Swollen Ankles: Flying While Pregnant

If you have a normal pregnancy flying is pretty safe these days but why do ankles swell up especially when you are on a flight?

Jutta Wohlrab, is an international midwife and bestselling author of ‘Happy Birthing Days A Midwife’s Secret to a Joyful, Safe and Happy Birth’, a comprehensive guide for expectant parents to prepare them for the birth process. Here she shares her insights and tips on how to help tackle swollen ankles when flying.

During pregnancy the body produces more oestrogen than normal which helps to collect fluid in the body and can often give mothers to be that ‘soft look’ towards the end of their pregnancy.

When travelling by air the majority of us spend our time sitting and restricted in our movements even if we are lucky enough to fly first class! There is a reduction in blood circulation and add to that air conditioning, dehydration can set in and further reduce the movement of fluid in the body.

Depending on how long the flight is and what kind of climate you are travelling from there are a few ways you can help alleviate and prevent fluid retention in the body.

Hydrate!
It’s very simple, drinking water consistently whilst flying helps things moving in the right direction. Just be prepared to visit the toilet frequently!

Pimp your wardrobe
They may not be the most fashionable items of clothing but compression stockings can really help keep your ankles from swelling up and help reduce the danger of deep vein thrombosis.  Most airports and pharmacies will have these in stock.

Keep your cool
Having a cool shower on the day of the flight can help keep your body cool and reduce fluid retention especially if you are in warmer climates.

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