SHOULD I drive when I’m pregnant? The short answer for company car drivers and business owners is – of course you should!
Driving while pregnant is fine; so long as you’re feeling well and comfortable it’s completely safe and you can continue to drive right up until labour.
But there are a few tips to help you feel at ease. It goes without saying that just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean that you can go without a seatbelt. So we’ll say it anyway. The law hasn’t changed and wearing a seatbelt is mandatory!
While it may not be the most comfortable accessory it’s the only thing that will stop you from flying forward and hitting your abdomen and its precious cargo on the steering wheel.
Hopefully, as you grow you will imperceptibly adjust to it but it may help to move the straps a bit.
If the lap strap is anywhere near your belly button it’s in the wrong place. Try to get it below your bump, as low as possible really – from hip-bone to hip-bone. This will be the most comfortable position for you and baby. Or the least uncomfortable, anyway.
And the diagonal strap? All you can do is to try and avoid the very middle of your bump, especially as you get bigger. Basically it should come down between your breasts, and to the left of your bump.
Don’t forget that on most cars you can adjust the height of the belt – they usually slide up and down. It’s something you’re unlikely to have looked at in the past, but it can give you some welcome breathing space.
If all else fails, there are special belts and accessories available for pregnant women that work by transferring the ‘weight’ from your tummy to your shoulders. Might be worth a look.
Think about your driving position. If your normal position is right up close to the wheel (‘looking for nails’) now’s the time to slide back that seat and stretch the arms. Give your bump a bit of elbow room. Just make sure that you adjust the mirrors and you can still reach the pedals!
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And be nice to yourself! Take some water, and if you’re going a long way, plan the rest breaks and stick to them – as you should anyway under health and safety legislation.
Our last piece of company car driving advice is that as labour approaches the rules change a bit. You really don’t want to enter labour in the middle of a long journey, especially if you’re driving. So avoid them, or take the chauffeur. Short journeys? Just make sure you know the way to the maternity unit.
And ask your business car manager to give your car some extra attention under their duty of care: you will not want to break down when a little mechanical TLC could have prevented the problem.
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