Is It Safe To Travel By Bus During Pregnancy?

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.

In This Article

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) to better understand travel restrictions if any. 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.

Long bus rides can increase your risk of blood clots

Image: Shutterstock

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.

protip_icon Quick fact
Expecting women should remain seated while traveling by bus as they are more likely to feel nauseous or faint when traveling by bus (5).
Not wearing a seatbelt can be dangerous during pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

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 a long journey out of the station, check the bus schedule in advance and plan accordingly. Informing the bus service about your pregnancy can help them facilitate a good seat with optimum air conditioning and extra support to make your journey less tiring and risky.

2. Keep ‘Em Handy: Pack your food, water, and medications in a handy manner when planning a long journey by bus. Carrying essential items handy can help ensure proper nutrition and hydration, vital for proper prenatal care (2). Avoid carrying oily items like chips that could aggravate nausea and stick to a lot of citrus fruits and drinks.

Carry your food and water

Image: Shutterstock

  • 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. Wear supportive clothing and avoid heavy lifting while handling luggage.

3. Seating Choices: If you can request and get a comfortable 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 the restroom facility. Also, consider walking or stretching a little to promote blood circulation and prevent the formation of blood clots (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.

protip_icon Point to consider
Buses have small restrooms. To maintain balance while using them, hold on to the rail or seats (2).

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

Consider travelling long distances with a friend or family member

Image: IStock

  • Keep your partner’s and doctor’s number on speed dial as emergency contacts so that you can contact them immediately in case of any emergency. Travel insurance is another important consideration while traveling during pregnancy.
  • If you do decide to travel alone by bus, don’t get tense; take all necessary precautions and listen to some light soothing music to stay calm and relaxed.

protip_icon Quick tip
During pregnancy, the changing center of gravity increases your risk of falling. So, never try to board or exit a moving bus, no matter how late you are.

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 and comfort of travel during pregnancy might depend on your pregnancy and any complications. Generally, air travel is considered safe before 36 weeks of pregnancy, whereas car travel is considered safe throughout pregnancy (4). However, if you want to make travel plans, consulting with your doctor to know about the safest modes of transportation for you is advisable.

3. Is a long journey safe during pregnancy?

A long journey might not be advisable during pregnancy as it might cause exhaustion. However, consult your doctor to know the safe ways to travel if a long journey is unavoidable. Your doctor will advise you to take frequent rest stops throughout the journey and stretch your legs when you feel tired. Wearing compression stocking is a good option to improve blood circulation in the legs and reduce the risk of blood clots.

Infographic: Traveling By Bus During Pregnancy

Bus travel can be a convenient and cost-effective way to get to your destination while pregnant. Nevertheless, taking extra precautions is vital to ensure your safety, comfort, and well-being during pregnancy. This infographic covers essential things to note before traveling by bus when pregnant. Explore!

tips for dafe travel (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Inform the bus conductor and other passengers that you are pregnant to avoid being pushed.
  • Bring a water bottle and snacks with you and avoid eating oily foods that can cause nausea.
  • Consider bringing a friend or your partner with you for support during travel.
  • Keep your doctor’s phone number handy in case of an emergency.
  • When traveling overnight by bus, keep neck pillows nearby and avoid sitting in the front or back rows.

Embarking on a journey while expecting may seem overwhelming, but fear not! Stanford Children’s Health offers invaluable advice in this video to enhance your comfort and safety during pregnancy travels.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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