In China, I didn’t drive. I had no desire to do so. My husband learned how to drive and bought his first car in China. But I didn’t even want to rent one. If you’re wondering why, this video will give you an excellent example of what driving there is like.
On top of that, public transit was pretty efficient. The only downside was being pregnant and having to waddle to the bus stop at the end of our street. By the time I got there, I’d have to pee again, even when I had used the bathroom before leaving. Agony!
Oh, but there was no way I was getting behind the wheel in China.
For the rest of you though, you’re likely wondering when you can put the pedal to the metal. After all, driving in the states is very different. Everyone follows the traffic laws. Well, most of the time.
How long should you wait after your c-section before getting into the driver’s seat?
While moms that have a vaginal delivery should wait about ten days postpartum before driving again, c-section moms like us need to wait a little bit longer. How much longer depends on how you are feeling PLUS what your doctor advises.
This wait time could be anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks, though most of the time, it will fall somewhere between that. There are quite a few reasons for this.
- Sitting up is tough stuff
If you struggle to get out of bed or even sit up in it, you’ll need to wait. Driving might seem like second-nature to some of you, but when in pain, it will make you more distracted and put you at higher risk for an accident.
- You’re still weak
Pushing yourself to go and do things is only going to come back and bite you. If you don’t rest up, you’ll injure yourself and be stuck in bed again. That’s even worse! If you can’t get in and out of the car without feeling pain, it’s a huge no. How do you feel when you get in the car to go with your husband or a relative? If it’s exhausting just overcoming that pain, it’s best to wait until you drive again.
- Watch that seatbelt
Your seatbelt is designed to keep you safe. I once had a boyfriend who I adored, but he never would wear his seatbelt. I knew I couldn’t marry this man, wonderful as he was. He’d set a bad example for our kids if we had them.
Unfortunately, though, that seatbelt will fall right over your abdomen. If it causes you pain even when you get in as a passenger, you have no business driving right now. Please wait it out. I assure you, it will feel much better soon.
- Turn, turn, turn
I’ve been driving for a long time now. You forget the little steps you take as you move through traffic down neighborhood streets and the highway. Of those things, you might not realize how much you turn your torso to double-check your blind spot or when you’re reversing.
That slight turning you make of your shoulders or whole core will hurt like you won’t believe right after a c-section. If you still feel pain making those movements, don’t drive yet.
- Medication concerns
Another big concern, perhaps one of the biggest of all, is if you’re still taking painkillers prescribed by your doctor for the undeniable pain post-c-section. That’s a definite no to driving again if you are. Don’t push yourself. Get you rest until you’re done taking these medications. They severely impair your judgment, and you don’t want to endanger your baby or yourself, or anyone else for that matter.
Know If You Can Drive After Your C-Section
Do you think you might be ready to try again? If it’s been about two weeks, with your doctor’s blessing, you can try out a few quick tests to see if you can really perform all the necessary tasks associated with driving.
If you can hop on one foot without yowling in pain, that’s a good sign. Kick one of your tires before you climb in. Does it hurt? If not, you might be good to get in the driver’s seat. Remember, you need to be strong enough to react with full force should something go wrong.
In the event someone in front of you stops suddenly, can you push the brake with enough force to stop the car? If you doubt this at all due to the little tricks mentioned above, then wait it out. There are other ways to get around, and you know what? In these early weeks, the best thing is snuggling up with your baby.
And something else…they have a delivery for everything here now! So take the time to recover, order your groceries, order some takeout, and enjoy these sweet moments with your newborn!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs. She loves eating too much sushi, exercise, and jamming out on her Fender.