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After giving birth to your baby, you might want to jump straight back to your old routine and start doing all the things that you couldn’t do (and missed) during the nine months of pregnancy. Driving could be one of them. And if you happen to love driving, you might be wondering when you can start driving on your own after delivery. You might be eager to sit on the driver’s seat (literally!) soon after delivery, but before you do that, take a moment and read this to know if that would be a great idea.
How Soon Can You Start Driving After Having a Baby?
Driving right after giving birth is not easy and not recommended. This is because the act of driving uses many of the same muscles that a woman uses during the labour and delivery of her baby. This is why it is highly important for you to heal properly before you start driving again. Two weeks is the minimal healing time during which you must abstain from driving, lifting heavy objects, and cleaning the house. However, this is still a short time and only applies to women who have had an easy delivery. Depending on the type of delivery, whether it is a normal delivery or a C-section, you can determine how many weeks you should give a rest before you drive again. Let’s see the cases below:
1. Driving After a Normal Delivery
Normal delivery is also called a vaginal birth, during which your muscles do a lot of work involving pulling and stretching to push the baby out. You need to give time for those muscles to recover along with giving yourself time to heal from all the pain and jagged nerves. If you have undergone a vaginal birth, you are advised to keep physical activity to a minimum level in the days following your delivery. However, if you had very less bleeding and felt no dizziness, then you can slowly try out short drives after two weeks. But the safe thing for new mothers is to wait for 6 weeks before a long drive.
2. Driving After a C-section Delivery
Most of you may have the question, ‘Can I drive after a C-section delivery?’ Well, the answer is yes, you can, but only after you have recovered fully. C-section deliveries usually have a much longer recovery time compared to vaginal births. This is because you would have gone through a major surgery where you would have lost some blood. Your uterus and your tummy need to heal from being cut open, and you will be advised not to lift anything more than your baby’s weight to prevent your stitches from opening (which will be very painful indeed!). This means you shouldn’t lift your baby’s car seat to put into the car. You also won’t be able to twist for some weeks, so trying to settle your baby in the car will be impossible. More importantly, driving restrictions after C-section delivery are mainly because you will not be able to use your abdominal muscles to press down on the brake pedal during emergencies. Therefore, if you have had a C-section delivery, make sure you wait at least 6 weeks before you resume driving again and that too, after consultation with your doctor.
Precautions to Take While Driving After Delivery
There are a few precautions you must follow while driving after a few weeks of giving birth to your baby. They are mentioned below:
- If you have had a vaginal birth, you can resume driving once your pain, discomfort, and dizziness goes away. Don’t try to drive before that.
- If you are taking narcotic pain medication to help with your post-delivery pain, then you should not drive at all as there is a risk of falling asleep soon.
- Once your baby comes in your life, you can just hop into your car and drive away. You need to plan your drives coinciding with times when your baby is not hungry.
- When you are taking your baby along, you will have to spend extra time to change his diaper. So, pack his diaper bag and make him sit in the baby car seat which you will then need to lock in position inside the car.
- All these activities might tire you out as a new mother, especially if you have not recovered fully. If you are breastfeeding, you will have to manage sore and enlarged breasts also. Hence, it is better not to drive for the first few weeks post delivery.
Even if you are healthy and do not feel tired postpartum, you will need some time to heal completely. Thus, it is a good idea to take proper rest and wait for a few weeks before you start driving. In the meantime, enjoy the precious time you have with your newborn. Let your body heal and get completely healthy for your baby’s sake.