Are you planning a scenic road trip or a long drive home for the holidays this year? Get my top tips for going on a road trip while pregnant and staying safe and comfortable! Scroll down for all the info!
These tips for going on a road trip while pregnant were written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contain affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
My husband and I did quite a few local PNW road trips when I was pregnant with both of my boys. There is just something about taking a road trip that is absolutely magical.
The memories made while conversing over miles and miles of pavement, the fresh new scenery out the windows as you are rolling right along. It’s just so wonderful!
And it’s a great way to travel while staying safe in the comfort of your own vehicle. You can make as many stops as you like and drive for as long (or as little) as you like. And when you are pregnant, that can make all the difference.
If you happen to find yourself in need of taking a road trip while pregnant, there are a number of things that you can do to make your road trip a little more pleasant, and comfortable.
Take a look at some of the best tips for your upcoming road trip.
Best Tips for Going on a Road Trip While Being Pregnant
Consult Your Doctor Before Leaving
First and foremost, you want to let your doctor in on your plans to embark on this fun and exciting adventure before the baby comes. This is a great idea for a number of reasons.
First of all, it’s going to be quite comforting to know that you and your baby are both healthy before you head out.
Making sure that your blood pressure and protein numbers are at a safe level will add a little extra piece of mind.
And who wouldn’t want to hear that precious heartbeat one more time before taking off?!
Second of all, your doctor can advise you of places, activities, and other things to watch out for, or avoid.
Lastly, it’s the perfect time to ask any questions you may have about what is or isn’t safe while you are away.
Is it okay to ride a bike around the island? Is it smart to lounge around in the pool all day? Is there a certain product that is safe for pregnant women to keep mosquitoes away?
When is the Best Time for Traveling While Pregnant?
Pregnancy can have a significant impact on the body, from mental and physical exhaustion to aches and pains caused by stretching. The body is constantly undergoing changes to make room for the growing baby.
That’s why it’s a good idea to try to plan your road trip during the right time of your pregnancy, when possible.
While a select few women may experience only a few to zero pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and dehydration, most women will find that their second trimester is likely the best time for traveling.
By the second trimester morning sickness should be tapering off, for the most part.
The constant urge to want (no, actually, make that need) to nap, is finally dwindling, as newfound energy seems to make its happily welcomed appearance.
Your belly may finally start to be expanding. However, during the second trimester, it isn’t usually so big that it makes you uncomfortable.
Also, your baby is still tiny at this point, so you will only feel the urge to pee every 35 minutes, instead of every 5 minutes.
Plan Your Road Trip Route Carefully
Pregnant women should carefully plan their road trip routes to ensure they are comfortable during the journey and minimize any risks to their health and the health of their baby.
Long periods of sitting can cause discomfort and swelling in pregnant women’s legs and feet, and some roads may have rough terrain, bumpy roads, or require frequent stops.
Additionally, it is important to consider the availability of rest stops and healthcare facilities in case of an emergency.
Pack All Your Pregnancy Essentials
I’m not talking about a phone charger, a tablet, and a good book. I’m talking about your new, favorite products that make life (and pregnancy) bearable.
Belly Band? Must Have!
It’s bad enough you’re going to be stuck sitting in the car for who knows how long.
Preggie Pops/Sea Bands/Ginger
Morning sickness can make random appearances throughout your pregnancy.
If you haven’t gotten to the point yet where your hips and lower back ache at all times of the day, just know that it’s coming!
You are already going to be sore from sitting in the car, so be sure to pack your favorite pregnancy pillow (or an extra pillow between your knees, while you sleep) so that you can wake up and get out of bed easily. Check the latest rates and availability.
Make Frequent Stops When on a Road Trip While Pregnant
Yes, yes, the more stops you make, the longer it takes to make it to your destination.
But trust me, here. You are going to appreciate penciling in those extra potty breaks.
Not only is it not a good idea to hold it in when you have to go, but your body will thank you for getting up and stretching out those limbs.
Plus, pregnant women are more prone to getting blood clots, so it’s actually better for your health to make sure that you get out of a sitting position, every couple of hours.
Pack Healthy Snacks and a Water Bottle
Sorry to point out the obvious here, but it is extra important to keep yourself hydrated while pregnant!
I personally have a hard time remembering to drink enough water, so I use this water bottle with time marks to make sure I continue drinking water all day long. Check the latest rates and availability.
And of course, your sweet, little bun is going to be taking from a good chunk of whatever you munch on, so make sure to bring enough healthy snacks to keep you both satisfied until your next meal stop.
It’s a good idea to avoid sweet and salty snacks that are going to leave you thirsty, and still feeling hungry.
Also, while on the topic of food, make sure not to skip meals!
Either pack a healthy meal in your cooler or make sure you stop for a good bite to eat.
Just because you are on a road trip doesn’t mean that you can skimp on your meals. You will still want to eat an adequate amount, to keep you energized.
What to Wear on a Road Trip While Pregnant
You’re going to be sitting in a car for miles and miles! There is no need to dress in your cutest outfit.
Wear what you are comfortable in, and if you really want to, change when you get to your destination!
Keep in mind that your body temperature may also be higher or lower while pregnant.
So if you find that you are running warmer than before you were pregnant, make sure to pack yourself some shorts to keep cool, even if you are traveling to a cooler destination.
And vice versa. If you find that you just can’t keep warm, make sure to pack an extra hoodie or blanket, to keep yourself comfortable.
Road Trips for Pregnant Travelers FAQ
Is it ok to take a road trip while pregnant?
It is generally safe to take a road trip while pregnant, but it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before embarking on any long travel.
Depending on the stage of your pregnancy and any potential complications, your doctor may advise you to avoid long car rides or recommend specific precautions to take during the trip.
How far into pregnancy can you take a road trip?
It is generally safe for pregnant women to take a road trip during their second trimester, which is from week 14 to week 28.
However, it is always best to consult with a healthcare provider before embarking on any trip, especially if there are any preexisting medical conditions or concerns.
In the third trimester, it may be more uncomfortable to travel due to the physical changes of pregnancy and pregnancy complications.
How long should a pregnant woman ride in a car?
There is no specific amount of time that a pregnant woman should ride in a car, but it is generally recommended that she take frequent breaks to stretch her legs and use the restroom.
It is also important to wear a seat belt properly, with the lap belt below the belly and across the hips, and the shoulder belt across the chest. Pregnant women should also speak to their healthcare provider about any concerns related to travel during pregnancy.
When should a pregnant woman stop driving long distances?
The decision of when a pregnant woman should stop driving long distances is ultimately up to her and her healthcare provider.
However, some healthcare providers suggest that women should stop driving long distances after 36 weeks of pregnancy or earlier if they are at high risk of preterm labor or have other medical conditions that may make driving uncomfortable or dangerous.
What should I do if I experience any pregnancy-related symptoms while on a road trip?
If you experience any pregnancy-related symptoms while on a road trip, it’s important to listen to your body and take the necessary steps to ensure your health and safety, as well as that of your baby.
If you experience any concerning symptoms like vaginal bleeding, severe abdominal pain, or decreased fetal movement, seek medical attention immediately.
It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health and the health of your unborn child.
Road Trip Tips for Pregnant Women Wrap Up
Road trips can be a lot of fun, as long as you are prepared! The best part is you can drive as much or as little as you like, depending on how you feel. And there’s always a rest stop available!
Remember to wear light clothing, give yourself extra leg room, and drink plenty of water. And take frequent breaks where you can walk around and get your blood flowing.
I hope this post helped you with your travel plans and gave you tips for minimizing potential risks during car travel.