Car Travel During Your Twin Pregnancy
Whether traveling for work or play, most women pregnant with twins or more will need to take at least one long car trip during their pregnancy.
Car travel during pregnancy is safe as long as you don't have any restrictions on long trips from your doctor and you build enough time into to your trip to allow for frequent breaks.
If you doctor restricts car travel during your pregnancy and it's an important part of your job, you may want to talk about your boss about alternatives. For instance, if you work in sales, maybe your boss can arrange it so you work a closer territory for a few months before you return to work.
Keep the following tips in mind when traveling by car:
Always wear your seat belt - While some people think you can harm your babies by wearing a seat belt, it's actually more dangerous not to wear one. Wearing your seat belt properly positioned is the best way to ensure the safety of you and your babies in the event of an accident.
Make sure the lap belt is securely fastened below your belly and snug across your thighs. Never wear the belt across or above your stomach. If you are in an accident, a belt in this position can cause the placenta to tear away from the uterus. The shoulder belt should be positioned over your shoulder and between your breasts.
Take frequent breaks - Build time into your trip for frequent stops to use the restroom and stretch your legs. Your feet will tend to swell when sitting for long periods of time so you should plan to stop every 60 to 90 minutes on long strips to keep the blood circulating properly.
Pack travel essentials - It can be difficult to stay comfortable when you're pregnant and have to sit in one place for a long period of time, especially when you're pregnant with twins or more. Bringing along some travel essentials can help make your trip a little more pleasant. Some things you may consider bringing include:
- Bottled water to prevent dehydration
- Healthy snacks
- Tissues and/or moist towelettes
- Slippers or socks to wear when you're the passenger
- Pillows and a neck pillow to position yourself comfortably and if you want to take a nap
- Books, magazine, an iPod with your favorite music, writing materials, etc. to help keep you occupied
- Any needed medications plus your emergency contact and health history information
- Waterproof bags for motion sickness (if you are having issues)
Sit as far back from airbags as possible - Currently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reviewing the effect of air bags on pregnant women. At this time, they recommend that pregnant women sit back as far from the air bag as possible.
Don't travel alone if possible - A travel companion can do some or all of the driving, be available to help in the event of an emergency, and generally keep you company on a long trip. If you must travel alone, make sure you always have a charged cell phone with you . You might also want to check in with your spouse or a friend every so often along the way so someone has a general idea of your location at all times.
See your doctor if you are in an accident - If you are involved in a traffic accident, seek immediate treatment as needed and contact your regular doctor as soon as possible. Even if you feel fine and the accident was minor, it's a good idea to let your doctor know so they can make sure that you and your baby are fine.
Tips for air travel during pregnancy. . .
General tips for traveling during your twin pregnancy. . .