Long car journeys in pregnancy

Five tips to make long journeys by car, train or plane more comfortable when you're expecting

Pregnancy can make it hard to get comfortable in the most spacious af places let along cramped in a car or a cabin. Even if you can’t face a plane journey, you may well be tempted to use your pregnancy time to catch up with friends and family before the joyful chaos of your new baby descends. However, if this involves long car journeys, bear in mind that your body is going through some big changes and you need to be more health-aware that you might normally be.

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Five tips for comfortable travel

  • Move those legs! If you’re doing a lot of travelling over the holiday, whether by train, plane or car, make sure you take plenty of opportunities to get up and move around. Stretching your legs to stimulate circulation is advisable, at least every couple of hours, and even whilst sitting make sure you’re moving your ankles and flexing your legs. If you are driving you will be especially at risk from staying in one position, which can make blood pool in your legs, which is dangerous.

  • Go to the toilet when your body tells you
    On long motorway journeys, make a couple more service station stops than you usually would. Now more than ever, holding on for a loo-break rather than going when you get the urge is not a good idea.
    Through pregnancy it’s important to make sure you are drinking enough water or juice, so continue to do this, don’t avoid liquids in the hope it will reduce your need for loo breaks.

  • Take your notes with you
    Depending on how far into pregnancy you are, it is a good idea to get into the habit of carrying your hospital notes around (just in your suitcase – not under your arm!) in case you need to see a doctor whilst away.

  • Keep essential numbers handy
    In the early weeks, put the number of your midwives team from back home into your phone or notebook. Sometimes just a quick call to the duty nurse will help explain a worrying twinge or two.

  • Wear your seatbelt but keep it low
    In a car, when you’re heavily pregnant, make sure the lap-strap of your seatbelt is below your belly. Check out our ThinkBaby guide to wearing a seatbelt in pregnancy for more.

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