If you’re expecting, you’re probably concerned about driving especially during your first trimester when you’re all nauseated, and your third trimester when your belly makes it impossible to reach the steering wheel.
I would advise that you let someone else drive whenever possible, yet we know this might not be an option. Since safety comes first in both pregnancy and driving, here are some tips on how to get extra cautious on the road during pregnancy:
– Pregnant women frequently feel fatigue and nausea, especially in the first trimester. So before you leave your home, focus on how you feel and listen to your body. If you feel tired don’t drive and ask someone to give you a ride, or simply put the trip on hold until you feel better. However, if you have to try to, drink a healthy energy booster that’s naturally sweetened or drink water followed by fruit. Always keep a healthy snack (nuts/fruit) in your bag.
– Position yourself far away from the steering wheel. Giving some breathing space to your belly guarantees safety in cases of accidents.
– Lift the steering wheel so it’s positioned in front of your breastbone rather than your abdomen in case of sudden release of airbags. This is very important as it protects your belly from a direct hit.
– If you are a fast driver, please don’t be during pregnancy and slow it down, since your “pregnancy brain” might be in charge, which makes it harder to multitask and therefore pose serious risks in driving.
– Always wear your seatbelt. Some of us may find it a little inconvenient, however, it’s a necessary precaution for you and your baby. With a growing belly, you should put it between your belly and hip bone. Make sure not to place it over your belly, because that might lead to placenta abruption in case of serious accidents, according to Safe Ride 4 Kids.
– Put your phone away. Avoid distractions that take your attention away from the road.
– Remove the extra layers; if it’s not too cold, ditch the jacket or coat so you’re more comfortable and your body doesn’t heat up too much.
– Plan frequent breaks; if your trip will last for several hours, park and stretch your legs every now and then to enhance your blood circulation. And toilet breaks, right ladies?
– If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you should definitely avoid driving at all costs. You should also avoid it if you have high blood pressure. While driving can be very stressful sometimes, there’s a risk you may struggle with your overall health, and therefore hinder your unborn baby’s development in a natural way.
– In your third trimester, it’s normal to have swollen feet and ankles. And driving for long distances, only makes it worse, so make sure to find the adequate space to stretch your body, and always keep a small pillow to support your back so it doesn’t hurt. And remember that proper hydration lessens the risks of leg blood clots, according to Baby Center.