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Flying whilst pregnant - flaunt or hide the bump?

Flying whilst pregnant - flaunt or hide the bump?

Old Mar 18, 14, 3:05 am
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Flying whilst pregnant - flaunt or hide the bump?

I'm packing for a transatlantic trip this week and have two choices for my travel outfit, both very comfy and practical for travel. One is a clingy jersey dress, the other a loose fitting smock dress.

Now normally I wouldn't consult the good people of flyertalk on my wardrobe choices, but: I'm five months pregnant and whilst the outfit 1 will make this abundantly obvious, outfit 2 keeps the bump under wraps.

Which leads me to wonder, am I likely to get any better treatment if I look obviously pregnant? I'm not even going to mention the elusive upgrade, but even a bit of sympathy for the inevitable constant trips to the bathroom would be nice.

Or is being obviously pregnant just likely to get me subjected to a grilling about how many weeks I am, whether I am fit to fly etc? Would I be better covering up and avoiding the hassle?

All experiences of flying whilst pregnant, good and bad, are welcome.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 3:32 am
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Flying whilst pregnant - flaunt or hide the bump?

It's a delicate topic in regards to what you like to wear. Some woman look pregnant earlier in their pregnancy, some do look less pregnant during the whole pregnancy.

We flew at 7 months pregnant within Europe and just made sure to have our own drink, little snack and cleaning wipes just in case. We also had a letter from our doctor mentioning sperrgepaeck+1 was safe to travel. Some airlines require documentation if the pregnancy is beyond 32 weeks, varies by airline. Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable, don't worry too much what other people think.

Not sure whether showing your bump will get you the occasional help from fellow travellers or not, as your fellow travellers might not risk asking whether you are pregnant or not. In general some people are always helpful, does not matter if someone is pregnant or not.

Before boarding starts, you could ask if you could board with families and children as you are pregnant, if the boarding agent understand, they might let you do this.

But overall being pregnant and travelling is a very common occurrence, so I would not waste too much time dreaming of an upgrade or others. Just make sure you enjoy your trip and try to avoid touching to many airport/aircraft facilities to avoid catching a cold/flue or anything. Now that you are pregnant - congratulations btw - your priority is the little bundle if joy and to keep it safe.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 3:38 am
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Flying whilst pregnant - flaunt or hide the bump?

We have four children, now all over the age of five. We fly a lot and my wife was on planes well into her seventh month in each pregnancy. We never had an issue and in 99% of cases people just go about their business. I wouldn't worry about being challenged; at best you say you are five months in, at worst it's none of their business.

I wouldn't expect an upgrade because you are pregnant; you don't say what airline you are flying with, but this falls into the category of honeymoon and 'dressing up'; it won't make much difference. You won't be permitted to sit in an exit row, so I would aim for an aisle seat near the front. From experience the pressure on the bladder means plenty of getting up in flight.

As far as flaunt it or hide it goes, I would flaunt it. Why not, it makes a woman look uhm, very womanly!

Safe travels!
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Old Mar 18, 14, 3:44 am
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I would say neither, dress for comfort as the first priority.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 4:21 am
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Both options are extremely comfortable, nothing to choose between them there. Both are coming with me on the trip, just a case of which one gets worn one the flight. And one screams PREGNANT! and the other one keeps it very discrete.

Flying AA one way and BA the other (codeshare). I know it's hopeless to have any expectation of an upgrade, pregnant or not. More wondering about general attitudes/behaviour towards pregnant women and if anything more erring on the side of 'avoiding unnecessary hassle' rather than expecting the red-carpet treatment.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 6:03 am
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If your flaunting for personal gain, that's cheesy IMHO. Dress comfortably.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 6:05 am
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One thing that "looking the part" might gain you is a little leniency for the restroom, whether its a line or when the seat belt sign is on...you may get some understanding with that. Just a thought - if there were a line for the lav I'd certainly let a pregnant lady in front of me unless I was at critical mass....
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Old Mar 18, 14, 6:28 am
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Maybe the clothes thing is a red-herring, it's just what got me thinking about the subject. I'm generally after experiences, good and bad, of the way people have been treated when flying whilst they were pregnant.

Restroom example is the kind of thing I'm thinking of - have people found they get a bit of sympathy treatment when hauling a bump? Or on the other hand does being pregnant single you out for unwanted hassle? I've heard of people stopped at the gate and given the third degree about their medical records before being allowed to board.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 9:10 am
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Flying whilst pregnant - flaunt or hide the bump?

No one has ever hassled us. I wouldn't worry.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 9:39 am
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I flew at 4 months and was just starting to show. My seatmate, when I mentioned that I was pregnant, was very understanding my needs to go frequently (I was LAX-JFK). He also then helped me stow and get down my bag.

Other than that, no difference in treatment.

Be comfy and enjoy.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 10:58 am
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Pigsmightfly, welcome to FlyerTalk. As the site has a Women's Traveler forum which might be ideal for this thread, I'll move it there for more discussion. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 1:21 pm
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Dress comfortably, consider wearing compression stockings, and consider requesting an aisle seat. Don't expect special treatment. You might get some help with your luggage and some friendly banter but that's about it.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 10:24 pm
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You're asking a question that's virtually impossible to answer because you have no way of knowing the personality/demeanor of the people with whom you'll be interacting. If someone's having a bad day and your constant up-and-downs are annoying them, then letting them know you're pregnant won't matter. And unless you visually seem to be suffering from some other health impairment that would call into question whether you're medically fit to be flying, there is no reason for anyone in a position of authority to hassle you because you're flying while five months pregnant.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 3:14 pm
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I'm not trying to get the definitive answer, just curious as to whether people have generally had positive or negative experiences.

Anyway - flight tomorrow. Compression socks are packed and will almost definitely have an aisle seat (unless my partner and I aren't seated together, we will always be able to swap so I get the aisle). Might wear the 'hide' dress one way and the 'flaunt' dress on the return leg and compare and contrast!
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Old Mar 19, 14, 7:47 pm
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I simply cannot understand why you think that you should get sympathy because you're pregnant. You are aware that MILLIONS of women are pregnant right now, correct? You're not the Queen. You're another pregnant woman on an airplane.
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