Is It Safe To Travel By Bus During Pregnancy?

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Traveling is an unavoidable aspect of our lives these days, whether for business, a doctor’s appointment, or a vacation. However, new mothers may be apprehensive about traveling long distances by public transportation. This post helps you prepare for such situations.

Read this post to learn whether it is safe to travel by bus during pregnancy, the risks associated with it, and some tips for safe bus travel during this time.

Is It Safe To Travel By Bus During Pregnancy? What Are The Risks Associated With It?

The best time to travel is mid-pregnancy (14 to 28 weeks). But travel may not be recommended for women who have pregnancy complications. If you are planning a trip, talk to your obstetrician-gynecologist (Ob-Gyn). Get your check-up done before you leave for long-distance travel on a bus.

There are also a few risks involved with bus travel during pregnancy. Bus journeys are uncomfortable for some expectant moms.

1. If you are traveling a long distance or get stuck in a traffic jam, you cannot get up and move around often; this can put you at risk for blood clots (1) and varicose veins.

2. In case you are traveling on a vacation by bus, sleeping while sitting upright can be really uncomfortable. In fact, it can also lead to swelling in your legs.

3. The biggest worry in bus travel during pregnancy is the need to use the washroom, especially if you are traveling in an air conditioned bus.

4. During travel one gets thirsty more often, so you are likely to be drinking more water which can leave you wanting to run to the bathroom at the earliest.

5. Lack of a seat belt can also put you and your belly at risk of getting hurt, in case of sudden and hard braking or deep potholes on the road.

Tips For Safe Bus Travel During Pregnancy:

Though traveling by bus during pregnancy has a few minor shortcomings, there are ways you can make your journey comfortable and relaxed.

1. Be Transparent: Traveling particularly during office hours can be quite a pain with buses being crowded and every one seeming to be in a hurry.

  • Always inform the bus conductor or your co-passengers that you are pregnant so that you can save yourself from being pushed around.
  • Also, if you are traveling long journey out of station, informing the bus service about your pregnancy can help them facilitate a good seat and extra support to make your journey less tiring and risky.

2. Keep ‘Em Handy: Pack your food and water in a handy manner when planning a long journey by bus (2). Avoid carrying oily items like chips that could aggravate nausea and stick to a lot of citrus fruits and drinks.

  • Eat cautiously and at regular intervals as you will already feel full due to lack of activity. Also, stick to bottled water and avoid drinking water from unknown sources.
  • Keep bags handy for motion sickness as buses will generally not stop at random locations.

3. Seating Choices: If you can request and get a seating option, it is ideal to take an aisle seat so that you can move out of your seat without crawling over with too much effort.

  • Keep neck and back pillow handy particularly in case of overnight bus travels to avoid straining your body.
  • Avoid front and back rows as they are riskier in case of a crash. If you get a chance and find two seats vacant do sit with your legs up to stretch your body.

4. Use The Stopovers: Every time the bus stops for breaks, take the opportunity to use restrooms and walk or stretch a little (2).

  • Sitting for too long can make your body stiff and stretching at breaks can help you relieve the stiffness.
  • Do not go alone to restrooms or to stretch your legs. Seek the help of a fellow passenger, or go in a group

5. Travel With A Buddy: An important tip that goes without saying is to try and travel a long distance with someone and avoid traveling alone.

  • Keep your partner’s and doctor’s number on speed dial so that you can contact them immediately in case of any emergency.
  • If you do decide to travel alone by bus, don’t get tense; take all necessary precautions and travel relaxed with some light soothing music for you to cherish.

Any travel plans must be undertaken with extra caution during pregnancy, especially during the first and third trimesters. During pregnancy, long-distance travel by bus can be uncomfortable and increases the risk of swelling in the legs, blood clots, and varicose veins. Since buses lack seat belts, sudden brakes can also put your bump at risk. However, if bus travel is unavoidable, opt for an aisle seat to move about more easily. Also, pick a seat in the middle rows since it may be less jerky. In addition, we recommend checking with your doctor before you travel.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can travel by bus lead to a miscarriage?

Pregnancy termination might depend on many factors and not just by traveling. Therefore, traveling by bus might not lead to a miscarriage. However, since there is an increased risk of miscarriages during the first trimester, your doctor might advise you to avoid traveling during that time (3).

2. Which mode of travel is safe during pregnancy?

The safety of travel during pregnancy might be dependent on your pregnancy and the presence of any complications. Generally, traveling by air is considered safe before 36 weeks of pregnancy (4). If you wish to make travel plans, it is recommended to consult your OB-GYN and seek their advice on the mode of transportation suitable for you.

3. Is a long journey safe during pregnancy?

A long journey might not be advisable during pregnancy as it might cause exhaustion. Take frequent stops throughout the journey, and stretch your legs when you feel tired. If a long journey isn’t avoidable, consult your doctor before traveling to check if the journey is safe.

References:

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Mitha Shameer

Mitha is passionate about writing on topics related to women and children. She loves to present the brighter side of life to her readers in the form of her articles. She writes on games, stories, arts & craft, celebrations and more for MomJunction. When she isn't glued to online shopping websites, she loves reading books and watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Dr. Anita Gupta

(MS)
Dr Anita Gupta is currently working in University College of Medical Sciences (Medical School) & Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Delhi. She has been practicing as a gynecologist & obstetrician for the past 31 years and as a lactation consultant for 18 years. Dr. Gupta is a fellow of Indian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and a master trainer and course... more

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