Flying while pregnant; don’t do it with a bad airline

Back from a long holiday and I’m very happy to see that the weather has improved in London compared to the day that we left at the end of March – when it was still snowing.

We were travelling to South Africa which is an 11 hour flight from London and as I’m only 21 weeks pregnant, I was able to fly.  The only conditions, my midwife told me, was that I have to take asprin for 3 days prior to travelling in both directions, wear in-flight travel socks and walk every hour.  What should have been added to that list, is not to travel with a cheap and/or bad airline and perhaps fly during the day.

I took my asprin, I already had in-flight socks, having been on many, many long haul flights, and tried desperately to walk every hour.  Unfortunately we were flying SAA and both directions were overnight flights.

On the way to South Africa, I think my favourite part of the journey was the fact that the in-flight entertainment wasn’t working.  For the entire flight.  I know, I know, 1st world problems and back in the day there wasn’t even in-flight entertainment or even commercial flights to different continents, but today you get used to the basics of travelling and in-flight entertainment has become a basic need for travellers.  Especially travellers who have to walk every hour and therefore need something to keep them entertained for 11 hours.

I had a few favourites on the return flight.  Firstly, just trying to get on the plane at Johannesburg airport.  There was no system and the staff who were checking our tickets at the gate, didn’t really know what to do, so everyone behaved quite badly and I was squashed by irate passengers for about 20 minutes.  It was hot.  I am pregnant.   So of course by the time I finally got on the plane, my hormones kicked in and I started crying.  A good start.  (it’s amazing how a group of people can behave when there is no organisation!).

Thankfully, the entertainment system worked, however, the plane was quite an old one and the seats were unbelievably uncomfortable.  After about 3 hours my coxic or tailbone was in so much pain, that I had to try and sit on the side so that my thighs would take the weight.  This isn’t something that’s easy to do for 8 hours on a small seat.  Even putting those lovely beige coloured pillows under me didn’t help.

Oh how I couldn’t wait to get off that plane.

So my advice for travelling pregnant ladies: pay a little extra for a better airline or better still, make trips by car and avoid the plane!


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