Twelve flights in 13 weeks sounds like a completely reasonable amount of trips to many of our most frequent-flying Customers and Crew, but as a first-time expecting mom I found myself losing the internal willpower battle to make it through my packed few weeks on the move—all while fighting the symptoms that often come with the first signs of pregnancy. [Insert green, nausea face emoji!]
Naturally, I turned to Google for all the tips and tricks, and was honestly shocked at how little information was out there. All I could really find was "stay hydrated" and "stretch your legs," all fine and dandy but I needed something more! The tough part was that being in the first trimester, I didn’t have many people to turn to as it was still early in my pregnancy and we were being cautious about sharing until the twelve-week mark. Fortunately, I have a great network of Coworkers at Southwest that happen to also be moms, so I began reaching out to them in confidence begging for them to bestow their wisdom on me. Here’s what I learned. (Generic disclaimer: This is simply what worked for me and was approved by my doctor. Always consult with your doctor!)
Eat early and eat often: This was my personal mantra during the often dreaded first trimester. Even though I didn’t always have an appetite, I noticed that eating five to six small meals and constantly having something to munch on significantly helped keep nausea at bay. Carbs are your best friend, and I found that a breakfast sandwich or bagel seemed to always agree with my tummy no matter what time of day. My doctor also suggested taking the vitamin B6 (again, always check with your doctor), and whether it truly helped or was more of a placebo, I'll never know.
Fly when you feel good: Sounds obvious right? Well, as the weeks went on I quickly realized my “morning sickness” was more of an afternoon sickness, so I tried to avoid flying during that timeframe—I changed a few of my tickets to more agreeable times. Something our Customers state over and over again that they love about Southwest is our flexibility (aka no change fees), and I now completely get it! Do yourself a favor and fly when you feel good, if possible.
Relax: Honestly, I think a lot of the time I was working myself up over the fear of not feeling well in-flight, when in all actuality, I usually felt just fine. The few times I did get a bit queasy were during takeoff and landing (again, probably all mental), but I tried to establish a little routine with some “comfort items” to put my mind at ease. Every time I flew, I made sure to bring a comfy neck pillow (this is the one I swear by) to take a nap (because who are we kidding, you have NO energy) and wore comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. During taking off and landing, I’d suck on a Preggie Pop Drop, and I’d always make sure to have either a podcast pre-downloaded or I’d watch HGTV (hello, nesting!) on Southwest’s free Inflight Entertainment Portal (info on how to access in Southwest: The Magazine onboard).
Pro tip: the Portal works gate-to-gate so you can even watch while taxing to the gate, and if you paid for a movie it can be continued on a connecting flight!
Have a little bubbly: I wish I was talking about champagne, but this piece of advice is preggo-friendly. Take advantage of Southwest’s free beverage offerings. A number of friends told me a regular Coca-Cola was the key to a successful flight for them, but there are some great options full of bubbles to help keep your tummy happy along the way—my favorites include the good-ole Ginger Ale, 7UP, and surprisingly refreshing, the Lemon Lime Sparking Water when I wanted something to spice up my water intake (gotta stay hydrated, right?).
Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the journey! Southwest’s purpose is to connect People to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel, and I can’t help but be grateful for the freedom to fly even with the less than fun first trimester symptoms. While it was easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day, I’m looking forward to telling our baby girl about the adventures Mom took her on, including visiting Yosemite for the first time to see her Uncle and Aunt get married, going to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and getting to attend her Mom’s best friend’s baby shower in California.
Best of luck to my flying mamas out there, and feel free to comment what works for you below!