Guide to safe car travel during pregnancy
Driver and passenger safety should be paramount whenever travelling in a car, but if you’re pregnant, here are some extra safety tips to help ensure the safety of both you and your baby.
Tips for safe and comfortable car travel when pregnant
1. Avoid driving if your bump is so big it’s almost touching the steering wheel. Ask your partner or a friend to ferry you instead.
2. Always take plenty of water with you to keep yourself hydrated.
3. Always plan your journey and allow time to stop for toilet breaks and to stretch your legs.
4. If you’re suffering with backache, try using a pillow in the small of your back. Special pregnancy wedge pillows are also available.
5. Always make sure you have breakdown cover in place should anything happen when you’re on your travels.
6. If you’re in the third trimester – and especially towards the end of your pregnancy – try not to go anywhere in the car alone – you never know when your waters might break!
7. If travelling in the passenger seat, move your seat as far back from the airbag as possible. This extra space will also allow you more room to stretch your legs to be more comfortable. Moving your feet in a circular motion should help prevent and ease swelling.
8. Although comfort is important, never be tempted to travel without your seatbelt fastened. Aside from putting yourself and the baby in huge danger, you’ll also be breaking the law.
The Bump Belt
One product that has been designed specifically with safety in mind is the Bump Belt. Once fitted, this device secures the lap portion of the seatbelt underneath the pregnancy bump and across the thighs, ensuring it doesn’t ride up over the abdomen. Should a crash take place, the Bump Belt transfers the impact through the hips and pelvis, rather than the womb.
If you don’t fancy a Bump Belt, always ensure that seatbelt lap strap sits snugly underneath your bump and across your pelvis. The shoulder belt should lie over the top of your pregnancy bump and between your breasts.
One final point – always seek medical advice. Make sure your doctor is happy for you to get behind the wheel if you’re planning to drive whilst pregnant.