When we arrived at the airport and got up to the front of the security line, a woman there directed me to go through a different scanner than the one where everyone else in my line was going. My line was set up to go through a full body scanner as opposed to one of the regular, old-school metal detectors. However, the woman specifically directed me out of that line and instructed one of her fellow guards to take me through the old metal detector.
Naturally, being six and a half months pregnant - and looking about nine months pregnant - I had to assume that the reason she directed me - and only me - to that line was because of my baby bump. When I arrived at my hotel, I started doing some research and found that many doctors have advised their patients to avoid the body scanners when they are going through airport security.
Apparently, there has not been much research done on the scanners and their health effects, whether it be on pregnant women, their babies, or the overall health effects of the scanners on the general population. However, because of the radiation transmitted by the machines, doctors have been telling their patients to avoid them.
Of course, this does make sense, and it is something that, in retrospect, I think I probably should have realized on my own. However, since I did not, and since my doctor did not mention it, I figured it was worth bringing to the attention of my readers.
If you are pregnant and getting ready to travel, talk to your doctor about it and even do some research on your own. But also remember that the body scanners are not your only option and feel free to alert the guards to the fact that you are pregnant so you can go through the other scanners. You may want to bring along a note from your doctor in case you encounter a guard who is hell-bent on getting you through that body scanner no matter what.
On another note, flying first class is unreal. My husband gets to do it all the time because he often travels internationally for business, but the flight to Madrid was my first time. (Ironically, it was because my hubby travels so much that we were able to get the tickets. He used all the points he has accumulated to get us our tickets for next to nothing. First class would not have been nearly as sweet if we had to shell out all that cash for it.)
I could not believe how comfortable the seats were. Granted, we were on a plane with seats that went all the way down into a flat position, which is not always the case, but for the first time ever, I was able to sleep on the plane. In addition to adjusting into about a hundred different possible combinations of feet and body positions, the seats had built-in massagers to lull me to sleep.
The service was amazing, too. No sooner was I awake in the morning than someone was there with a hot washcloth and a glass of orange juice. A few minutes later, I had a breakfast tray in front of me. I felt like a celebrity.