Driving tips for mums-to-be

Posted by: Cal on 22/05/2013

Category: General

For the most part, driving while pregnant isn't very different from driving at any other time of your life.

However, once your baby bump starts to really make itself known, this can pose some unique challenges.

Here are some tips for mums-to-be who take the wheel!

Think comfort

Don't let yourself be uncomfortable on the road, as this won't just be annoying, it will affect your ability to stay alert and proactive as a driver.

You may need to adjust the seat and steering wheel position on a regular basis - especially if you share the vehicle with someone else.

You may also find it helpful to keep a cushion or two in the car so that you can pop it behind your back if you feel the need for a bit of extra lumbar support.

The main thing is to ensure you can reach the accelerator, brake and clutch pedals comfortably, while still keeping room between your belly and the steering wheel - so if the airbag deploys it has room to inflate without causing damage.

It is recommended that expectant mums tilt the driver's seat backwards slightly and avoid leaning forward.

Not only will this keep a good distance between you and the steering wheel, but it will also reduce your forward movement in the event of a collision - since you'll be wearing…

Your seatbelt

It is always imperative to wear your seatbelt, yet some may think that doing so could harm your baby when a collision occurs.

This is in fact not true, and no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy, wearing a seatbelt is non-negotiable.

Let the waist strap of the belt sit low across your hips, below your baby bump, and the shoulder strap should come down across your chest.

Try not to overdo it

We all need rest when driving long distances, and it is no different when you are pregnant.

This can be even more of an imperative if you experience swollen feet and ankles. It is a good idea to take regular breaks so that you can get out of the car and walk around a bit and have a bit of a stretch.

Another great tip is when getting into and out of your car, try sitting on the seat first and then swinging your legs around to get in, and vice versa when getting out.

Flex those delegation skills

As you head into the later stages of pregnancy, you may find that it is harder to do some physical tasks, such as reaching the top shelf of the pantry or running a marathon on a Thursday night!

It can also make it quite difficult to take care of basic car maintenance procedures by yourself, such as checking the air pressure in your car tyres or cleaning the windscreen at the petrol station.

This is where you get to have some early practice at being the boss! Delegate these important tasks to your co-driver or the highest-ranking passenger.

Getting close to the big day?

Once you start getting closer to D-day (or B-day) you may find that your baby bump is so big that it is neither comfortable nor safe to sit in the driver's seat.

This is a good time to let your chauffeur take the wheel.

If that isn't possible, then at least try to minimise your driving, and maybe call in some favours.

And don't forget to always keep some fuel in the tank, just in case you need to rush off somewhere on short notice!