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can I drive myself to the hospital if I'm in labour?

(57 Posts)
ARV1981 Wed 17-Jun-15 16:28:50

My husband can't drive so I'm always designated driver. I'm really worried about how we'll get to the hospital when I'm in labour.

My mum lives around 45 minutes away...would she be able to get to me in time, do you think? I have wondered about having her stay at mine from my due date onwards, but if baby's really late then I think it might be too much for us all. I don't think I want her at the birth, as she tends to get overly emotional and I think she might just stress me out!

My husband says his mum could drive me (she's around 20 minutes away) but, I'm not sure I want that. She's just bought a new car and if I spoiled it with leaks then I'd feel terrible, especially when she comes to sell it! My husband says I shouldn't worry about that, But she's quite precious over her things, so I think she would be annoyed (but I don't think she'd say anything). I definitely don't want her at the birth though. That's for sure.

It would be so much easier to drive myself. Would this be a problem, do you think? Would I be able to drive home afterwards?

NerrSnerr Wed 17-Jun-15 16:31:24

I wouldn't have been able to drive myself to the hospital and I had a c section so definitely couldn't drive home. You might be better off getting a taxi.

Embolio Wed 17-Jun-15 16:31:29

Taxi! Seriously, if you are in active labour it would not be safe to drive. Depending on the birth you have you may or may not be ok to drive home ��

weebarra Wed 17-Jun-15 16:31:38

Best not. You're not likely to be going to hospital until your contractions are about three minutes apart, and you really don't want to be driving when you're contracting. As for afterwards, you wouldn't be able to drive after a section certainly, not sure about a vaginal birth.

Nottalotta Wed 17-Jun-15 16:31:47

In your position i would phone your mum when you first get signs of labour. You will stay at home til the contractions are 5 minutes apart i think, so she should have plenty of time to get to you and give you a lift in. You needn't have her in the room with you.

peeveddoesntcoverit Wed 17-Jun-15 16:32:19

Could you get a taxi? I think if you end up having a c-section you aren't allowed to drive.

motherinferior Wed 17-Jun-15 16:32:25

It entirely depends on what kind of labour and birth you have - frankly if you're going to wait till you're fairly progressed in labour to go to hospital I'd have thought it'll be impossible anyway. If you have an easy birth, you might be fine to drive back: if you have a C-section you're not supposed to drive at all for six weeks afterwards. And you won't know that till the time. So proceed on the basis that you won't be able to drive. Get a taxi. Oh, and take the car seat with you to hospital so you can put it in the taxi coming back!

girlandboy Wed 17-Jun-15 16:32:49

I physically wouldn't have been able to drive myself to hospital while in labour! I was in far too much discomfort to be able to safely concentrate.

And going home? After my first DC, probably. Because I stayed in hospital for a couple of days and didn't feel too bad. But definitely not after my second. I went home after a couple of hours and couldn't even walk straight never mind work the pedals of a car.

Get a taxi smile

GuybrushThreepwoodMightyPirate Wed 17-Jun-15 16:33:05

It really depends entirely on the type of labour you have, how early you go to the hospital etc. Fwiw there is no way I could have driven safely once in labour, but there will be plenty of people who have done and had no problems.

My main concern would be getting behind the wheel and things ramping up during the journey, that would cause a serious danger to you, the baby and other road users!

Can you check the numbers of local taxis who will take a labouring woman?

Seeline Wed 17-Jun-15 16:33:59

I think it's very hard to say. So many variables!
How long the drive is
What stage of labour you are at when you decide to go to hospital
How quickly the labour progresses and how much pain you're in
Whether you can keep calm and would be safe to drive

Similar with driving home afterwards - it will depend on what sort of birth you have had.
I was in labour for 2 days with my first and in hospital for nearly a week.
I had stitches with both which meant I was very uncomfortable driving, and wouldn't have wanted to try immediately.
If you end up with a cs, then you won't be able to.

I'd use your MIL, or a taxi to get there., but make it clear you don't want her to stay.
Coming home will be easier to arrange a lift, but make sure you have a car seat available.

motherinferior Wed 17-Jun-15 16:34:06

I'd think you'll be risking everyone's safety, including other road users, if you drive while experiencing big contractions.

I had an utterly awful vaginal birth first time and I'm quite sure I couldn't have driven.

Jinglebells99 Wed 17-Jun-15 16:34:38

I don't think you would be able to drive in labour! I couldn't have done, too painful. It wouldn't be safe.you wouldn't be able to concentrate on the road. Could your husband not learn to drive now? My friend also had a non driving husband and she had to get a very good friend to take her. Also one of mine, was two weeks early, the other two weeks late, so it would be difficult to predict when your mum was needed!

Buttwing Wed 17-Jun-15 16:36:43

I would say not. I've had four babies and by the time you get to the point that you will be going you are not going to be able to safely drive. Is this your first baby?
With my first my labour started at 3pm and I went to hospital at 11 at night. My mum lived 2 hours away and drove up when I was sure it was labour. If your mil took you you could put a in bag on the seat and then towels folded up on top to catch any leaks?
By the time I left there was no way I could have driven and when I got there I was four cms dilated it took 8 hours to get to that point which I think is pretty normal. Of course some people are quick but I think it's quite unusual.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 17-Jun-15 16:38:55

no get a taxi, please!

Oliversmumsarmy Wed 17-Jun-15 16:41:23

I drove myself to hospital. It was 2am and no one was about.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Wed 17-Jun-15 16:42:17

Please don't - it's not safe - even if you feel OK when you leave, you never know when things might ramp up and let's face it, even momentarily losing concentration during a contraction could have terrible consequences.

What about a taxi? Or could a friend or neighbour help out? I'd gladly drive a friend to hospital in labour.

Sidge Wed 17-Jun-15 16:44:00

I'd say not, partly because you won't be safe and partly because it would cost you a fortune in parking!

Get a taxi, or ask someone to take you. Labours aren't like on the telly and you will usually have lots of time to get there, especially with first babies.

Once your contractions teach about on every 5 minutes or so you can head in (phone them first) and that means you can plan backwards, so call your lift or a taxi when they're coming every 7-10 minutes or so, strongly and regularly. (Unless you live a very long way from hospital).

notquitegrownup2 Wed 17-Jun-15 16:45:47

You could be in hospital for 24, 48, 72 hours or more! Even if it were safe to drive (I certainly couldn't have driven safely. I was violently throwing up even 2 minutes) the parking fees would have been horrendous.

A taxi is your answer

DinosaursRoar Wed 17-Jun-15 16:46:56

Get a taxi! I'm sure you're normally a very safe driver, but I would not want to be in the lane next to you in active labour!

Failing that, if you want to use your MIL, you can get incontinence mats (bit like big disposible changing mats) that are waterproof on one side, absorbant on the other, sit on one in the car with a super absorbant saintary towel in and you're unlikely to leak on the car seat (although I threw up a lot in labour). I'd recommend getting some of those mats anyway and putting them under your sheets to save your matress if your waters go in the night.

If a taxi company won't take you/can't get to you in time and you really can't face calling MIL, call an ambulance.

(do you have time for your DH to learn to drive? If this is a few months away, he could and solve the problem, it might be helpful as well not to be the only driver once DCs arrive)

PotteringAlong Wed 17-Jun-15 16:47:41

Not got a hope. Taxi there and bank.

PotteringAlong Wed 17-Jun-15 16:48:08

Please do not call an ambulance. They're not a taxi service.

ginmakesitallok Wed 17-Jun-15 16:49:03

Dear God no! Sit on a towel/bag and go with mil or get a taxi.

DinosaursRoar Wed 17-Jun-15 16:49:55

oh yes, any neighbours who'd be happy to be on standby? My friends who live in London have done this for neighbours (as a large % of people don't drive and don't need to for normal day to day life)

Also worth checking re the parking, at our hospital, you put in the smallest amount for the carpark (around £1) then they gave you a sign from the ward to put in the windowscreen so you didn't need to pay again/get fines.

ARV1981 Wed 17-Jun-15 16:52:38

Thanks! That's unanimous. This is my first baby (i guess my naivete shows!!!) I've got 13 weeks to go, so not long enough for husband to learn... But long enough to sort something out. I'll find out which taxi firms will take me...

Vintagebeads Wed 17-Jun-15 16:53:43

I was in the same position as you,once the time came there was no way I could have driven,I had a very quick labour on ds1.

My mum came over, and drove us.The second time she couldn't get there quick enough and it was D's to the cm and taxi.
Don't plan to drive .

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