How Long After Giving Birth Can You Drive? Your Common Postpartum Questions Answered

In this post we take a look at some of the most common postpartum questions like how long after giving birth can you drive or have a glass of wine.

In this post we take a look at some of the most common postpartum questions like how long after giving birth can you drive or have a glass of wine.

Let’s start by answering what’s probably the most common question:

How long after giving birth can you drive?

If you’ve had a natural birth, you should be fine to drive within a week of giving birth. The most important this is that you wait for all medication to wear off and to feel comfortable to drive.

If you’ve had a c section, it’ll be slightly longer before your allowed to drive and you must check with your doctor first but on average it’s around four to six weeks before you’ll be driving.

How long before I can…

Hold My Baby

Whenever you want. If everything goes well, chances are that baby will be in your arms seconds after giving birth.

According to The Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation, when baby receives skin-to-skin contact after birth:

The baby is happier, the baby’s temperature is more stable and more normal, the baby’s heart and breathing rates are more stable and more normal, and the baby’s blood sugar is more elevated.

Don’t worry if baby is taken away, the doctors and nurses will need to weigh and clean up baby.

Drink Coffee

If you’ve been missing coffee then we’ve got some great news for you- caffeine is perfectly acceptable giving birth.

However, there’s a couple of things that you need to know:

  • You might want to drink your coffee with some food so you aren’t drinking on an empty stomach.
  • If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll want to limit yourself to just one or two cups.

Eat Sushi

Just like coffee, if you’ve been missing sushi then you can start eating raw fish straight away.

Again, if you plan on breastfeeding, take it easy and stick to fish like salmon, shrimp and whitefish that have lower mercury content.

Go Home

If you’ve had a vaginal birth and everything’s gone well, you should be fine to leave the hospital within 24 hours.

If things have been more complicated or you’ve had a c-section, basically anything that would add time to your postpartum recovery timeline then you can expect your stay to last anything up to four days.

Have a Drink

If you’re wondering how long before you can have a celebratory alcoholic drink then we’ve got some great news for you – 24 hours it’s probably perfectly fine to have your first drink in nine months.

Keep this in mind though:

If you’re breastfeeding, limit yourself to just a glass to celebrate and remember that because you haven’t had a drink for so long, there’s every chance that it’s going to go to your head quicker!

While a lot of women dream about their first drink while pregnant, in reality sleep and a good meal often trump alcohol.

Have Sex

Just like driving after a c section, it’s normally best to wait on your doctor to tell you when it’s okay to start having sex again.

This normally happens at the six week mark during your first postpartum checkup.

As with everything on this list, if you’ve had complications then the recovery time is going to be a lot longer.


Light exercise is usually fine to do a few days after giving birth, however, when we say light, we mean a short walk not light weights!

Typically though you’re not going to feel like doing a whole lot of anything for at least four to eight weeks following giving birth.

Go Back to Work

Depending on your employers maternity policy, it’ll be up to you how long you’re off for.

While most insurance policies will cover you for six to eight weeks, in countries such as the UK, many employers will give their employees between nine and twelve months of paid maternity leave!

Take A Bath

There are a couple of schools of thought on how long after giving birth it should be before having a bath.

Some doctors will tell you to avoid hot baths for six weeks while others will tell you that there’s nothing wrong with a warm bath.

Research is showing that sitz baths can be particularly helpful in speeding up your postpartum recovery and can really help alleviate any aches and pains that you might have.

Any other questions, let us know.

So there you have it, hopefully now you know the answer to how long after giving birth can you drive, drink and even workout. If you have any additional questions not on our list then leave a comment in the box below!

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