Is it safe to fly while pregnant

If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy you should be able to fly up to 35 weeks. Most airlines will only accept pregnant flyers 28 weeks and over if they have a letter from their GP to show they are safe to travel.

You should be aware of the heightened complications of travelling whilst pregnant:

Before you travel

Before you travel you should double check you are OK to fly via your GP or midwife. You should also check your airline and insurance will permit travel.

Take a look at our Fitness to fly. Download today and take to your GP’s surgery to stamp.

Blood Clots (thrombosis)

Any long-distance traveler (typically journeys 5 hours or greater) are at an increased risk of blood clots. Pregnant women are no exception to this however, there is no firm evidence to suggest pregnancy courses higher risk.

Wearing correctly-fitted compression socks can held reduce your risk as well as getting up and walking around the cabin.

Most pregnant women tend to avoid travel in the first trimester due to exhaustion and nausea. If you feel well then there is nothing stopping you from travelling. I did, I actually flew a couple of during my first and second trimester without any issues.

Multiple pregnancy

If you are pregnant with twins or multiple’s you can only travel up to the first 32 weeks of pregnancy. You will need to complete your return journey before the end of your 32nd week. Again, airlines may request notification before you travel.

Long-haul Vs Short-haul flights

Airlines don’t hold differentiate between short-haul and long-haul flights. Some women just tend to avoid the long-haul flights due to exhaustion.

Tips for travelling on a plane

  • Wear compression stockings
  • Wear the seat-belt under your bump rather than above it
  • Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Pack snacks in your hand luggage
  • Get up as often as you are able to walk around and stretch out your legs
  • Consider reserving an aisle seat in advance (it will help with the toilet breaks and stretching)

Insurance

There is no special pregnancy insurance as most insurance policies cover pregnancy. You may need to read the fine print before purchasing though as there are sometimes clauses with exemptions to IVF pregnancies. Although the NHS classifies all pregnancies the same once IVF is successful.

Airport Scanners

The scanners used at airports use low-frequency electromagnetic field and are considered safe for everybody. There are pregnant women who work airside (the part after security) who use these scanners on a daily basis. If in doubt you can always ask.

Viruses and vaccinations

You should double check with the NHS website regarding vaccinations whilst pregnant. There is some general advice that vaccinations that are safe during pregnancy however, it is always advisable to double check before booking any travel.

Traveling with a newborn

Mother’s who have recently delivered their baby won’t be permitted to travel in the first 48 hours following an uncomplicated birth. If you have had a caesarean or if other surgery was needed than there is a minimum of 10 days with some airlines. It is also advisable to check with the medical staff prior to travelling.

Newborns are to be at least 8 days old before being allowed to travel on a plane. However, check with your airline prior.

If you are going away I wish you a safe and pleasant trip.

Katherine XO

My maternity wardrobe

Hello everyone, I’ve had a butt load of comments about how nice (and girly) my maternity clothes are so I thought I’d share with you a selection of items I purchased (and wear regularly). As I am pretty camera shy so stock images will have to do 🙂

When I was first looking at the maternity clothes back in Spring 2017, I was appalled at the options available. It was mainly trousers and tops that just make you look frumpy and figure less. Obviously, I had to purchase a couple of these ‘staple’ items for days when you just want to stop on the sofa with a film and cuppa of tea. For the staples I got one pair of jeggings from matalan and a couple of pairs of black leggings and vest top.

So below is a list of key items that will hopefully provide you some inspiration to move away from the ‘essential’ black trousers and shirt combo for work.

DressesMost of the time I’m swanning around in a maternity dress. Makes it feel like the olden days when all women really wore were dresses. Before pregnancy I rarely wore dresses – despite having a wardrobe full of gorgeous 1950 style frocks. During i pregnancy I have since found my girly roots and now a dress is my absolute favourite go to item – so much so I bought a few. These are the brands I purchased:

Next maternity:

Purchased in the clearance sale during April (£18) and was great for my holiday. I don’t often wear this maxi out and about in Britain mainly just round the house but it’s great for any day time occasion. To be honest add a nice necklace and bracelet combo and it’s good for an evening out with the other half.

4-piece maternity essential kit (£32) with black dress, vest top, skirt and leggings. The leggings and vest are fabulous fit. Well to be honest they all are however, they attract dog hair like it’s going out of fashion. I tend to wear these around the house when I can’t be bothered or having a ‘fat’ day.

Rochelle Humes Maternity

I absolutely love this grey dress (£35) it’s great for both work and during the weekend. At first I was sceptical because it’s clingy but it’s clingy in the right places and shows off your bump nicely. I’ve had my money’s worth out the dress because I started wearing it about 12 weeks (that in between stage where pants fit but don’t).

Well you’ve got to have a LBD in the wardrobe. This off the shoulder dress (£35) is great for evenings or parties. Does feel a little bare on the shoulders and the straps can dig in a little. It’s a good length and floaty so you don’t over heat. Team up with a pair of nude heels for instant glam.

Shirt dress in navy blue (£27). Quite long on my 5ft6 frame and definitely not for early pregnancy. Sleeves can feel a bit tight but good for casual and even work. Only downside it creases so easy! It’s not the most flattering of designs but as your bump gets bigger and fills out the extra material it does start to feel better. When wearing for work it’s great with a pair of black pumps and oversized bag.

Nice white crochet dress (£45). You do need a good white or nude bra underneath as can look a little bare. Good length (mid thigh) nice and floaty and very girly great for an event when teamed up with either wedges or nude heels. I actually wore this to an event at Buckingham Palace and worked really well with a statement fascinator and a pearl necklace.

One of my absolute favourite Rochelle Humes tea dresses (£45). I wear this for work on most days alternating between this and my grey one. It can feel a tad short when sitting down but it’s lovely and floaty and very girly. I tend to team up with a pair of black or neutral pumps and an oversize bag. When wearing in slightly breezy weather best to have a lace jacket or similar just to stop it blowing and you do the Marilyn Monroe scene.

Pink lacy top great for work or an evening. Best teamed up with a pair of black trousers but equally good with jeggings/jeans. Only downside is after a couple of washes the material starts to fray.

Nursing bras

The best bra I purchased is by Emma Jane Maternity available from kiddicare.com £12-£16.00 each black or white. I bought a couple of bras from Next but they dug in after a few hours leaving marks on my breasts. The Emma Jane ones feel nice and soft you purchase by band size not band and cup like some bras. Great feature is you can purchase non padded or padded options.

Underwear

To be honest I purchased some maternity knickers and hated them! I have stuck to my trusty Debenhams basic knickers. Nothing glamours about them but they still fit lovely under my growing bump. I found the over bump knickers very uncomfortable and made my stomach hurt after a couple of hours so I binned them. Also stay away from eBay if something looks a bargain it usually is.

Swimwear

I purchased an all in one swimsuit and a tankini set from Matalan. After comparing the types against various stores I settled on Matalan. I was not disappointed.

The all in one (£16) has enough room to accommodate a growing belly but doesn’t look too baggy in the first couple of months. I purchased when I was 18 weeks as I went on holiday at 19 weeks and it looked fab. Just a shame it can’t give you a peer bottom like the model has (ha-ha)

The tankini (£14 in total) was also a godsend. I love two piece swimsuits and was reluctant because some swimwear items advertised as tankini’s were actually one pieces. This wasn’t, it is a great length and has bands on both sides to make looser as your belly grows. This is easier to get in and out of against the one piece. The top gave good breast support although I haven’t grown as big as some women might.

I hope some of this inspires you to dress up a little more during pregnancy and not hide behind jeans and vests the entire 9 months.

Katherine xo

*prices correct March-June 2017

Is there a connection between early labour and the flu vaccination?

In this article, I will discuss the topic of the flu vaccination. As winter draws ever closer many pregnant ladies will be offered the flu vaccination free on the NHS. It is of course your personal decision whether you wish to have this or not along with any other immunisations.

This article lets draw upon the facts available to allow you make an informed decision about whether to have the vaccination or not.

Risks of having flu whilst pregnant

Flu can affect anyone, any age and any level of health. Pregnant women and their unborn children are at an increased risk of complications from having flu. Whilst pregnant your immune system is much lower – you have probably already figured that out by the constant runny nose. This is so that you body doesn’t reject your unborn child.

Flu is a highly infectious disease which occurs annually and most commonly during winter season (hence its nickname seasonal flu). The symptoms of flu come on very quickly whereas a cold is more gradual (i.e. sore throat and runny nose). Flu is caused by the influenza viruses (colds are caused by bacteria) that affects the respiratory system (your windpipe and lungs), because flu is a virus anti-biotics will not work.

Most common symptoms of flu:

  • Fever (high temperatures)
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Aches and pains in your joints and muscles
  • Lethargic (more tired than normal)

As you can see most of these symptoms are also typical pregnancy symptoms. Healthy individuals who contract the flu virus usually recover within a week or so but for a small percentage of the population flu can lead to hospitalisation, disability or even death.

Benefits of the flu vaccine:

  • Reduced risk of miscarriage, pre-term birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Reduced chance of passing the flu to your unborn child
  • Reduced risk of complication such as pneumonia
  • Helps to provide immune system protection to your baby in the first few months after birth.

The flu vaccine

Vaccines are designed to help the immune system to recognise and fight certain types of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.

The vaccine itself can be inactivated or live attenuated depending on the recommendations provided to the manufacturer from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Types of vaccinations:

  • Inactivated – inactive virus present. The virus particles, bacteria or other pathogens have been grown and then killed with heat or chemicals. Examples include, Hepatitis A, polio, diphtheria and tetanus. These vaccines are safer as it is a lower risk of the pathogen mutating back into its disease. Since the bacteria is dead it is not an accurate copy of the live version therefore it often requires multiple booster shots to help train the body’s immune system to defend itself.
  • Live attenuated – live small dosage of the virus present. There is a small amount of live pathogen which has been altered to become harmless or less viral. The purpose is to the immune system learn to recognize the antigens to be able to fight it should contact be made in the future. Examples of live vaccinations includes the MMR, smallpox and yellow fever. Advantages: These types of vaccinations can offer lifelong protection when the full programme has been completed. These vaccinations cannot be given to persons with an already weakened immune system (chemotherapy, HIV) as the risk of the pathogen become stronger and been more harmful increases.Pregnant women are advised to have the inactivated vaccination.

The flu vaccination is classed as an inactivated vaccine. Therefore when you have the vaccination you do not get a live version of the virus. So it is a myth that getting the vaccination gives you flu.

Risk of preterm labour?
There are some concerns that the flu vaccination causes preterm labour / birth however, studies in Canada have discovered that the flu vaccination can actually reduce the risk. “women who are vaccinated are 25% less likely to have a premature birth and 27% less likely to have low-birth weight baby.” (Oxford Vaccine Group, 2014).

Possible side effects

Like with all immunisations there a rare possibility of developing an allergic reaction. If you had one in the past after the flu vaccine it is recommended not to have it this year.

The most common types of side effects are a sore arm for a couple of days and sometimes (not always) feeling a little achy and muscle fatigue.

Bottom line

Personally, I am going to get this because I had a nasty chest infection at the beginning of pregnancy and dread to think what I’d be like with the flu. I have also had the flu in the past and when it says a week to recover its more like 3-4 and only if you have proper bed rest for a week. When people tell you their dying of flu and say this whilst seated at their desk at work you know it’s probably just a bad cold. The flu proper knocks you off your feet. When I had it I was cold and hot at the same time so I dressed for feeling cold (hot water bottle as well) hoping to sweat it out. You have literally no energy and simple tasks like opening to door to the postman is such a chore. You really don’t have much energy to even get up for the toilet even though you know you need to go!

Either way it is up to you whether you opt to get this vaccination but whatever you decision you should always maintain a high level of personal hygiene and throughly wash your hands before and after preparing meals.

Katherine xo

Useful Guides:

NHS Public Health England – The flu vaccination winter 2017/18

Sources:

http://vk.ovg.ox.ac.uk/flu-vaccination-pregnancy

I’m happy to be pregnant but why do I feel miserable?

pregnanyI’m sat here feeling like the worse mum-to-be in the entire world. I have waited so many years for the little miracle now growing inside my belly. Up until now I have also had the pleasure of a rather easy pregnancy – no morning sickness just tiredness.

So why is it that with 3 months to go I am simply not as enthusiastic as my hubby, family and friends? At first I started questioning and blaming myself because of my depression but from speaking to lots of other mums-to-be who don’t suffer depression it would appear this is more common than talked about. I can now see some of you now screaming yes, that’s me that’s how I feel. Believe it or not 27% of pregnant mamma’s feel this way (The Bump).

For me I think it all started at week 16, I was partially excited to see bubs on the screen again in the coming weeks but something in the back of my mind was just saying urgh why can’t it be over already.

Work colleagues and family members asking how far along you are questioning whether it’s twins or not. Yes, thank-you I get it I’ve put weight on but for heavens sake I’m growing a little human inside leave me alone!

It’s been 10 weeks since I started to feel this way and it hasn’t eased up. People still question me even though my dearest husband reminds me on a daily basis that I only look pregnant from the front and that I look great regardless. I still feel like it’s unreal. Some days I even question whether I am actually pregnant until I get kicked in the bladder or see a tiny lump under my skin.

I really want to feel that ‘joy’ that ‘glow’ you read about in magazines and baby books but personally I now think this is all utter BS. They clearly only write that rubbish to lure people into a false sense of hope that pregnancy is all floaty and a bed of shimmering gold roses. Ha! what is so glamorous about daily backache, peeing every 20 mins, being unable to get comfy in bed despite the mountains of pillows and the gas. Oh Lordy, the symptoms that no one speaks of 🙈 unbearable trapped wind, constipation and you’ve guessed it liquid brown and burping. Honestly, I feel more cave man than beautiful pregnant lady.

If you feel like me please share your stories in the comments below I would love to hear from you.

 

Katherine xo