Monday April 21 2014

Should you drive while pregnant?


By Christine Katende

Should you drive while pregnant? This is the question many expectant mothers grapple with, especially as their pregnancy progresses. While driving eases movement from one place to another, keeping away from the wheel is something you may want to consider if you are pregnant.

According to Dr Martin Adupet, a gynaecologist at Mulago National Referral Hospital, when a pregnant woman hits her abdomen on the steering, it may cause the separation of the placenta from the uterine wall, leading to over bleeding.

This may subsequently cause death of the unborn child. He further explains that in some instances, the bleeding may happen when the driving expectant mother brakes suddenly and in the process, the seat belt squeezes the belly and hurts the unborn child.

Dr Adupet says while a woman can drive freely up to the fourth month, caution should be taken from the fifth month, as the pregnancy advances.
“With pregnancy, as the woman’s stomach grows, she may experience a lot of discomfort. In this case, it will be hard for her to continue driving for fear of hurting the unborn baby or even herself,” he says. He advises expectant mothers to get someone to drive them around instead of doing it themselves.

However, if they have to drive, they should ensure that the seat is moved far back from the steering wheel. They should also ensure that the steering wheel is tilted toward the breastbone, rather than the abdomen.
Pregnant women should also buckle their seat belt and ensure the shoulder strap runs across the chest, and not behind the arm or back.