Riding a Two Wheeler During Pregnancy – Precautions & Safety Tips
A lot of women prefer using a two-wheeler to run errands or to travel to work as it saves time and the hassle of parking. However, during pregnancy, women may have to make certain changes in their usual lifestyle. A pregnant woman needs to take extra care of her safety and health, so the question of using a two-wheeler during pregnancy will naturally arise.
The fluctuating hormones and the resulting sickness, fatigue, nausea and pain, along with a growing belly can render riding a two-wheeler during pregnancy uncomfortable and risky. It may lead to erroneous driving, thereby increasing the risk of a likely road accident. In fact, some women may even have to avoid all forms of travelling during the second or third trimesters of pregnancy. So, the question of riding a two-wheeler or not naturally arises during this time. To help you with this, we have covered some precautions that you must take while driving. Let’s read!
Is It Safe to Ride a Two-Wheeler During Pregnancy?
Many pregnant women may question if it is safe to ride a two-wheeler while pregnant. Well, riding a two-wheeler during pregnancy is safe, provided you take extra care. A pregnant woman while riding a two-wheeler may be more susceptible to losing her balance and falling. Unlike in a car, two-wheelers don’t have airbags to protect in case of a crash. Moreover, on a two-wheeler, one is more exposed to rough roads.
Some people think the risk of riding a two-wheeler during the first trimester is slightly lesser when compared to the risks involved in riding a two-wheeler during the later stages of pregnancy. However, riding a two-wheeler is not allowed in any trimester. In case you are still doubtful of whether you should be riding a bike during pregnancy in the first trimester, it is always sensible to consult your doctor for guidance.
Having said that, if you do have to ride a two-wheeler during pregnancy, you must take certain precautions and ensure it is a one-off case. It’s better that your body and the foetus growing inside your womb doesn’t go through any physical trauma while riding a two-wheeler.
Risks While Riding a 2 Wheeler in Pregnancy
While it is safe to ride a two-wheeler during pregnancy, there are still some risks associated with it. Let’s take a look at them:
- A pregnant woman may have hypertension/giddiness & difficulty in balancing, therefore, may fall.
- Falls from two-wheeler riding can leave you with some nasty cuts and bruises as well as a head injury.
- Falling from two-wheeler may hurt your baby and can even cause miscarriage.
- Many small, convex and concave roads make pregnant women riding two-wheeler shock and adversely affect the foetus.
Precautions to Take When You Ride on a Two-Wheeler During Pregnancy
It may not be entirely possible to avoid riding a two-wheeler during pregnancy, but you can always keep the following precautions in mind when you do:
- Always wear a helmet while driving a two-wheeler, even while riding pillion.
- Wear comfortable flat shoes instead of heels or strappy sandals.
- Avoid driving during rush hours.
- Exploring new or longer routes may not be such a good idea. Stick to familiar, short routes.
- In case you are riding on a two-wheeler at nighttime, put on a neon or bright coloured jacket that is easily visible from distance.
- During the rainy season, roads can be slippery. Avoid riding your two-wheeler on wet roads or immediately after it has rained. Water can cover the potholes, making it difficult for you to identify them.
- If your scooter does not have a self-start, it is best to take someone’s help as you may accidentally jerk too hard while kickstarting the scooter yourself.
- Familiarise yourself with healthcare centres along the route on which you are travelling in case of an emergency.
- Take special care on turns and speed breakers. Avoid speeding and overtaking other vehicles to prevent any accidents.
- Always carry along a bottle of water, your phone fully charged, and a healthy snack.
- Choose comfortable and suitable clothing according to the weather.
Since you know that two-wheeler rides are better avoided during pregnancy no matter what trimester you are in, here are some ways you can avoid such rides.
Ways to Avoid a Two-Wheeler Ride When Pregnant
You may want to avoid a two-wheeler ride as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed. Sudden jerks or a bumpy ride or a bad fall may result in premature delivery and other pregnancy complications. Here’s how you can safely travel without the help of a two-wheeler:
- In case you are a working woman, you can seek your colleagues’ help and arrange a carpool with them to travel to work. You can also inquire from neighbours or friends and make a similar arrangement.
- You can avail cab services that offer cabs at economical rates. These cab services also have the option of sharing a ride, which can further reduce the cost of travel.
- You can also consider public transport like trains, particularly metros and buses. When taking a bus, ensure you request the conductor and the driver to drive carefully.
- You can always talk to your boss and organise flexible work hours that are better suited to your carpooling arrangement, so you get to avoid peak traffic hours.
- You can also work from home in case your company allows it.
- You can download various apps on your phone that offer home deliveries and services at your doorstep.
- Don’t shy away from asking the help of your family members or friends to drive you to the market or anywhere else you need to be. People usually are more than ready to help a pregnant lady!
1. Can Speed Bumps Affect My Pregnancy?
While driving 2 wheeler in pregnancy, it is common to come across speed bumps. Studies shows that speed bumps, if driven over quickly, can lead to minor injuries to the foetal brain, cause an abnormal foetal heart rate, abdominal pain, uterine contraction, increasing uterine activity, and other complications.
2. When Should I Stop Riding or Driving While Pregnant?
Driving while pregnant is totally fine, if you are following all safety precautions. But as your pregnancy progresses, the risk increases. So, if you feel even a little bit uncomfortable while driving, you must immediately stop.
3. Can Sudden Break Harm My Baby or Cause Miscarriage?
While driving, sudden brakes can still potentially separate the placenta from the uterus. Sometimes, even applying minor brakes is enough to potentially cause injuries like placental abruption. Therefore, be careful while driving during pregnancy.
Riding a two-wheeler during pregnancy is not a big problem. The main hurdle lies in the condition of the roads, which are usually full of potholes and other things that can cause a bumpy, uncomfortable ride. Maddening traffic, people’s tendency to disregard basic traffic rules and to create dangerous situations can result in an accident. Therefore, it makes sense to avoid exposing yourself to such potentially hazardous situations during pregnancy.
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3. Catherine J. Vladutiu, Harold B. Weiss; Motor vehicle safety during pregnancy; National Library of Medicine; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662299/; October 2011
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