresh. Stock your bag with a few morning sickness must-haves. Pack a clean blouse, tissue or wet wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste and a bottle of mouthwash to help you freshen up. You can also bring some breath mints and a plastic bag for when you won’t make it to the lavatory. Air sickness bags are available in every seat pocket in front of you, or you can ask from the flight attendant.
Drink lots of water.
Pregnant or not, flying or not, we need to drink lots of water of at least eight glasses a day. They said the more dehydrated you become, the more nauseated you’ll become.
I know it’s not easy to ignore the feeling. However, find something or anything to take your mind off it. You can read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, do puzzles or walk around the cabin. Just keep safe when walking around the cabin and be mindful of any food service the flight attendants are doing.
You may be self-sufficient and think you had everything under control. Still, it doesn’t hurt to be vocal about your feelings to the passengers around you and especially the flight attendant. They can always help you alleviate your misery in one way or another. In my flight, the purser or supervisor was kind enough to give me extra crackers and a bottle of water.
The sweetest escape from morning sickness is… Sleep! This is my favorite. Take a nap (if you can)! Your body needs it. Recline your seat, close your eyes (bring an eye mask to block out bright light), take deep breaths, and get some rest. If you are traveling with your kid(s), travel with a family member or your husband so you can catch up on some rest.
I hope that if (and when) you decided to travel while suffering from morning sickness, these tips will help you. I wish you all the best.
For reasons why you should travel when pregnant, read here.
For things you need to consider before giving birth abroad, read here.
Did you experience morning sickness inflight? How did you deal with it? What are your tips? Share with us your experience in the comments below.
Author’s Note: All content, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.
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