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Tips For Traveling Long Distance By Bus In Your Third Trimester

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For many women, the third trimester of their pregnancy is fraught with aches, pains, Braxton Hicks contractions and seemingly-endless trips to the bathroom. The last thing you want to do is travel, but sometimes, it's inevitable. You've decided that the most economical and convenient option available is to travel by bus, but you aren't exactly looking forward to the cramped quarters and infrequent stops. Don't let your growing baby bump and swollen feet stop you from enjoying the last few months of your pregnancy and instead, here are a few tips to help you travel by bus more comfortably:

Before The Ride

First and foremost, it's important to speak to your physician to determine if traveling during the last trimester of your pregnancy is a good idea. Make sure the doctor knows what type of travel you are utilizing; charter bus services and cars present different scenarios. In some cases, your doctor will advise against any long distance travel if you're past 37 weeks, or if you're suffering from any complications, such as gestational diabetes.

If you've been cleared, it's time to plan ahead to ensure the trip is as comfortable as possible. Here are a few tips to help ensure you're riding in style, instead of wishing you were home in bed:

  • Choose Your Destination Wisely – Whether you're traveling by car, bus or train, American Pregnancy urges expectant mothers to choose a destination that is no more than five to six hours away. Any further and you risk having your baby at an unfamiliar hospital. 

  • It's All About What You Pack – Help ensure the ride is more bearable, and less filled with foot cramps and motion sickness, by packing correctly. Fill a bag with everything you'll need to stay as comfortable as possible, including a pillow, healthy snacks, plenty of water, a book, tablet or any other distraction and antibacterial wipes.

  • In Case of Emergency – Ask your doctor to provide you with a copy of your prenatal care record and bring it along with your insurance information. Also, investigate the location of the nearest hospital with a maternity ward. If you do go into labor, it will be much safer and less stressful if you have a plan.

While You're On the Bus

Your ticket is bought and you're ready to take your last mini-adventure before the baby arrives. Grab your bag, scope out the best seat and utilize these tips to help you survive the ride:

  • Push Your Way to the Front of the Line – In many cases, it is first come, first serve in the bus line, which is why it's vital to flaunt your pregnant belly while you nicely ask if you can snag the best seat. Ideally, you should sit somewhere in the middle as close to the bathroom as possible.

  • Get Up and Walk Around Whenever Possible – Standing from a seating position is never an easy task when you're belly is four times its normal size, but it's vital to get up, use the bathroom and walk around at every stop.

  • If You Absolutely Can't Hold It Anymore – It's never advisable to get up and walk around while the bus is moving, but if you absolutely aren't going to make it until the next stop, use whatever you can to safely make it to the bathroom. This could mean holding onto a hand railing, or asking the people in the seats to give you a hand!

Traveling by bus during your third trimester might be slightly uncomfortable, but don't let this spoil your fun. Remember, you're about to travel lugging around a baby in a car seat, so take this last opportunity to enjoy the ride, and the people around you, in peace!