Road Rules for traveling pregnant moms
Summer road trips don’t have to be off-limits now that you’re pregnant. Here’s what you need to know for safe long-distance travel by car
When and Where to Go
Your second trimester, 13 to 26 weeks into your pregnancy, is the best time to travel—you’re over the constant queasiness but still have plenty of time before your due date. When choosing your destination, aim for relaxation and comfort. Avoid high altitudes because you may experience shortness of breath, which can diminish baby’s source of oxygen. The beach or a quaint country town may be your best bets.
Before You Leave
Visit your doctor for a prenatal checkup and ask for a recommendation of an ob/gyn at your destination, just in case. Make a copy of your medical and prenatal records to take along. Also pack prenatal vitamins, a pregnancy reference book, bottled water, and plenty of snacks. High-fiber munchies like baby carrots and dried fruit help you avoid high-sodium road food and keep your digestion on track.
Use online directions or a GPS navigation system to help you find a reliable route; the quickest way is often the best. Plan on driving no more than five to six hours each day, and allow extra time in your schedule to pull over at least once every hour to stretch and walk around—in addition to stopping when nature calls. These frequent breaks will relax your tense muscles and help prevent blood clots.
If you’re prone to car sickness, you need to remember that motion-sickness medication is a no-no when you’re pregnant. Try using a neck rest or pillow to help reduce the risk of motion sickness, or try a pair of acupressure wristbands. Ginger is also a great herbal remedy for nausea. Pick up some crystallized ginger at the grocery store or suck on ginger candies such as Gin Gins (gingerpeople.com).
And remember, the joy is in the journey!