If you’re pregnant, then jumping behind the wheel and driving may not be high on your priority list, however, it may be a necessity.
Whether you need to get to work, do the shopping or even get to medical appointments, driving while pregnant is something that millions of expectant mothers have to do every single day.
Thankfully, there is rarely a reason for you not to although you must still comply with the rules of driving a car.
There are also lots of myths about driving while pregnant, from whether you should wear a seat belt to advice for disengaging the airbag.
Most of these are absolute nonsense and we will aim to debunk many of these myths with our guide.
In our guide for how to master driving when pregnant, we’re going to tell you what you can and cannot do when you’re behind the wheel during pregnancy.
We will also give you some really important hints and tips which will help you out just in case you come unstuck when you’re out and about.
While this guide isn’t exactly the same as some of our others, we are keeping the format the same to ensure it’s in the consistent feel that you’re used to.
That means, we’ve split it down in to the following sections for you:
Our step-by-step guide for mastering driving when pregnant isn’t a series of steps for how to drive; after all, that doesn’t really change, however, it is a series of points which you should be aware of before jumping behind the wheel.
Always Wear A Seat-Belt:
Despite what some people (and websites) may say, it is compulsory to wear a seat-belt when driving a car – even if you are pregnant!
You should wear a three-point seat-belt as is standard in just about every car on the road in the UK today.
The shoulder strap should fit over your shoulder, down between your breasts and meet the waist strap as it usually would.
The waist strap should be placed as far down on the abdomen as possible, beneath your ‘bump’.
Adjust it as necessary but it should always be in place and fastened.
The only time you will ever get away with not wearing a seat-belt is if you have special medical advice from your doctor not to.
For this, your doctor will give you an exemption certificate.
If you are in possession of one of these, it must always stay in your car.
Adjust The Seat As Required:
If you’re pregnant, it’s likely that your usual seated driving position won’t be as comfortable as it usually is.
This is to be expected.
Adjust your seat to give yourself as much comfort as possible while maintaining reach and visibility of everything you need to drive.
Again, keep that seatbelt on!
Keep The Airbag Engaged:
A lot of so-called advice suggests you should disengage the airbag if you’re driving when pregnant.
This could not be further from the truth.
The benefits of having the airbag go off in the event of an accident far outweigh any negatives, not to mention it can be potentially life-saving for both you and your baby.
Safety should always be paramount in your mind.
Take Regular Stops:
If you’re driving while pregnant, it is natural that you may tire quicker or become uncomfortable much sooner than you ordinarily would.
You should always travel in plenty of time so that you can afford to stop and take a break as regularly as you require it.
While our step-by-step guide gives you some of the key information you need about driving while pregnant, there are a couple tips that will help ensure you’re in the best situation possible on the road while driving.
They are as follows:
Avoid Driving If You Feel Nauseous:
Pregnancy can give you many different feelings.
If you feel nauseous or overly tired, you should avoid driving until the feeling passes and you have enjoyed some rest.
Always Have A Fully-Charged Mobile Phone:
This is especially relevant if you’re more advanced in your term but it’s absolutely recommended that you always have a fully-charged mobile phone with you in case an emergency strikes while you’re out in the car (obviously pull over before using the phone!).
Take Your Pregnancy Notes:
Also, if you are later in your pregnancy, have a copy of your pregnancy notes in the car with you just in case you go into labour or have other issues while out driving.
Having all of the information to hand will save everyone involved a lot of stress!
Pack Snacks & Water:
Another great idea if you are driving while pregnant is to make sure you have a little stash of snacks and water in the car with you at all times.
Pregnancy can leave your hunger pangs and thirst receptors a little unpredictable so make sure you have what you need to hand just in case you need to fuel up while you’re out and about.
You only have to perform a few internet searches to see that many expectant mothers consider driving when in labour.
Well, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that, if you’re in early labour, you may get away with driving.
Whilst we wouldn’t recommend it, we appreciate it is different in every person’s own scenario, however, ask yourself the following questions:
Can you safely control the car?
Are you going to be able to concentrate on the mirrors, other road users, etc?
If the answer to the above question is ‘no’ then do not risk driving.
When you’re more advanced into labour, you definitely won’t be able to drive anywhere.
The recommendation is to never drive while in labour.
Instead, keep your mobile phone close by and have some taxi fare set aside at all times just in case!
So, driving while pregnant is absolutely possible and should be safe and secure for both you and your baby.
Follow the usual rules of the road, plan journeys well and in plenty of time, keep your mobile phone fully charged at all times (keep a vehicle phone charger in your car just in case) and take some drinks and snacks with you before you leave.
With all of that in hand, you can hit the road with confidence so long as you feel able to!