If you are a pregnant woman, you may be asking yourself whether it is ok to drive. Though the topic may be controversial, in general, the answer is “YES”, unless your doctor advises otherwise. Practically speaking, for most women, driving is a necessity, especially for those who are employed and need to head to work every day, attend meetings and travel. However, it is important for the “driving option” to be considered on a case by case basis, as pregnancies differ among women.
Naturally speaking, it is important to feel comfortable behind the wheel and to be properly in control of your car. However, pregnancy can affect driving, as symptoms including morning sickness and fatigue may put the driver and passengers at risk of an accident. For some pregnant women, driving may be tiring so they may opt not to drive while pregnant. Others may feel uncomfortable driving with a baby bump, especially during the last few months of pregnancy. Many women actually stop driving during the last month of their pregnancy.
As a general rule, it is important to sit with your belly at least 25cm away from the steering wheel in order to avoid injury in case of an accident. Also, it advisable to take a couple of breaks while driving, especially if you are on a long trip, like hunger and the frequent urge to go to the bathroom are common among most pregnant women. Stopping for a break would also be a chance for you to stretch and relax.
On wearing a seat belt
Experts agree that pregnant women should wear a seat belt when riding a car simply because protecting the mother is key to protecting the fetus. The seat belt will have to be positioned in a way to avoid harming the baby in case of a collision. The key advice is wearing the lap belt portion below your baby bump and not across the middle. The shoulder belt portion should extend from the side of the belly to the center of your chest. You should never wear the belt across your belly. In case you are wearing a coat or a thick sweater that may allow the seat belt to move up onto your belly, it is advisable to remove these once you are inside the car.