Hey Mamas! With the Holiday season just around the corner, many of you pregnant ladies may be planning your holiday travel. Many of us plan on going home for the Holidays which can involve long days of driving! Here are some tips on how to survive road trips during pregnancy.
This post isn’t totally limited to HOLIDAY TRAVEL, but I am just oh so excited for the holiday season to come I wanted to make this post a little bit more festive =)
Anyway, I traveled quite a bit while I was pregnant. At 10 weeks I went to Porto, Portugal to meet up with my Mom and Aunts. At 23 weeks pregnant, Daniel and I took off on a big Balkan road trip for three weeks for our honeymoon. I also went to Belgium and Germany with my sister when I was around 27 weeks pregnant! (This picture was taken in Berlin!)
I think I got pretty lucky because most of my travel was done in my second trimester when I felt great! When I went to Porto I was still super exhausted and a little nauseous from morning sickness so, while it was still super fun, I was a little slower than usual.
But, unfortunately, we cant time our pregnancies around the holiday season and for some of us holiday travel is a must! After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year right?
Be Prepared- get insurance!
Before deciding to go anywhere, check to see whether your current insurance company covers your travels. While this is often not a problem when traveling domestically it is best to make sure ahead of time. If your insurance company limits its coverage, consider buying an extra travel insurance package. They range from $100-$500 depending on which options you choose etc.
I am lucky because my current insurance covers all medical expenses no matter where I am in Europe! (we got this one specifically because I was pregnant).
Make sure you have all your important pregnancy and insurance papers with you! Also make sure you, your spouse, your mom, your grandma, your aunts, and everybody else has your midwife or doctors phone number! This way if there is an emergency, you don’t have to wait around for someone to find the correct phone number. Also, depending on where you are going, look up local hospitals and write down their phone numbers as well. That way you know in advance that there is someone you can call in case of an emergency.
During our Balkan trip, we mapped out all of the hospitals along our route! Of course, I didn’t need to see a doctor at all during the three weeks we were traveling, but it was nice just to know that in case anything happened, we were prepared!
Now before you set out on your road trip, make sure you bring whatever you need to make yourself comfortable! I packed some pillows and a blanket and they helped so much. With our growing bellies its easy to start slouching, but during a long car trip that slouching can lead to some pretty bad back pains. Try putting a pillow behind the small of your back so you stay in an upright position. While this may not be the ideal sleeping position (if you are trying to nap during your trip) it will save you a ton of back pain in the future!
It is so tempting to skip the seatbelt when our bellies are getting pretty huge. But you should never do this! For your safety, and the safety of your little one in your belly please wear your seat belt. It is also just as important to wear your seatbelt properly! Make sure that the belt is sitting low on your hip bone and not on your belly. In case of an accident, the belt wont crush your belly and potentially harm your baby!
Snacks, snacks, and more snacks!
Daniel would laugh at me for saying this cause he thinks i’m a little silly when it comes to my obsession with snacks! But it is so important to have healthy snacks with you at all times! You never know when your pregnancy hunger pangs with strike. Road food is often way more expensive than it should be, and you are mostly limited to not so healthy options. Okay, we are guilty of stopping at McDonalds a couple of times on our trip but for the most part, it is important to keep healthy snacks with you =)
Try taking these pregnancy muffins along with you to keep your hunger at bay during your long car ride!
Its tempting to try not to drink during car rides for fear of having to pee every 20 minutes, but for pregnant women it is soo important to drink enough water during the day (they recommend 8 glasses of 8 ounces)! Make sure you bring enough water with you to sip along your trip to stay hydrated.
Try filling up a big water bottle like this Nalgene Water Bottle to keep you hydrated during your whole trip!
If your frequent need to pee isn’t already making you stop every 30 minutes it important to take frequent breaks during your travels. Daniel and I always stop every two hours to get out and stretch our legs, fill up the car, use the toilet, etc. During pregnancy, your chance of blood clotting is higher than normal due to the increased blood pumping through your veins so it is extra important to get out and stretch your legs. Try going for a brisk walk around the gas station or rest stop or do 50 body weight squats to get your blood pumping. Also, of course, don’t forget to pee whenever you get the chance!
Stretch your legs
Even while you are in the car it is important to keep moving. Do some simple leg stretches to get your blood flowing. Try pointing and flexing your feet, twisting you ankles in circles, and lifting up your legs. This will help get blood pumping and, if you are starting to get some cramps, it will help with that as well!
If you get motion sickness like I do, traveling by car can be really terrible. Or if you are already suffering from morning sickness, long car rides can make you feel even worse!
- Try looking straight forward with you feet on the ground. Sitting in weird positions or turing to your side looking out the window can make you feel even worse!
- Try to restrain from looking down at your phone or reading. When you are looking down or focusing on something else your motion sickness often becomes worse. Again, try looking straight forward at the road.
- Crack the windows! A little fresh air can go a long way when you are feeling a little sick! Try cracking the windows to get a nice cool breeze on your face. If you are driving in the middle of a winter storm, I totally understand if you don’t really feel like doing this. What you can do, however is keep the temperature down low. Staying a little bit cool can help as well. Also, with all of our raging pregnancy hormones (have you read Whats the deal with Pregnancy Hormones!?) its best not to have the heater on full blast cause we will be breaking a sweat in no time!
- Try using the Sea-Band Mama Wristband! They use acupressure on your wrist to help sooth and calm your stomach. I used them on our road trip and I really think they helped! I had been getting pretty bad car sickness and I was worried that I would be miserable during our long driving days, but during the trip I was totally fine! It really made a big difference to me and to my experience in general. These also help with general morning sickness. While I didn’t use them for that because I didn’t suffer from really bad morning sickness, Im sure they work just as well.