Traveling While Pregnant: How to Avoid Swollen Feet

Check out these top tips for ways to combat puffy feet and ankles when you're on a plane.
profile picture of Kerry Dougherty
ByKerry Dougherty
Updated
May 2017
Airplane flying through beautifully lit sky.
Photo: Shutterstock

Here’s the bad news:  Puffy feet and ankles are common both during pregnancy and when flying, so for some, traveling while pregnant could be the epitome of discomfort.

When you’re pregnant, the circulation in your lower limbs is strained, which is what causes all the swelling in your feet in the first place. (This is also what helps bring on those dreaded varicose veins.) The longer you sit without moving, the worse it is for you. This, plus the cabin pressure on the plane makes for a not-so-nice combo.

On to the good news: Yes, there are definitely ways to relieve at least some of the swelling and pressure when traveling. Here are a few helpful tips:

• Avoid wearing anything tight or restricting, especially shoes.

• Try to get up and walk around every hour. Not possible? Rotate your ankles and point and flex your feet when you can.

• Elevate your feet as much as possible by propping them on top of your carryon luggage in front of you.

• Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drinking as much water as you can will help minimize your sodium intake.

Related Video

Q&A: Mood Swings During Pregnancy?

Maria Kammerer
Certified Nurse-Midwife

How to Help Your Partner Feel Baby Kick

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor

Metallic Taste During Pregnancy

Debra Goldman, MD
OB-GYN

How to Cope With Sciatica During Pregnancy

Erin Nance, MD
President and Founder of Nance MD

Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

Paula Kashtan and Sarah Yang

Back Pain During Pregnancy

Michele Hakakha, MD
OB-GYN

Varicose Veins in Vulva?

The Bump Editors

Will Pregnancy Change Your Feet… Permanently?

Elena Donovan Mauer
Contributing Writer

Q&A: Why Is My Hair Falling Out?

Lara Simondi
Nurse-Midwife
Advertisement