Women health

Driving long distances while pregnant


Yes. It's fine to drive till the conclusion of your pregnancy as long as you're in good health.

It can be difficult to concentrate in the first trimester due to fatigue and nausea. Take frequent rests and, if at all feasible, drive only when you are awake and well-rested.

Driving with back or pelvic discomfort can be difficult, and it can be distracting. Limit the number of times you have to go behind the wheel if you can. Consult your midwife or physiotherapist for help with back and hip pain during pregnancy.

Your belly may make getting in and out of the car more difficult in the last few months of pregnancy.

Avoid taking long automobile trips by yourself. Sharing driving responsibilities is safer and more pleasant. Always bring your maternity notes with you on extended vacations.

How can I keep myself comfortable while driving?

Simple stretches in and out of the car will help circulate your blood. When you're pregnant, sitting for long periods of time can be challenging. It might cause swelling in your feet and ankles, leg cramps, and heartburn.

With just a little movement, you might be able to ease aches and swelling. Extend your leg heel first and gently flex your foot to stretch your calf muscles, whether you're sitting in the car or standing at the motorway services. Rotate your ankles and wriggle your toes while sitting — as long as you're not driving, of course!

Put a cushion, foam wedge, or rolled-up towel in the small of your back if sitting in the car causes you back pain.

You may notice a little elbow or foot poking your ribs or elsewhere in the latter weeks of your pregnancy. Try to stay concentrated on your driving and stop for a rest and a potty break at least every 90 minutes.

Maintain your energy levels by keeping healthy snacks and drinks on available.

As the size of your bump grows, you may need to adjust the steering wheel and push back your seat a little. If you make any modifications, always verify your mirrors. Check that you can reach the clutch, brake, and accelerator comfortably, depending on the sort of vehicle you drive. You want to make sure there isn't any lag in your reaction if you have to brake or change gear unexpectedly.

How should I properly wear a seat belt when pregnant?

Use just a three-point seat belt with a diagonal and a lap belt. A lap-only belt should never be worn.

Here's how to put a three-point belt to good use:

  1. Place the diagonal strap between your breasts and across your collarbone. Slide the strap down your bump's side. If your seat belt cuts across your neck, try adjusting it or purchasing a seat belt pad.
  2. Place the lap belt under your belly button so that it covers your thighs and hips. Never put your lap part across your tummy, since this could cause your baby to be pressed. It's too high if the strap covers your belly button.
  3. Make sure you're wearing your seatbelt as securely as possible.
  4. Is it safe to drive in an airbag-equipped vehicle when pregnant?
  5. In the event of an accident, an airbag will protect both you and your unborn child. If the airbag can be turned on or off in the automobile, make sure it's always on, whether you're driving or riding in the passenger seat.
  6. Airbags are designed to work in conjunction with seat belts, so as long as you buckle up correctly, you should be safe.
  7. Your seat belt will help keep your upper chest restrained and your hands away from the driving wheel. The airbag will help to disperse the force of a collision, acting as an immediate cushion for you and your bump.
  8. You may not be able to maintain the same amount of space between you and the driving wheel as your belly swells. If your steering wheel is adjustable, turn it away from your tummy and towards your breastbone.

For work, I have to drive. What are my options?

During your pregnancy, your employer is required to conduct risk assessments of your working environment. This could mean that as your pregnancy progresses, they'll have to rethink your work schedule. If you're having trouble keeping your commitments in between risk assessments, talk to your boss about it.

Once your bump becomes significant, you could ask your employer for more training or advice about driving safely.

If I'm in a car accident, what should I do?

Even if you feel well after an accident, you should still see a doctor be safe. A strong jolt could lead to pregnancy issues including a partially split placenta. After an accident, if you experience contractions, pain, or bleeding, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

If you have a rhesus-negative blood group, tell your doctor because an anti-D injection might be required.

If my car breaks down while I'm pregnant, what should I do?

If you don't already have breakdown insurance, get it before you go. Consider how much coverage you require. It might be more convenient to add it to your existing insurance coverage.

Keep an additional supply of warm clothes, a torch, cash, snacks, and water in your car if you're going on a very long trip to a remote place.

If you have a breakdown on the highway, the first thing you should do is get away from fast-moving traffic. Take the following actions:

  1. If you can, get off the highway. Otherwise, proceed to an emergency bay or the hard shoulder. Pull onto the left-hand verge if there isn't a hard shoulder. Make sure your headlights and danger lights are turned on.
  2. Get out of the left side of your automobile if your bump allows it. If you can, move behind the barrier.
  3. Instead of using your cellphone, use the roadside emergency phone. Along the rear of the hard shoulder, there should be posts with arrows pointing in the direction of the nearest phone. Every mile or so, there's a phone. Stay on your side of the roadway and follow the arrows. An operator answers each emergency phone, which has its unique reference number. Inform the operator that you are a vulnerable driver due to your pregnancy.
  4. Return to your vehicle and wait for assistance. Wait behind the barrier on the raised area, away from the traffic.
  5. Call your breakdown provider or Highways England on 0300 123 5000 if you can't get to an emergency phone.
  6. Keep your seatbelt on, turn on your hazard lights, and dial 999 if you break down in moving traffic and can't get out of your car.


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