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How to destress your commute

All you need to know about making your commute to work more bearable throughout your pregnancy.
An ever increasing number of us have to travel long distances to get to work, adding unavoidable stress and strain either side of your working day. However, during pregnancy the daily commute can seem even more draining than usual. So, to make your journey to and from work a little happier and the start and end to your day a little healthier we share our top tips for de-stressing your commute.

1. Eat breakfast - Leaving the house hungry is never a good start to the day so make sure you always squeeze in time for a healthy breakfast even if it is on the run. Eating before you travel or even taking a nutritious snack to munch on the way will help to boost your blood sugar levels, giving you the energy you need to get through the day and helping to ensure that your baby is getting the supply of nutrients he or she needs to develop. Try to combine carbohydrates and protein in your breakfast meal for maximum benefit, yogurt and granola or peanut butter on toast are good 'on the move' options.

2. Think comfy - If you have to dress smartly for work it can be tempting to dash out the house all suited and booted however, it's a good idea to plan ahead and consider whether what you're wearing is going to make for a comfortable commute. Trainers will almost always be more comfortable than 'work shoes' even if you're not a fan of high heels and these will also give you a more stable base when you're running for the bus or standing on the train. Wearing comfortable trousers and a t-shirt and changing completely when you get to work will help you to feel fresh and uncrumpled when you get to the office.

3. Ask for a seat - Unfortunately the days when other commuters would give up their seat for a pregnant traveler seems to be long gone (largely because political correctness seems to have made offering your seat on the train or bus a bit of a taboo for fear of causing offence) however, spending a long time standing in one place can cause you to feel light headed and dizzy not to mention make you susceptible to being knocked and pushed against by commuters in a hurry. So, the easy solution is to bite the bullet and ask for a seat; your request will more than likely be met and, should someone dare refuse then they will be the one glowered at not you.

4. Beat nausea - Morning sickness and a long commute really don't go hand in hand and while it can be tempting to give food a miss try snacking on nuts, crackers or a banana to settle your stomach. Taking a handkerchief or tissue spritzed with peppermint can provide a breath of fresh air when you need it most and wearing acupressure travel bands may also help to relieve the nausea a little until you get to work.

5. Tune in -Listening to soothing music can help you to feel calm despite the rush around you so it can be a really good idea to plug yourself in to your favourite tunes and de-stress whether you're taking the train, bus or driving.

6. Sip don't gulp - There is nothing more uncomfortable than a full bladder, especially if there is no toilet en route to your place of work and your baby has taken to practicing acrobatics. However, it's still really important that you stay hydrated. A good compromise can be taking a bottle of water with you and sipping it slowly throughout your journey, then topping up your levels when you get to work rather than having a lot to drink before you leave the house.

7. Shift your day - If it's traveling in rush hour that makes your commute unbearable then try asking your employer if you can shift your working hours so that you travel to and from work at less busier times as this could make all the difference to your stress levels. While your commute isn't covered under your work's pregnancy risk assessment if it will mean that you'll be happier and more productive when you get to work your boss may agree (especially if the alternative is you taking time off sick). Alternatively, if you have a very long commute you could try asking to work from home a couple of days a week to reduce the burden of travelling.

Do you have any suggestions that you could share with other members to lighten the load of commuting during pregnancy? Why not visit the AskBaby forums and share your ideas with others?

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