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Driving Safely When You Are in Labor

I just saw a news article about a woman in labor driving herself to the hospital. She was ticketed for speeding, but incredibly, the cop didn’t buy her story. She had to provide him with proof of her pregnancy!

In all fairness to the cop, I suppose he’s seen and heard just about everything. I assume that there are people who lie about labor and pregnancy just to get off without a ticket. I feel so sad for this woman because, I’ve driven myself to the hospital while in labor. It isn’t easy to do.

This brings up a good point which isn’t normally a topic of conversation–just how are you getting to the hospital? Perhaps your spouse is in the military and is deployed and you are “alone”. Perhaps you are a single mom without any family support. I knew of one woman who planned to take the bus to the hospital as she had no car and lived a long way away from her family. Taking the bus isn’t the best strategy.

I know of military families who have a relative come to stay with them during the last few weeks of the pregnancy to be available for the inevitable. I know of women who have asked their neighbors to take them to the hospital and I also know of women who have taken a taxi when “the time” arrived.

I can honestly say that driving while in labor was a scary and very dangerous thing for me to do. Can you imagine being pregnant and getting into a car accident on the way to the hospital? At the time, I just didn’t feel I had a lot of options though and wasn’t thinking very clearly. I’d made arrangements for a relative to take me to the hospital and when I ended up going into labor very early on a holiday no less, the person wasn’t available. Some folks asked me why I didn’t just call an ambulance, but I was worried about co-pays and insurance deductibles. How could I pay $500 for the ambulance ride?

If I had to do it again, I’d have prepared for labor a  little better. I’d make sure to have several back up plans and if those plans fell through, I’d call the amubulance and make payment arrangements on that $500 fee. I guess hindsight is always 20/20!


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