Are you scared of Driving while pregnant ? Every parent is worried about how to protect their little muffin even while he is “still in the oven”. Pregnancy comes with a long list of do’s and don’ts.
What about driving while pregnant?
Do you wear a seat belt?
Do you go without?
Do you just start walking everywhere?
Do you start to work from home and have everything you need delivered to you?
What precautions should be taken when driving while pregnant?
If you keep worrying about these questions, don’t worry and read on to know all about it.
For most pregnant women there’s no reason why you can’t carry on driving as normal. You may have to stop a bit more often for washroom breaks or to rub your tummy, have a walk or stretch to relieve any body ache. Other than these common problems associated with pregnancy, driving while pregnant is considered safe.
However, during the last few months of your pregnancy when your bump grows large you would find it difficult to enter and exit a car, specially because the steering wheel would get in the way.
Although there isn’t any rule as such, most pregnant women end up avoiding to drive around 30 weeks and prefer somebody else to drive, just because it is usually easier and comfortable to take a back seat.
What’s really important to know is that you should be really careful while driving while pregnant, since you may experience insomnia, stress, nausea or fatigue during pregnancy which might be responsible for a driver error.
Here are some tips that would help you stay safe when you are driving while pregnant:
Try to Be a passenger: Try not to drive when possible, specially when your bump grows and gets closer to the steering wheel.
Getting in the car: Bend a little and sit on the car seat first. Next you Should lean a little and raise your legs into your car.
Getting out: After the door is open, turn a little in your seat and place one of your leg out and ensure that you are stable. Lean back and place your other leg out. Next with the car door’s support or of someone standing up, get out of the car. This way there will be really less amount of pressure placed on your bump and back.
Put the Windows down first: Never turn the air conditioner on immediately after sitting in the car. A closed car ends up trapping various gasses that might be harmful for you and your baby.
Keep the car windows open for the first few minutes which would allow all harmful gasses to escape. After a few minutes you may roll up the windows and turn the air conditioner on.
Keep a check on how you feel: As mentioned above, pregnancy brings along with it symptoms like nausea, fatigue, lack of focus, etc. which could be responsible for errors. So ensure that you keep a check on how you feel, before you leave your house. In case you feel any of the above symptoms avoid driving and ask someone to drive for you, or wait until you feel better.
Drink some water, eat something, take some rest and see how you feel.
Ask yourself are you feeling more awake and focused? If so, go ahead and travel safe.
Get a car essential kit handy: You would most likely feel more thirsty and hungry because of the changes your body is going through. Hence its best to be prepared. A car essential kit should include a bottle of drinking water, some healthy snacks (preferably something which has less salt content), a puke bag ( in case you feel like throwing up), some wet wipes, your prenatal vitamins and anything else that you feel you might need.
Wear comfortable shoes: Ideally one should be wearing comfortable shoes during pregnancy. Wear flat shoes since they are comfortable and they go easy on swollen feet and also support your back.
Wear simple clothes: It’s best to wear loose fitted clothes while travelling, since tight clothes can cause risk of developing clots. Also choose clothes that would allow you to use the washroom easily, since the frequency to use the same would be high.
Cut down on any distractions: While you are pregnant there’s a lot that goes on in your mind and body, so keep any kind of additional distraction at bay. Keep away from your mobile phone and music system. You should be extra cautious or not drive at all in case of any inclement weather condition or when it’s expected to have high traffic.
Take breaks frequently: Stop, stretch and take a little walk if you will be in the car for several hours. You should anyways be stopping often for your washroom breaks. This will get the blood moving and you would feel more alert.
Position your bump far back from the steering wheel: When you have to drive, move your seat as far back as is comfortable. Try to position yourself in a way that your breastbone is at least 10 inches from the steering wheel. If you have an option in your car, move steering wheel towards your breastbone rather than your abdomen.
Wear the seat belt in a correct manner: Wear your seat-belt with the lap portion placed under your abdomen and around your upper thighs, never over or above the belly and as low as possible towards your hips. The safety belt should be snug and the shoulder straps should run across the chest.
Don’t place it behind your back or under your arm.
Remove any extra layers: Remove any coats of jackets, as it may interfere with the seat belt’s placement.
Keep car perfume away: Car perfumes are considered to be bad for the little one inside you.
Drive slow on bumpy roads: Be careful while maneuvering your car on pothole ridden bumpy roads and avoid as many potholes as possible.
Airbags are life saver: For optimal protection ensure that you wear your seat-belt even if your bar has airbags. It’s benefit would outweigh any risk to your pregnancy.
It’s believed that the side airbags don’t pose any risk to the passengers, just remember to avoid resting against the side air bag storage compartment, in case it deploys suddenly.
Always be prepared for an emergency: It’s adviced to carry your medical documents, emergency numbers of the place you are traveling to, your doctor’s number and any medication that you might need in an emergency. Remember to contact your doctor immediately in case of an emergency.
Being prepared is always best.
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