How To Survive A Third Trimester Road Trip
By Cindy Puppos | January 21, 2019
Ah, the third trimester… a point in the pregnancy timeline where you go from semi-uncomfortable, to really uncomfortable, to let’s-get-this-baby-out-ASAP uncomfortable! The third trimester starts at 27 weeks and ends when your little bundle of joy is born (around 40 weeks). There will be times during the third trimester when making it to the bathroom with your large belly will seem like a chore. But, with luck, that won’t be every day. In fact, many moms-to-be find themselves up for one last adventure before baby comes
Whether you’re off on a babymoon, need to travel for work, or want to visit family before your due date, here are some good pointers for a third trimester road trip.
BEFORE YOU GO
This probably isn’t the time for spontaneity! Make an appointment with your OB-GYN to discuss the details of your trip - where, when, driving time, and anything else that may be important. Your OB-GYN will best understand your medical needs or any conditions you should consider, and can answer any questions or concerns you may have. If you see any other specialized medical professionals, be sure to discuss your trip with them as well
Pack lightly - literally! Do not lift anything to cause yourself any strain. Utilize rolling luggage or plan to have someone help you. Make healthy snacks and plenty of water part of your packing checklist as well. Keep any medications or prenatal vitamins close by too.
We understand that it’s frightening to think about anything going wrong on the trip that could affect your baby. But gathering some key information and putting a few things in place can help to relieve stress and will definitely be worth every effort if needed. For example, when planning your trip, take into consideration the available medical care at your destination. In the event of an emergency, advanced medical care is paramount.
Also, think about creating a medical binder that includes information about you and your baby that could be accessed by medical professionals in an emergency. Include: your name and your partner’s name if applicable; your current address; a list of allergies, medications and up-to-date shots; all your medical records as it relates to your OB-GYN appointments, including ultrasound results; a list of important numbers for friends, family and your doctors; and a copy of your health insurance card.
Oh, and while you’re planning that trip, you’ll want to ensure there are plenty of rest stops along the way!
Pregnant women are used to consuming a lot of water, not to mention dealing with a baby pushing on the bladder. Hello frequent bathroom breaks! Good thing you checked into rest areas before leaving!
The need for bathroom breaks aside, you’ll want to make sure to stop frequently. Try pulling over at a rest stop around every 90 minutes. Lack of movement can lead to cramps, swelling, body aches and pain and, in the worst case, deep vein thrombosis.
You may want to consider wearing compression stockings. They can help to relieve swelling of the legs, ankles and feet. Plus, they add a measure of protection against developing conditions like varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis. 1 Natural Way can work with your doctor and insurance to provide you with compression stockings that may be covered under your insurance policy.
During your stops, take the time to walk around, as well as flexing your muscles and stretching. This should help relieve any backside, hip, side/stomach, leg and ankle pain. Don’t forget, while in the car, you can still rotate your ankles and flex your legs and feet - but this doesn’t substitute for stopping to rest and move every 90 minutes or so.
CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR
When doesn’t layering come in handy? Wear comfortable clothing items that can be easily removed and put back on so that you can adjust to the never-quite-comfortable car temperature. Pants with an elastic waistband that lie below the belly are easier to wear for a prolonged time period.
Rely on flip flops or slip on shoes that are easy to remove once you are in the car. They should be just as easy to put on when getting out of the car for bathroom or stretching breaks. And think about those compression stockings to help with your circulation.
CAR COMFORT AND SAFETY
Always remember to use a seat belt! For pregnant women, the lap belt should rest low and flat on the tops of the thighs. Place the shoulder strap between your breasts and off to the side of your belly.
If you are driving, adjust your seat so your stomach is not too close to the steering wheel. Also, tilt the steering wheel upwards. Move the driver's seat upright and as far back as you can with just enough room to safely reach the pedals
As a passenger, you have the option to slide your seat back as much as possible. Make sure your headrest falls directly behind your head for spinal support. Bonus if your seats have an adjustable lumbar cushion!
Lastly, never disable the airbags!
1 Natural Way offers a complete array of products and services to make moms more comfortable and confident throughout their pregnancy and breastfeeding journey. We provide mothers with name brand breast pumps, monthly breastfeeding supplies, maternity compression stockings and postpartum recovery garments, as well as expert and compassionate advice and top-notch customer service. Click here to start the qualification process to get your breast pump at no cost to you.
About the Author
Cindy Puppos is 1 Natural Way's Customer Service Supervisor, so she has a good idea of all the different and wonderful questions that moms have for her team. Thankfully, as the mother of two boys (who are now grown!) and a veteran of the company and breastfeeding, Cindy is always knowledgeable about breastfeeding, pumping and all the latest and greatest pumps!