Pregnancy is a condition that normally does not incapacitate a woman or hinder her day-to-day life. Driving is one of the things that are perfectly possible, apart from when it is recommended medically not to.
This should be made very clear because, contrary to what some people believe, being pregnant does not imply incapacity, it is not an illness. To be very clear, although it is not an illness, sometimes we encounter condescending attitudes or hear comments that pregnant women shouldn’t drive, as if it were something to be avoided.
A pregnant woman is very aware of her body and any limitations imposed by pregnancy that she might feel: feeling unwell, fatigue or any other occasional malaise. This is when a woman would decide for herself not to drive, in general there is nothing to stop a pregnant woman from following her normal routine.
To drive safely when pregnant there are certain logical precautions that can be taken. During the normal development of the pregnancy it is quite clear that as the baby grows inside of the mother there is a notable increase in the size of her tummy which would make it necessary to make changes to the driving position in the car.
The first and most obvious is that as the tummy grows, the driving position will have to change. This can mean a repositioning of the seat back or changing the position of the steering wheel. As you would expect, once the mother finds her movements restricted or she is begins to feel insecure at the wheel, there is no reason not to delegate the driving or to stop driving altogether. The choice is yours.
With regard to the seatbelt, this must always be correctly adjusted and must always be positioned under the tummy, placed over the hips and properly positioned over the right shoulder. To ensure that the seatbelt is correctly adjusted there are devices available to help ensure that the lower strap stays under the tummy and doesn’t become loose. This is an effective method of ensuring that the seatbelt does not end up across the middle of the tummy.
Another safety precaution is to try not to leave anything out of reach, because as the pregnancy advances, mobility becomes more restricted or at least more difficult. This makes it sensible to minimize movement as much as possible, for example using the radio or reaching for something in the glove compartment (sensible for any driver but more so for those with restricted mobility). Apart from this driving while pregnant should not present any major difficulties.
To clarify our last point, there is a fear of the effect that an airbag firing could have on the fetus. There are no clear studies to indicate injury to a fetus from an airbag. Unfortunately, there could have been isolated cases of injury but the information available would suggest that the collision, in such a case, was particularly violent. The airbag together with the seatbelt is the safety system that guarantees, in a high percentage of incidences, the survival of both the mother and the baby.
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