pregnant driving day two "pregnant and..." series

Pregnant and…Driving

Did I mention it was hot? Well, this has led to me being Pregnant and…Driving

I passed my automatic driving test last year and anyone who knows me will know that was an achievement as I have never been very confident on the roads. Since then I haven’t sat in the driver’s seat, driven a car or really paid much interest in it! Until now. Not only is the heat a big factor but my husband has been on a work trip (more about that on another day!). This means I have needed to be more mobile and independent with my other little guy. An 80-minute walk round trip to school is not ideal at 36 weeks and in this heat it’s impossible.

Ergo, I bought a car and I have to admit, I am loving the new found freedom. Am I nervous still? yes but I am gaining confidence by doing little trips at a time! I am also quite enjoying the extra time we have saved driving on the school run and it has left a little more time to sleep in, in the mornings which is a bonus!

The car I have bought is very spacious, even with my bump and I am very comfortable reaching everything I need to. But, I did have some safety concerns about whether I should be driving at this stage and found these pregnancy driving tips to help so I thought I would share:

5 Pregnancy Driving Safety Tips

1.Take Breaks

When pregnant, especially in the third trimester, you get tired much more quickly so you should avoid longer journies or driving for longer periods of time as your attention can waiver and you lose focus. You are also more prone to distractions so taking frequent breaks, even on short journies can help combat this and keep you safe so that you are in top form (especially if you have other kids in the car!).

2. Have Access

Make sure that you can access everything in and around the car that you need to. The steering wheel, clutch (if you have one), brake, gas, gear stick and handbrake. If you can’t get to or operate one of these effectively then you really shouldn’t drive! In an emergency situation, you won’t be able to handle these quick enough and you put everyone at risk.

3. Take Your Notes

Take your pregnancy notes with you in the car. During the third trimester and later stages of pregnancy, you are always encouraged to take your “pink notes” with you so that if anything were to happen you would have all of your pregnancy needs and information on hand to the emergency services and doctors. Driving is no different and you could not only have an accident but also go into spontaneous labor!

4. Seat Belt Around The Bump

Pregnancy is not an excuse to go without a seat belt, if anything it is another reason to wear one! That being said, you need to aim to wear it correctly so that it protects you, bump and is comfortable. The best way to do this is by placing the lap strap as low as possible under your bump and then the normal cross section across your chest (probably in between boob!) so that your bump doesn’t get crushed by the belt if any impact does occur.

5. Steering Wheel Positioning

Adjust your steering wheel (particularly if you have an airbag) so that it faces slightly upwards so that in the event of a crash the bag deploys towards your face and less towards your bump which can be more of an impact as it is closer. Also try to sit further back from the steering wheel (as far as your feet will allow) so that you can have full range of motion and move properly.

Do you have any pregnant driving safety tips for me? Let me know in the comments! 

This post is part of my mini ongoing pregnant series “Pregnant and…” Check out the other posts by clicking on the picture:

The pregnant series "pregnant and..." feature image

Day 2 of my "pregnancy and..." series where I have bought my first car and been pregnant driving, what this means and driving safety tips for pregnancy.

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Written by Charlotte

Founder at The Mummy Toolbox

32 Comments

  • Great advice. It is always important to be safe, but even more so when you are pregnant.
    (Hubby helping out)

  • Toughcookiemommy (#)
    June 29th, 2017

    I think this is great advice for pregnant women who are driving. I was very tired in the third trimester and it was something to consider when I was driving my car.

  • Jenni (#)
    June 27th, 2017

    This is great advice, its so important to be extra careful when pregnant x

  • Baby Isabella (#)
    June 26th, 2017

    Congratulations for getting behind the wheel! It makes things so much easier and the independence is great. My mummy stared driving when she was 17 and it was the best thing she ever did! x

  • Amanda Love (#)
    June 26th, 2017

    So good to know that you’re loving your new car! It’s important to know what you need to do to keep yourself safe when driving especially since you’re pregnant.

  • Renee @ The Good Hearted Woman (#)
    June 26th, 2017

    Those last few months can be really uncomfortable, in a lot of ways. That’s one facet of being pregnant I don’t miss a bit!

  • Dawn McAlexander (#)
    June 26th, 2017

    I can remember when I was pregnant and trying to drive around. It felt like the steering wheel was a mile away with my fat belly sticking out there. I like your tips!

  • Heather (#)
    June 26th, 2017

    Taking breaks is essential for long road trips because you can’t be sitting in the same position for long.

  • Cindy Ingalls (#)
    June 25th, 2017

    These are really great tips for pregnant moms. I can imagine driving is challenge especially as the bump grows. It’s nice to have seats and steering wheels that adjust as well as parking spot designated for moms-to-be.

  • Caitlin (#)
    June 25th, 2017

    I’ve never been pregnant, but my friends who are moms have always mentioned how strange it is when your belly forces you to sit further away from the wheel!

  • Rhian Westbury (#)
    June 25th, 2017

    I’m so glad that you’ve found that you’ve had more freedom having a car, it must be a little odd afetr not driving for so long x

  • In the early months I had to drive with a pot next to me in case I was sick from the morning sickness (which lasted ALL day) then the last 6 weeks or so I couldn’t fit behind the steering wheel 🙁

  • Heather Garcia (#)
    June 25th, 2017

    Driving can be so scary at first! Add that into having to be careful for the baby and that would be stressful. It sounds like your tips have it all under control though! Congrats on your baby on the way!

  • Anosa (#)
    June 25th, 2017

    Not pregnant myself but I too just started driving on the roads after passing last year and the incredible freedom is awesome.

  • Fashion and Style Police (#)
    June 25th, 2017

    Congrats on passing your automatic driving test. Plan to take mine soon.

  • Cathy (#)
    June 25th, 2017

    Such good advice and so important. I passed my driving test when 6 months pregnant, I think the examiner was eager to get me out the car lol x

  • Misty Nelson (#)
    June 25th, 2017

    I love that you are sharing about this. I remember when I was pregnant feeling just terrified that I might run into someone, or someone in to me and hurt the baby. I’m glad you are sharing your story and talking about helpful tips for other moms

  • Mel (#)
    June 24th, 2017

    So important to give advice about this – it is something pregnant women do everyday but don’t potentially know how to keep themselves safe at this important time in their lives

  • Kara (#)
    June 24th, 2017

    I always found my back played up when driving when I was pregnant so didn’t take on any long trips

  • Holly (#)
    June 24th, 2017

    This is such an important thing to write about. Luckily I didn’t do too much driving during either of my pregnancies.

  • Kerri (#)
    June 24th, 2017

    You have some great tips listed for being pregnant and driving. It is so important to be ready and be safe especially when in your third trimester.

  • Brandi with Big Fit Fam (#)
    June 23rd, 2017

    Take breaks is a big one! we recently drove for 16 hours straight, 25 weeks preggo, and my feet and calves doubled in size and took days to go down….i wish i had read this post before we drove!

  • Ali Gilbert (#)
    June 23rd, 2017

    This is a subject that isn’t addressed enough. My eyesight was COMPLETELY different when I was pregnant. One time I was driving at night when I was like 8 months pregnant and I could not see correctly and I turned into oncoming traffic. Super scary. I love that you have addressed this!!!!!!!!

  • Terri Steffes (#)
    June 23rd, 2017

    Wow, this is something I really hadn’t considered. I remember being grateful for longish legs when I was pregnant because it made it easier to drive!

  • Evelina (#)
    June 23rd, 2017

    Great topic! I never thought that driving while being pregnant could be so uncomfortable.

  • Angela Tolsma (#)
    June 23rd, 2017

    I use to hate driving and now since buying my own car, picking out it, I love it. There’s so much freedom in it and it can be great to just go away quickly whenever needed. As I can’t have children, I have never really thought about the comfort my car could bring for friends pregnant. It’s good to know and something that will be need when I go on vacation

  • Sophie's Nursery (#)
    June 23rd, 2017

    Great tips – I was always forgetting to take my pregnancy notes out with me in the car!! x

  • Karen Morse (#)
    June 23rd, 2017

    I’ve never experienced driving while pregnant but it’s nice to know these safety tips to share with friends. It’s important that you always put your safety first especially since you’re caring for two.

  • emmerson329 (#)
    June 23rd, 2017

    Great advice! I never really thought about pregnancy and driving. Although I have five children I never had a bump with any of them so I didn’t really find it an issue! But I was soooo tired, I’m amazed I didn’t fall asleep at the wheel!

  • Rachel neal (#)
    June 23rd, 2017

    I remember after I got to 30 weeks i took my notes everywhere with me you can never be to careful can you. There are some really great tips here.

  • Debbie - Hello Deborah (#)
    June 23rd, 2017

    I remember being so uncomfortable driving (or just sitting) in the car while pregnant. I sat on a long slim pillow and that really helped as I had a lot of coccyx pain for awhile. I then used it in my lower back. I also don’t know what I would have done if my car didn’t have a/c.

  • Helen (#)
    June 23rd, 2017

    Lots of fantastic tips – I gave birth a week ago, so no longer am pregnant, but I kept all of these points in mind when driving/being a passenger. Safety is so important 🙂

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