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Driving While Pregnant : Is It Risky or Not?

  • Safety Tips
  • Natasha Young
  • 7 minutes

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No flying. No hot tubs. No scuba diving. No stunts. No this. Not that. The list goes on. When you’re pregnant, there are a lot of things you are advised to do and not to do. We do know that there is another one on the list, driving. Not everyone has got a lifestyle where they can avoid driving completely so driving more cautiously is the best strategy. In this blog, we have answered all your queries about driving while being pregnant. Read to know more. 

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Can pregnant women drive? 

Absolutely! The majority of daily activities, including driving your car, shouldn’t pose a problem if your pregnancy is not labeled as complicated. Because you’re expecting, you should take extra precautions regardless of what you’re doing.  

When you’re pregnant, your body goes through a lot of physical and psychological changes that you can’t always predict. During the third trimester of pregnancy, these risks increase significantly because the act of driving may not be at its best. Symptoms like morning sickness, sleepiness, and mood swings are common. If you need some attention, then it’s better to avoid the risk.  

Although, driving alone is not recommended either way. Having a passenger along for the ride increases your sense of security. When you’re tired or nauseous, this will be very helpful. Consider having company while driving as a necessity. 

When should you stop driving when you are pregnant? 

As long as you are comfortable, can reach everything you need in your car, and safely maneuver the car, you can drive throughout your pregnancy. When you no longer feel safe and comfortable behind the wheel, it is advised to stop driving. That’s why many pregnant women refrain from driving for the final month of their pregnancy. But if your belly is already in contact with your steering wheel, before the final months, we recommend you exercise some caution. 

Shit People Say to Pregnant Women, Especially in India

Seat belt safety while pregnant 

Pregnant women should always wear their seatbelts while driving, even if they’re not in danger. Even if road accidents occur, there is only a minor risk of injury to your baby if you wear your seatbelt correctly. Even if there is a slim chance, the dangers of not wearing a seat belt far outweigh it. Here are a few pointers for safely and comfortably using a car seat belt during your pregnancy. 

  • It’s important to keep the belt’s lap portion tucked under your belly rather than positioned straight across. 
  • Stay as far away as possible from the steering wheel while still having easy access to your vehicle’s most important controls like the brakes and gear shift. 
  • Adjust the steering wheel’s angle upward so that the bottom of the wheel isn’t parallel to your abdomen. 
  • Take a moment to check the position of the belt’s shoulder strap (over your shoulder and down the center of your chest).  
  • Also, you might be able to use a seat belt positioner if it makes you more comfortable. So that it rests on top of your thighs rather than under your belly, this feature allows you to attach your lap belt in the middle of your legs rather than on one side. To make sure this is safe for you, consult your OB-GYN first. pregnant woman in driving seat

Driving long distances while pregnant  

Pregnant women may benefit from long-distance driving, which can provide a much-needed break. These trips can be extremely beneficial to you if you follow a few simple guidelines. 

  • When driving on slick surfaces, use extra caution and drive at or below the posted speed limit. 
  • Avoid nighttime driving as much as possible. If necessary, make a stopover at a nearby hotel for the night. 
  • Pregnancy is not the time to put your exploration skills to the test. Use a GPS to get you where you need to go. 
  • Take frequent breaks from driving long distances, both for your and your car’s sake. 
  • Don’t keep waiting for a gas station to appear down the road. Make sure your car’s fluids are full and the oil is fresh before you hit the highways. 
  • It is imperative that you have your vehicle serviced in advance of your trip if it hasn’t been for a long time. Before you leave, make a quick check of your essentials and have a few backups on hand. 
  • Driving for long periods of time can strain your muscles. Take advantage of the opportunity to stretch whenever possible. 
  • In the event of an emergency, you may need to consult any prenatal reports you have with you in the car. 
  • In the event that your back or butt is in need of additional support, consider using a hot-water bag or an additional cushion. 
  • If your vehicle encounters a snag, it’s imperative that you have the proper tools to get it back on the road. 
  • A highway restroom may not be the most sanitary. At all times, bring your own toilet paper and sanitizer.

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Pregnancy and Driving: Safety Tips 

Most pregnant women are able to drive safely. It is possible, however, to increase the level of security even further by following a few simple guidelines and precautions. 

Obey all traffic laws

If the roads or lanes appear empty, you may be accustomed to speeding up or juking up the lights. Even if no one is around, refrain from doing so. You could be jerked by a random object on the road, which could cause damage to your vehicle and your body. 

Prioritize comfortable clothing  

When driving, make sure you’re dressed in a way that allows your legs to move freely and doesn’t constrict the rest of your body, no matter where you’re going. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, you can always make a change. 

Maintain a high level of energy 

Snack bars and other easy-to-consume food items can help keep you going when you’re feeling low on energy or hungry while you’re driving. Choose foods that will help you stay awake and alert while also being nutritious, light, and tasty. 

Drink plenty of water 

Manage your thirst as well as your energy and hunger. Keep multiple water bottles if you need, or pair them with a juice box or so. In order to avoid drinking your beverage with your eyes off the road, make sure you have a straw handy. 

Keep your phone handy 

When leaving the house, make sure you have a car charger or a power bank to recharge your phone. Avoid touching your phone while driving by using the stereo system or a Bluetooth headset. 

Prepare for the unknown

Even if your car is well-maintained and in excellent working order, something could go wrong at the most inconvenient time. Make sure you know what to do if you get a flat tire or your car breaks down, and keep emergency phone numbers handy in case you need assistance. 

Don’t skimp on airbags 

Don’t skimp on the cost of airbags when you’re shopping for a new car. In the event that a seat does not already have one, consider installing an additional one. It is possible that an airbag could save your life at any given moment.

Don’t forget to buckle up 

Wearing a seatbelt is mandatory, even if it causes discomfort in the lower abdomen. Use a pregnancy attachment to extend your current ones if necessary. 

Maintain a proper seat height  

Make sure your seat is at a comfortable height if your stomach keeps getting in the way of the steering. But don’t lower it so low that it becomes difficult for you to see the road. 

Always choose better roads 

There may be faster ways to get to your final destination if you just take the shorter route. However, if the roads are in poor condition, take the longer route. If you’re going on a long drive or it’s daylight, wear sunglasses or a windshield visor to keep the sun out of your eyes.  

driving while pregnant

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