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April 22, 2024

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Road-tripping Preggo: I’ve Gotta Pee!

Sitting comfortably in the passenger seat on a long road trip with the family while you're pregnant seems innocent enough, but there's an underlying danger.

23 Weeks & Counting!

It never fails. The time for the family vacation has arrived, and it’s a long drive. A drive that the husband usually wants to make with as few stops as possible. For me, with my pregnant belly protruding out over the seat belt, multiple breaks are a must.

“Yeah, Honey, we’ve gotta stop every two hours on our 10-hour drive to the beach. So what?!” When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go … and the baby treating your bladder like a trampoline doesn’t help the situation. This is something he doesn’t like to hear. But, for the sake of the baby, he’s OK with it. Any other time he’d be like, “We’ve gotta stop again?” That’s usually when the kids have to go potty. I’ve always been pretty good about fewer stops when I’m not pregnant. We drive at night to avoid the frequent stops with the kids, though. But, since we were driving during the night and I was required by the doctor to stop every two hours, it was up to him to wake me up. For good reason, too.

You’re More at Risk for Blood Clots!

According to the March of Dimes, during pregnancy, women are more susceptible to getting blood clots due to the slower blood flow in the legs later in pregnancy and the narrowing of blood vessels around your pelvis and the pressure your uterus is putting there, too. March of Dimes lists all the things that could go wrong with the baby, too, like premature birth, miscarriage, blood clots in the placenta and more.

When you’re pregnant, your doctor will advise you to either avoid long road trips altogether or to make sure you stop every two hours. Even if you don’t have to go to the bathroom — the moment you stand up will change that quickly — it’s important to get the blood circulating in your legs to avoid the risk of getting blood clots. But, I’m not telling this to scare you into having a staycation. Blood clots can be prevented!

During our recent road trip to the beach, we made several stops during the night. If I didn’t have to go to the bathroom or we didn’t need to get gas, we found an easy spot that was well lit for me to get out and stretch and walk around the car for a minute or two. I did knee lifts and simple stretches to get my blood flowing good again. Then back in the car and back on the road without waking the kids. When the kids were awake, they loved that we stopped more often, because that meant they could con their daddy into getting them whatever they wanted from wherever we were. He’s a sucker like that!

So, if you’re planning a road trip while you’re pregnant, the March of Dimes offers these things to remember:

  • It’s best to travel on long road trips during your second trimester because you’re not as queasy with morning sickness like in the first trimester and you’re really not all that comfortable in your third.
  • Wear your seat belt at all times, but do not allow it to be placed over your abdomen — place it under your belly.
  • Stop every two hours to walk around.
  • While in the car, flex your feet and lift your legs to help blood flow.
  • Drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
  • Take healthy snacks with you.
  • Consider wearing compression socks.
  • Wear loose fitting clothing, too!


About the Author

Kiera Ashford - Baby Watch Blog

Kiera Ashford is associate editor of Nashville Parent and mother of two rambunctious kids and a new baby!