Why Can't I Drive?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Why Can't I Drive?
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 2:16am
I was told I can't drive for two weeks after my c-section. This has been a real hardship for me with dh out of town on business and my baby still in the NICU. I have to get someone to stay with my kids and someone to drive me to the NICU to nurse the baby twice a day.

So my question is, why can't I drive? I know you shouldn't drive while taking painkillers, but is that the only reason? Why is it that Friday I absolutely cannot drive, but Saturday it will suddenly be okay? If there is a reason, I'd like to know what it is so I can determine if I'm really ready to be driving. Anyone know?


Avatar for imichelleford
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 10:46am
Hi, I understand your frustration! Hope your baby gets to come home soon!! Okay, with my first section, I did not drive for the two weeks, but with second two I had to out of neccessity. I'm SURE there are medical reasons why you should not do it, so if you want to be sure ask your doctor. I also think that maybe they tell you not to, because if you are driving, you are not resting and recovering like you should be. (Shouldn't be going to the grocery store, running errands, lifting kids in and out of car). Driving just means that your doing more than taking it easy like you should be doing. So, if I were you, and you NEED to, just go to the hospital and back.....and be careful getting in and out of car and walking to much. It is major surgery and you do need to recover, although I know its hard when your worried about baby and need to feed. Good luck to you!

Michelle with Ryan (3) Katie 20 mon and Scott 5 weeks

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-03-1997
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 2:17pm
First of all, it is major abdominal surgery so pain killers and anesthesia after-effects are a concern. Also there is concern that you might not be able to hit the brakes fast/hard enough.

All that aside, if you were to have an accident when your Dr had not cleared you for driving then your insurance would not have to pay because you were acting against Dr's orders.

Hope you can get something worked out.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2003
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 2:45pm
Lurker from another board! Hi! I have had two c-sections. I think the reason for the not driving is more about the wound/car accident potential. Even a small fender bender that causes your seatbelt to tighten around your incision could start a major problem. Hemorraging etc. Be careful!
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-1998
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 3:43pm
I was told that I was allowed to drive as soon as I did not need pain medicine. (Until then, I had my 73 year old mother playing chauffer. That wasn't real good on the nerves.) That said, however, my BTDT SIL recommended not going for a long ride through the mountains with DH driving (the wounded belly/seatbelt issue)
Cthulu Crochet

Avatar for hfrazey
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 8:08am
But if that were the reason, wouldn't they tell you not to ride in a car at all? They tell you not to drive yourself but it's OK to ride in the car as long as somebody else is driving. Wouldn't the risk from an accident be the same if you were in the passenger seat?
Avatar for cl_kellybethinca
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 2:41pm
Yes, the risk is just as great as if you were a passenger, but you have to get home from the hospital somehow, and you have to get to your doctor's appointments, so it would be unreasonable to assume you couldn't be a passenger as well. I remember on the way home from the hospital after my 1st c-section, my DH had to brake quickly and I was in tremendous pain.

Obviously, you have to get there somehow, but overall, it is generally not a good idea to drive after major surgery. Your reflexes may be slower, and it would definitely cause you extra stress that you just don't need when you need to recovery quickly to start taking care of your baby.

Hope that helps!


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-1998
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 3:32pm
You know, if that IS the reason, then it's neglegent of the doctor to not add, "And limit unnecessary trips as a passenger, too." I've never heard of that caution being added. Heck, some doctors say "don't climb stairs" to people who live in 2nd story apartments.
Cthulu Crochet

Avatar for emma_harvey
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 9:50pm
In the UK you cant drive cause your car insurance doesnt cover you if its less than 2wks from surgery...but I think in the USA it's just recommendation, if you have a car accident your scar can burst open etc. I personally drove 9 or 10 days after c/s.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-29-2003 - 4:04pm
Hi there! I've had 2 c/s's. The first was an emergency & my daughter was also in the NICU for 2 weeks. Like you, I had to go to the hospital a couple of times a day. My dr. never told me I couldn't drive though. I knew better than to take a pain pill & then go to the hospital. With my 2nd c/s my daughter was born on time & they again, never said anything about waiting on the driving. I don't know why some do & some don't. Like you, I don't understand why on one day you can't drive but the very next day it would be different.

Lee Ann (mom to Hannah & Faith)