The news that you are expecting a baby is very exciting and often a big surprise. But the arrival or due date, can clash with pre-arranged events and or holidays, so what do you do? If you are heading overseas, depending on the trimester, it may not be possible and your plans will have to be postponed.
Other factors may be: You’ve had complications from previous pregnancies and or have pre-existing health conditions which need close monitoring. It could be your first pregnancy and you are unsure or you prefer the comfort of your own home and surroundings. However, if your holiday is a planned road trip it still may be possible, right? Well yes, of course!
Realistically there are only a small few who would be happy to continue with their road trip plans if they happen to fall around the due date, but would you do it?
Three on the way
Earlier in 2017 three of us (from my partner’s side) found out we were expecting, and all at the end of the year. My due date was late November, followed 2 or 3 weeks later by one sister in law and then the third right between Christmas and New Year. Right on time for our big family Christmas get together.
Our baby boy was born November 23rd so our travel plans stayed the same. However, the kudos here goes to my sister in law because, despite learning that her due date was late December, she and her partner, along with their soon to be 3-year-old daughter, decided to continue with plans to travel from Taranaki all the way to Southland! Determined and not one to miss out on family gatherings, she made it happen and at 38 weeks! After much deliberation prior to their trip, heaps of planning and making it all the way down south in one piece.
Miss Piriaroha Raven was born on January 2nd sharing her big sisters birthday in the beautiful central South Island town of Alexandra, weighing a healthy 8lb 3oz. Thankfully everything worked out beautifully.
The craziness of Christmas and New Years with all the family was over so mum only had to focus on bringing baby into the world peacefully, and she did!! And lucky for all of us, we were able to celebrate this special time. It’s not often that everyone meets the new arrival all at once!
Sure their decision was a big one to make and they were miles away from home but you know what? It doesn’t have to be that daunting, but you need to prepare!!
Here are our Ten Tips for road tripping when expecting.
1. Talk to your Midwife and or GP
Yes, this should be the first thing to do as they will give you much-needed advice. In some cases, it just won’t be possible, especially if you have any medical conditions and need to stay put. But if you are fit, healthy and confident it should be fine, it really is up to you and how you feel. You will know your own body.
2. Get to work and start planning!
If you’ve been given the green light, start mapping out and contact leading maternity health carers who are on the route, particularly if you are in your final weeks. Also, contact and arrange a midwife for your destination and pre-book into the birthing unit. Keep note of locations and phone numbers. It’s important to do this as soon as you can. Ask other family or friends who are familiar with the area to help you with this too.
3. Have a travel buddy
Obviously, if it’s a family holiday, you will either have your husband, partner or another family member accompany you, but regardless, don’t travel alone. You will need to be prepared for birth at any time and having a support person is a must.
4. Keep your energy up
Make sure you have plenty of water, keep hydrated, take light healthy snacks and keep your energy levels up as much as possible. Pregnancy can be so exhausting and not much can really help that, but good food and plenty of water will give you some energy at least.
5. Break as often as possible
Stop often, no doubt you will need to anyway with the baby already putting shitloads of pressure on your bladder, so no doubt there will be plenty of toilet stops. Take the opportunity to stretch and walk around where possible.
6. Travel with comfort
Take plenty of pillows for comfort. Anyone who is, or has been, pregnant knows just how uncomfortable it can be, so be prepared and travel comfortably.
No doubt you will need to plan for having the baby on holiday. Pre-pack clothes, nappies, car seat and everything you need for a newborn, write a checklist of the essential things to take. Don’t forget the essentials for yourself post delivery either. Pack extra towels just in case.
8. Take your time
Don’t rush. If you need extra time then take it, and enjoy what time you can to relax, because very soon, once baby arrives, you won’t get a lot of time to yourself. If it really is long distance, break up the trip and stay a night at the half-way point or anywhere you might have friends or family. Do not spend too much time in the car.
9. Capture those special moments
Don’t forget your camera! You will need it for the holiday but you will now have a brand new bub and all those special moments to capture.
10. Enjoy your holiday and don’t stress
Don’t stress, even though you are away from your normality and comfort zone, its important to nap and put your feet up as much as possible. By now you would have mentally pre-pared yourself for this, so remember your bub will come when it’s ready. You might make it all the way to your destination and back home again before anything happens but if not, at least you have pre-organised and planned things. Relax where you can and let everyone fuss over you and take care of everything else.
Disclaimer: The information, views and opinions in this piece have been collated from experienced mothers that have chosen to travel at their own risk. Always seek out professional advice when travelling at any stage of your pregnancy.