Pregnancy

Travelling By Bus During Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Obstetrician and Gynaecologist )
View more Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Our Panel of Experts

If you’re pregnant, then you need to exercise caution in whatever you do – travelling being one of them.  Whether you’ve to travel out of town or it’s your daily commute to work, and you’re considering travelling by bus, then you must find out if it’s actually safe. In this article, we will tell you the pros and cons of travelling via bus during pregnancy. We will also give you some essential tips that you can follow so that you have a safe and comfortable road journey.

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Is It Safe to Travel By Bus During Pregnancy?

Travelling by bus (or road travel of any kind) during pregnancy is mostly safe provided you be careful and follow certain rules. If the roads of your city are bumpy and there’s unbearable traffic, and the bus you take is usually crowded, then your bus travel can be physically taxing for you. In such cases, you should avoid travelling by bus. Furthermore, you should be extra careful in your first and third trimesters as these are the crucial months of pregnancy. In case you’re planning to travel by bus during pregnancy, you must check with your doctor first and plan accordingly.

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Risks Associated With Travelling By Bus During Pregnancy

There are a few risks involved with travelling by bus during pregnancy which you should be aware of.

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  1. Sitting for long hours in the bus can cause swelling in your feet. You may find it difficult to relax or sleep while sitting in an upright position.
  2. Sitting for long hours in the bus may put you at the risk of having blood clots.
  3. As there are no seat belts on the bus, you may experience jolts and jerks constantly, which may not be good for your baby’s health. Lack of seat belts can increase the risk of accidents too.
  4. Bus travels can be utterly exhausting and discomforting in pregnancy. The entire process of waiting for the bus, sitting on the bus and the long travel hours can put you at great discomfort and uneasiness.

Precautions to Take for Bus Journey During Pregnancy

If you have to travel on a bus in your pregnancy, then it is important that you take the following precautions:

1. Do Not Stand in a Moving Bus

It’s best that you don’t stand on a moving bus. Other than the risk of falling down and losing balance, there’s also a risk of being pushed by another passenger. If you don’t find a seat, ask someone else for their seat, but avoid standing.

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2. Be Open About Your Pregnancy

The best thing you can do is inform the people around you and the bus conductor that you’re pregnant, especially in your first trimester (as your bump won’t be visible during this time). By informing the bus conductor, you will get help as and when required and even the driver will be more careful on the road.

3. Choose a Comfortable Seat

Try to find a seat in the middle (or front) of the bus while commuting to work and opt for a front seat in case of a long journey. Take the aisle seat for more leg space and for moving around easily when the bus stops.

4. Travel With a Family Member or a Friend

If it’s a long journey, it’s best that you travel with a family member or a friend. You may require assistance with different things, so it’s best that you have a person whom you can trust. In case, you’ve to travel alone, pack light and keep your emergency contact on you at all times. Also, keep your doctor’s number on speed dial.

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5. Pack Your Food and Water

If it’s going to be a long journey by bus, then might we suggest that you refrain from eating outside food. Make safe choices while pregnant – carry home-cooked food and a water bottle with you. Eat healthy – avoid fried or spicy foods while travelling as it may cause nausea or heartburn.

6. Move Around Whenever Possible

If you’re going out of town by bus, there will be halts, of course. Make sure you get out of the bus at a halt and move around. Use the washroom and move around for a while to relieve any kind of muscle stiffness and to stretch your arms and legs.

Some Tips to Make Your Bus Journey More Comfortable

Mentioned below are some useful tips that will make your bus journey comfortable during pregnancy:

  • No matter how important it is for you to board a bus but never ever try to board a moving bus. This can be extremely dangerous and may result in severe consequences.
  • Keep yourself alert and cautious at all times because there are usually no seatbelts on buses and the bus ride can get rough on bumpy roads.
  • Make sure you are seated somewhere in the middle section of the bus as this would keep you safer in case of any kind of crash.
  • Travelling by a non-air-conditioned bus may expose you to dust and fumes. So if it’s feasible for you, travel in an air-conditioned bus.
  • Make sure you keep all your emergency contacts on you at all times.
  • Make sure you travel light in case you are travelling solo. Lifting heavy luggage can be very dangerous in pregnancy.
  • Do not carry any valuable items with you and if you must then remain vigilant and take care of your belongings. Do not wear expensive jewellery that may attract any pickpockets.
  • Carry wet wipes or hand sanitizers with you to lower your chances of contracting any infections.
  • Sometimes longer route buses may have the facility of onboard toilets. In case you feel the urge or need to use the onboard toilet make deliberate efforts to keep up with your balance while using it.

Tips on Food and Drinks Consumption While Travelling By Bus During Pregnancy

Keep yourself well hydrated while travelling as dehydration may cause complications in pregnancy. There is a likelihood that you may not feel like eating or drinking at all while travelling, but don’t skip your meals or snacks. Avoid eating anything with more oil or fat content, and stick to light and easily digestible food items. Find out what you should eat and drink while travelling by bus.

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  • Carry home-cooked food and filtered drinking water with you. You can pack a vegetable sandwich, stuffed parantha, curd rice, etc. You can also pack some homemade lemonade or ginger ale.
  • Pack fresh fruits such as apple, bananas and oranges with you. Fresh fruits shall provide you with energy and also offer various nutrients that are needed during pregnancy. In case you have missed packing fruits for your travel, you can buy them too but make sure you wash them thoroughly before consuming. Also, do not consume already cut fruits or vegetables.
  • Carrying some roasted dry fruits is a good option to control hunger pangs. However, avoid eating them in large amounts as they may increase the body heat.
  • You may also carry packed biscuits or roasted namkeen. Though you should not consume them too much as eating more of sugary and fried food items may make you feel sick or nauseous.
  • If you have to buy something to eat, then it is recommended that you buy packed food items only. Packed food items are generally safer than unpacked ones and may pose less risk to you and your baby. Make sure you check for the manufacturing and expiry date on the label.
  • You can have coconut water or packed fruit juices too.
  • Always wash your hands or sanitize your before consuming any food items to avoid catching any infections.
  • If you do not consume home-cooked food within three to four hours of its packing, then it is recommended that you do not consume it as it may no longer be fit for consumption, especially during summers.

Some Alternatives That You Can Consider

Here are some alternative options that you may consider if you don’t want to travel by bus:

  • For your daily commute to work, check if you can carpool with your friends. This option is not only viable but also very economical.
  • You may ask your husband, friends or relatives to drive you to work.
  • If you have a facility of metro trains in your city, then opt for them. Metro trains are not only fast but can save you from bumpy bus rides.
  • You can also make use of online cab services.
  • If possible postpone all your long-distance travel until you reach the second trimester of your pregnancy. If you cannot postpone your travel, consider travelling by train or by air.

Travelling during the first trimester by bus should be avoided. However, if the situation demands it, you can follow the tips mentioned above and have a safe road journey during pregnancy!

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Also Read: Travelling by Car during Pregnancy

This post was last modified on May 5, 2020 1:25 pm

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