Finding out your partner is pregnant triggers a slow-burning, 9-month panic. That’s because it feels like freedom as you know it will soon be obliterated. And it will be! So even if you weren’t necessarily a lonely-planet globe-trotter, you may want to hit the road with your better half to get a few more kicks before the due date. Plus, when else can you drive 500 miles with two people in the passenger seat without the coppers knowing?
If you are hitting the open road for a babymoon (it’s a thing people do) or otherwise, here are some tips to make sure it’s a fond memory and not a terrible mistake.
Before you embark on any trip, car or not, check with your doctor to make sure everyone is fit enough for travel. Most doctors will say it’s okay to roll up until about 24 weeks, when comfort and distance from the hospital might start giving everyone pause. After all, you don’t want to deliver a baby on the highway. Unless you always wanted to be on local news. Local news eats that stuff up.
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Seat belts are also a must. She should sling the lap belt snugly under her abdomen and the chest belt should go between her breasts (lucky guy!) and over her shoulder. If you should get into a fender-bender, no matter how minor, she should see a doctor ASAP.
There are some who worry about volatiles being gassed-off in newer cars, as well as chemicals associated with car air-fresheners. If it’s a concern for you or your partner take the first few miles with the windows down before hitting the A/C or heat. Besides that pine tree does not smell like a forest, no matter how much you think it does.
Comfort, Also First
She’ll be most comfortable if she moves the seat all the way back and places a small box under her feet. This will give her room to shift and keep the back of her legs off the seat, which will help with blood flow and give you a great excuse to not pick up hitchhikers like you normally do.
In terms of your driving, maybe try not to pretend you’re Jeremey Clarkson (feel free to continue being a hilarious jerk in all other instances, though). The reason for this is two-fold: you want to be safe and you don’t want to make her puke. Engage a constant speed. Cruise-control is your friend.
Keep your drive time to at most 6 hours a day. Physicians recommend getting out to stretch legs and take a little walk about every hour and a half. Depending on how far along she is, this might be perfectly timed to her bladder. After all she’ll need to keep hydrated. Okay, maybe a road trip wasn’t a good idea after all.
Keep your travel plans as flexible as possible. If you’re booking rooms ahead of time, maybe go with someplace that offers no cancellation fees, just in case plans need to change. Also, keep routes and itinerary flexible. Try to plan as best you can for construction zones. They might keep you stopped when you need to go. And plan for road conditions that could be bumpy or otherwise uncomfortable. Like taking the route past her parents place and not stopping.
Exorcising your wanderlust before the kid comes is ideal. Or, just hope your new baby is born to be wild. In which case you can just keep your motor runnin’.