It’s interesting that when women are pregnant they often spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over the safety of what they’re eating. In fact, women have a higher chance of risking the safety of their unborn child every time they get into a car as compared to when they eat, say, a piece of sushi (albeit both scenarios present very small odds of danger). That said, the same way you don’t want to risk the very small chance of getting sick from raw fish when you’re pregnant, you don’t want to risk getting injured in a car. Wearing a seatbelt is imperative for everyone. Pregnant women, however, might find that buckling up isn’t as intuitive as it once was.
First off, what are potential consequences of getting into a car accident while pregnant?
Depending on the damage the consequences can range from nothing to preterm labour, placental abruption (when the placenta – which delivers food and oxygen to your growing baby – separates from the uterine wall before birth) to miscarriage/still birth. Wearing a seatbelt can greatly diminish the chances of an awful outcome from occurring. No matter how serious or not an accident is, always seek medical attention if it happens during pregnancy.
How to wear a seatbelt when pregnant?
Anyone who gets into a car needs to wear both the lap belt and the shoulder strap snugly. Pregnant women should buckle the lap belt under their belly and over their hips. The shoulder strap should fall between their breasts and off to the side of their belly. See illustration above.