Take Special Care When Road Tripping for Two
No matter why you’re hitting the open road this summer–one last getaway before the baby arrives, a road trip with friends, or an extended commute for business—driving or traveling by car while expecting requires special care and consideration.
According to U.S. News & World Report staff writer Allison Goldstein, timing is everything when it comes to traveling while pregnant. She advises expectant mothers should time their road travels for the second trimester and to avoid, if possible, traveling for long periods after week 36. Of course, before any big or semi-big travel plans, pregnant women should seek counsel from their physicians, notes Goldstein.
Plan on stopping at least every few hours, if not more frequently, for bathroom breaks, advises Babble.com writer Molly Thornberg. These breaks will also give you the chance to stretch your legs, which can fend off or ease back pain, adds Thornberg.
Goldstein agrees, “Limit your travel to a maximum of six hours per day, making plenty of stops to stretch along the way.”
To minimize anxiety, you might want to explore a new or favorite destination closer to home, advises Goldstein, and be sure to pack your prenatal records, insurance card, and medical information. It’s also a good idea to know where the closest emergency facility is once you reach your destination, notes Goldstein, or even along the route if you plan on stopping at multiple places.
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For a calming touch of home, Thornberg recommends packing your pillow; you can use it to make the ride, or a night in a hotel, much more comfortable. And, of course, staying hydrated is a priority, adds Thornberg.
“While you’re on the road, be aware of your seat belt placement: Secure the lap belt below your belly so that it rests against your hip bones, and wear the shoulder belt across the center of your chest and to the side of your baby bump,” reports Goldstein. “If you’re the driver, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that you move your seat as far back as comfortably possible and position the steering wheel at least 10 inches away from your breastbone so that if the airbag should deploy, it will do so without causing harm to your baby.”
Hitting the open road is a great way to get away, but it can be exhausting, no matter how incredible or necessary the destination. When traveling for two, it’s so important to stop, rest, and take of yourself.