You made it! You arrived at the finish line and you have a wonderful new bundle of joy. It makes sense to want to get back to normal, or your new normal now that you have an infant. But when is it safe to do all those “normal things”? Today we will talk about when you can drive after a c section.
Recovering from labor and delivery takes time, especially if you have a c section. Having a c section is major surgery and there are many things you need to consider before getting back to normal physical activities.
When Can I Drive After My C section
It’s so tempting to jump in the car and get out of the house. You might be tempted to get out and do the things you couldn’t do at the end of your pregnancy.
Or to just show off your new, sweet babe to everyone you know.
Most doctors will say you need to wait at least two weeks after a c section before driving.
Some people aren’t healed enough and will need to wait at least three weeks and sometimes up to six. It really depends on each individual and how you are healing.
In addition to what your doctor advises there are some other things you should think about before driving after a c section.
Are You Still Taking Pain Medication?
After having a C section you will most likely be prescribed medication to manage the pain in your abdomen. These prescription medications can affect your ability to react quickly and should not be taken before driving.
Usually, these medications come with a warning that you should not operate large machinery while taking the medicine. This includes driving a car.
If you are still taking prescription pain medicine you should not drive.
Have You Healed Enough to drive after your c section?
We don’t normally think about it when we drive because these things just come so naturally but driving a car actually uses a lot of muscles from your core, also known as your abdomen.
You just had major surgery on your abdomen so there are some things you want to make sure you can do with that area before you get behind the wheel.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Can you easily get in and out of the car with minimal to no pain?
- Can you buckle your seatbelt easily?
- Does your seatbelt irritate your incision area?
- Can you twist and turn while sitting in your seat?
- While sitting in the car can you move your foot from the gas pedal to the brake without pain?
- If something were to happen can you slam on the brake without flinching?
If you were to flinch and not press on the brake hard enough because you are afraid of feeling pain in your abdomen, this can cause a car accident. Which of course no one wants to happen.
If you cannot twist and turn will you be able to check your blind spot or look behind you to see where you are backing up? These are important tasks while driving.
Another thing to think about is putting your baby into and out of the car. After a c section, you will be advised not to lift anything heavier than your baby.
Putting your baby in a car seat and lifting it, putting it in the car, and taking it out will probably be too much for you within the first two or three weeks after surgery.
Additionally, having a lightweight infant carrier and stroller can help you easily leave the house when you are ready.
I highly recommend the City Go Infant car seat from Baby Jogger.
It is easy to use, easy to lift, and lighter than other brands. I used this after my second c section and was easily able to leave the house on my own with baby, once I was ready to drive.
Check With Your Insurance Company
Some insurance companies will say you won’t be insured if you drive before the doctor says you should. Some insurance companies will not.
You should definitely check with them before getting behind the wheel to make sure you are covered in case something happens.
Note: always make sure your baby’s car seat is properly installed and the straps are in the proper positioning before taking your newborn in the car.
It’s very tempting to want to drive and feel the freedom and independence you had before your c section.
These are completely normal feelings; but until you are ready, let someone else drive. For your safety and the safety of your new baby.
Enjoy being chauffeured around because before you know it you will be shuttling your kids between school, soccer practice, and music lessons! You will long for the days of sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the ride!