Travelling by Car while Pregnant

Going on long trips by car can be tiring when you’re pregnant, but if you take good care of yourself and plan enough breaks, you should be fine. Always choose to be the passenger and not the driver, if possible. It’s also less stressful if you’re bringing someone along to help you out and keep you company. Here are the musts for a safe and comfortable travel.

Drink plenty of fluids

Always make sure to stay hydrated when travelling, especially if you’re going to countries with a hot climate. Try to drink around one 8-ounce cup of water or fluids every hour and avoid caffeine. If you feel thirsty or if you feel your mouth dry, that’s a sign of dehydration and you should drink more. Carry bottled water with you at all times while travelling and make sure you don’t run out. If you prefer juice, try to limit the amount of sugar intake.

Make breaks every 60-90 minutes

Avoid leg swelling and aching by taking breaks every hour, hour and a half. Use the break to walk around, do some light stretching exercises, use the restroom and have some snacks.

It doesn’t need to be a strict schedule. You should generally just listen to your body: have a break whenever you feel like stretching or going to the restroom, but try not to sit in the car for more than 2 hours straight. You can also do some bits of stretching while seating: stretch your legs forward if there’s room, stretch your calves, rotate your ankles and wiggle your toes.

Dress comfortably

Dress as comfortably as possible, with loose fitting or stretchy and breathable clothes. Jumpsuits and the like are not ideal for the often bathroom breaks, so opt for cotton dresses or separates with elastic waist pants. Maternity support pantyhose can help relieve swelling and aching and are also recommended for avoiding varicose veins.

Wear comfy sneakers or supportive footwear with contoured insoles and elastic or adjustable straps. It’s a good idea to switch to slippers while sitting in the car.

Wear a seat belt

Wearing a three-point seat belt is perfectly safe for pregnant women. In fact, not wearing your seat belt during pregnancy is very risky, unsafe and frowned upon. Three-point seat belts are safer than lap belts, so if you have the option, choose the three-point. You can adjust your seat belts for maximum comfort, but keep it in the correct position: set the lap strap as low as possible towards the pelvis and never place it on your belly. It’s not recommended to drive while pregnant, yet if you must, adjust your seat so that your belly does not touch the steering wheel but you can still reach the pedals.