Pregnancy and the road: Staying comfortable and safe in the car

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It can be very difficult to avoid the roads. Pregnancy can make it even harder to avoid driving, especially when you have to prepare for your baby’s arrival. You have to make appointments with doctors, shop, move, and coordinate all within a short time frame.

These are new times and coronavirus has presented new challenges to the average pregnancy. While there are still many things to do in preparation for a baby’s arrival, it is now even more difficult to deal with the ever-present threat of illness. As the coronavirus vaccination roll-out becomes more widespread, mothers all over the world are starting to feel a collective sigh relief as they get out of their homes to catch up on all the COVID.

It is not only pregnant women that are leaving their homes. Traffic is returning to pre-pandemic levels all over the country. There are things pregnant women can do to ensure safety on the roads, no matter if they are traveling cross-country to visit their family or to go to the grocery store.

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Are you able to travel safely while pregnant?

Many women have wondered if they are able to travel safely while pregnant even before COVID. But it all depends. Every woman’s medical history will be different. If you are at high risk of becoming pregnant , your doctor might recommend that you not travel. For the best advice, consult your doctor before you travel.

Common Concerns

These are common concerns that pregnant women should be aware of when traveling.

Malaria and Zika

Simple mosquito bites can lead to hospitalization or birth defects. You should contact your doctor immediately if you plan to travel to an area at risk for zika or malaria. Ask them for advice on how to minimize the risk.

Water and food

Make sure you have enough water and food to last you the duration of your trip. Women who are pregnant are more likely to become sick from food poisoning or dehydration. It is better to have food and water prepared in advance.

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Prenatal Care

A more detailed health plan is required for extended travel. Your doctor can help you create a plan to ensure your prenatal health is maintained while you travel. You may need to locate a temporary doctor depending on how long you plan to stay.

Safety checklist for cars

You can also ensure safety for your unborn baby when you travel pregnant by making sure your car is road-ready. Before you drive, make sure you review the car safety checklist. There are some simple things you can do to ensure your car is safe and smooth.

Vehicle maintenance

Maintaining your vehicle doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. There are many ways you can keep your car in tip-top shape at home.

These items should be checked on your vehicle when you are preparing to travel.

  • Proper tire pressure will ensure a smoother ride and better steering. It can also prolong the life of your tires. An air compressor and a tire pressure gauge are all you need to check your tire pressure. These can be bought at any auto shop or at your local gas station. Some gas stations offer air for free if you don’t have an air compressor.
  • Power steering fluid: It is essential to maintain a full lubrication and protection against corrosion of the steering components. Check your manual to determine the right lubrication for your vehicle.
  • Brakes: Because brakes are an integral part of daily driving, it is natural that they will wear down. The maintenance schedules are listed in your car manual. However, the amount of driving and where you live will affect how long it takes to get them back in good condition. To have your brakes checked regularly, it is a good idea for you to take your car in to a mechanic. You may be able to inspect your brake pads from home depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
  • Air filter: This filter cleans the engine and works like a sieve, keeping out dirt and other harmful contaminants. The majority of vehicle manufacturers recommend that your air filter be changed every 15,000 to 35,000 miles. However, it is a good idea to check your manual.
  • Lights: Your car’s signals and lights are your primary communication channel with other drivers. They let others know when you turn, stop, or reverse. Your hazard lights can also be used to signal distress in case you are in trouble. Make sure to check all exterior lights regularly and make sure they are working properly. Many models can be easily changed with these types of lights at home.
  • Antifreeze/or coolant: Coolant (also known as antifreeze) helps prevent your vehicle’s overheating. It also keeps temperatures stable even in extreme weather. Check the levels of antifreeze or coolant when you change your oil. This will ensure that your engine runs smoothly.
  • Proper wheel alignment will save you gas and prevent unnecessary wear. It will also make your ride more comfortable and safer. According to your manufacturer’s recommendations and how often you drive, you should have your wheels aligned every two to three years.
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You should always consult the manual of your vehicle before you drive it.

Checklist for health safety

To ensure safety, comfort, and health of baby and mama while on the road, there are some essential items that you should have.

  1. Nutritious snacks: Make sure to have some non-perishable, easy-to-eat snacks that offer more nutritional value while you are on the road. Multigrain crackers, trail mix, and fruits such as apples, pears, and bananas can all be great for increasing vitamins and nutrients. Peanut butter and guacamole can be used as dips, while a pudding cup can be used to sweeten the experience.
  2. Prenatal vitamins and other medication. Prenatal vitamins are an essential component to your baby’s growing health. You should always have the recommended brand of prenatal vitamins on hand. To avoid any health problems, be sure to bring any prescription medications you may have.
  3. Closed-toe shoes are a must if you plan to venture outside of your car. Comfortable shoes are essential for a comfortable trip.
  4. Additional water: Water is a great choice for pregnant mothers and growing babies. Experts recommend 64 to 96 ounces of fluids each day to pregnant women. Dehydration can also be caused by travel. Make sure you have enough water bottles to stay hydrated.
  5. Antibacterial wipes: The Coronavirus has shown the importance of keeping things clean. Before you hit the road, make sure to have your antibacterial wipes with you. You can use several EPA-recommended disinfectants during stops and bathroom breaks.
  6. Pregnancy Pops: When nausea strikes, pregnancy pops and other anti-nausea medications are essential. Morning sickness is a common side effect of pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about the best treatments and stock up on medications before you leave town.
  7. Lip balm/lotion for pregnant mothers: It’s a good idea to share your nutrients with your baby. Chapped lips can be very common. To help reduce the irritation caused by pregnancy, choose a chapstick or lip balm with extra-moisturizing shea butter and coconut oil.
  8. Compression socks: These socks can be used to massage the muscles and reduce swelling. Compression socks can not only reduce swelling but also reduce the risk of developing blood clots if you sit for long periods. They can also prevent variegate veins.
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Ask your doctor if you need any additional items to make traveling more enjoyable.

Road trips during pregnancy

You can purchase additional items to ensure comfort if you’re planning on taking a long trip.

Here are some tips to help you stay comfortable

Even with the best vehicle, it is possible to feel the effects of driving after just a few hours. These items will make your trip more enjoyable.

  • A travel pillow is a must. A lumbar pillow can be a great option. It will support your back and relieve pressure from your spine. Many travel pillows can be easily inflated and deflated while on the move.
  • Keep hydrated. Stay hydrated if you spend a lot of time on the road. If you are traveling to an area that has extreme temperatures like the tropics and desert, it is important to drink water.
  • Before and during your trip, eat well. You can pack nuts, raisins, whole-grain pretzels and pregnancy snack bars to ensure you have enough food. You and your baby can feel less nausea with healthy, nutritious snacks.
  • Make sure you take lots of breaks. Pregnant women need more breaks than other road users. A 15-minute break is recommended for every 1-2 hours. This will ensure healthy blood flow and allow you to use the restroom, grab a snack, and stretch your legs.
  • You should have a full tank. A pregnant woman doesn’t want to be left stranded by the side of the road. So make sure you fill up your tank before you leave for the highway. Keep an eye on your gas tank and make sure you fill up before you travel, especially if gas stations are scarcer in rural areas.
  • Your comfiest maternity clothing is a must. You might feel uncomfortable when traveling, so be sure to pack the right clothes. Slip-on shoes are not recommended. Choose soft, comfortable knits that can be adjusted to your growing body.
  • Avoid traveling to remote areas. In remote areas, gas may not be available. There may not be enough medical care nearby if you are pregnant or have a medical problem.
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Bottom line

It is very likely that the number of travelers will increase as more Americans get the coronavirus vaccination. This means that pregnant women need to take safety precautions while away from their babies. These measures can also be used to help you travel more frequently in your community during pregnancy.

Although there are still many travel advisory, certain vacation destinations are better suited for pregnant women. It is a good idea check for COVID infections, travel advisories, as well as any potential risks to your health and travel. Mothers of expecting mothers need to be close to medical services. A rural area without adequate resources and cell phone service can pose a risk to their baby.

Packing is another important part of preparation. Make an appointment to see your mechanic and get your car ready for travel. You will need to bring your own carry-on bags so that you have all of your comfort and favorite snacks close at hand.

After the rollercoaster ride of COVID, we all need to take a break. Moms who are pregnant need to be prepared before they set off on the road.