Full Disclosure: I was offered the opportunity to experience the Empathy Belly Suit by Ford at Blue Springs Ford in Blue Springs, Missouri and the thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by Ford. 

This is going to sound very ignorant of me, I realize that. It might cause an uprising but please continue reading and you’ll realize that I have a new understanding for this, but I didn’t understand just how difficult it was to drive while pregnant.

I am hoping that my wife’s OB doesn’t read my blog because if she does, she very well might get upset knowing that my wife drove an hour to and from work each day. She made that hour drive up to the day before our pride and joy (because we already messed up our 5 year old and we needed a new pride and joy) was born.

This is going to sound very ignorant of me, I realize that and it might cause an uprising but please continue reading and you’ll realize that I have a new understanding for this, but I didn’t understand just how difficult it was to drive while being pregnant. I understood that it was difficult to put your shoes on 7-8-9 months pregnant, I mean you have a human being growing inside of you.

But driving?

You are sitting down the entire time… what can be hard about that?

The Difficulty of Driving While Pregnant

Until you actually do it yourself… as a man! When Ford invited me to try on their empathy belly suit, sit behind the wheel, and look (because let’s be honest, with my driving record and a faux pregnant belly you don’t want me actually driving) like I’m driving. I jumped at the chance. It isn’t too often that you get a chance to experience what your wife is going through during while she is pregnant.

Almost immediately, my back started hurting and I had trouble walking. This is coming from a guy who hits the gym on a regular basis. Then I try to sit behind the wheel of a Ford Edge (sweet car by the way and wish I could have taken it out for a test drive) and struggle to sit down. A task that is generally easy for me. Within a few seconds, i feel the urge to go to the bathroom and I had just gone. This could mean only one of two things, I was either getting old or I was pregnant… maybe both.

I start to wonder why we didn’t just hire a driver for my wife while she was pregnant?

It never occurred to me that all of the changes I was seeing in my wife over those 9 long months made it difficult to drive. Outside of the growing belly, there are a multitude of different things a pregnant woman goes though that makes it different.

There were countless times when I would get in the car after my wife had driven to work and back to find myself needing to move the seat closer to the steering wheel. Now my wife is a good half foot to foot shorter than me so this was a big adjustment for me because it seemed that the seat was making it’s way further and further away from the steering wheel the further the pregnancy would go along. Along with that, I also had to start adjusting the mirrors because it seemed that each and everyday as that seat moved back, she was adjusting the mirrors with her belly. It is one of those times that I wish I had the Ford Blis that would detect when a car was in the other lane so that I wouldn’t have to adjust them nearly as much… which, I don’t recommend… and I’m sure Ford wouldn’t either.

I like to say that with our second child my wife’s pregnancy brain was worse than it was with our first. She admits that too but I believe it was worse than she will admit. I remember one time just driving to the grocery store she took a few different turns and actually started going to work… on a Saturday. Seriously, who wants to go to work on a Saturday? But that is how bad it was. In just the few blocks it took for us to get to the store she was off track. One of the ways that I could have made it easier, besides actually paying attention instead of being buried into my phone, was plan out how we were going to get to the grocery store before hand. Sounds simple right?

We are all aware of the cravings that come along with a pregnancy… and so am I. Take for example the night I was sent out to get some potato chips and pudding. But the engineers at Ford have put places for you (the husband more than likely) to stash treats for your wife as she is taking that hour long drive to work. And if you are looking to gain a few extra points you could put special notes of encouragement and love on them. The engineers at Ford, who have worn the suit themselves, have placed “craving hideouts” within an arms reach of anyone who is driving the vehicle. Not to mention they are within easy reach if you have a 9 month pregnant belly as well.

Lastly, I didn’t realize just how hard it was to buckle yourself in with said pregnant belly. But not only was it difficult to reach over, pull the seat belt, place it under my “pregnant” belly, and buckle it, but it also added to the pressure on my bladder… causing me to have the need to go to the bathroom faster than my 5 year old 15 minutes into a 6 hour road trip.

This is one of the things that makes Ford unique. Their engineers wear the empathy belly suit and think about what it is like to be pregnant while they are driving. And even thought we are done having kids (so we say now… ask us again in a few years) knowing that Ford takes the comfort of all passengers into consideration will definitely have me considering a Ford… maybe even a Ford Edge that I was able to experience the belly suit in, when we are looking at a new vehicle.

Ford along with Well Rounded NY have some great tips for a well rounded trip while you are pregnant.
  1. Adjust your mirrors
  2. Prep is everything when it comes to food cravings.
  3. Nausea happens
  4. distractions are dangerous
  5. Plan your route

For a full list of tips for driving while pregnant from Ford and Well Rounded NY take a look here.

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