The Mummy Toolbox

Pregnant and…Driving

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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:

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