The Real Truth About Driving While Pregnant!

Friday, September 27th, 2013. Filed under: Baby Health Education Pregnancy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATraveling by car is the most common form of transportation in many developed nations. Most women today are out in the work-force and do not have the option to stay at home while pregnant like many did years ago. Therefore, driving a vehicle to and from work is a necessity. However, many new moms worry about how safe it is to drive during pregnancy. It is natural to have these concerns and worry about a possible motor vehicle crash and what harm even a small accident may have on their baby. Being in a car accident while pregnant can result in such complications such as prematurity and placental abruption. Driving safe in the car is important at all times, especially during pregnancy. Pregnant women should be counseled by their practitioners about how to wear a seat belt and safety issues while driving during pregnancy. Here are a few safety tips that will help pregnant women feel more secure the next time they get behind the wheel.
Wear Your Seat Belt
Many women worry about seat belts and how tight they can be around their belly. Mothers also question the use of a seat belt and if it may cause harm or danger to the baby if they are in an accident. However, the mother can cause more harm to her and her baby if she is involved in an accident and did not choose to wear a seat belt. It is crucial to wear a seat belt while pregnant, even if it may feel a bit uncomfortable. It is best to wear a three-point seat belt. The three-point seat belts are the belts with both the shoulder strap and the lap strap.
How To Wear Your Seat Belt Safely
The way that a pregnant woman wears her seat belt during pregnancy is very important. The lap strap part of the belt should be worn underneath their baby bump, not across it. It should lay across their hips and high on the thigh area. If this strap is worn across their stomach, pressure from the strap may cause issues with the placenta and could harm the baby. The shoulder strap should be positioned between the breasts, off to the side of the uterus and sit over your collarbone.
Air Bag Safety
Another concern pregnant women have is whether or not the air bag is safe for them and their baby. Air bags are safe for pregnant women as long as they adjust their seat correctly. Depending on how big their belly is they may have to move their seat to where they are comfortable. Injuries that have been reported where pregnant women were harmed by their seat belts, were in most cases because they were sitting too close to the air bag. As long as there is enough room between their bump and the steering wheel, then they should be perfectly safe. Air bags should not be used as an alternative to seat belts. A seat belt should still be used for added safety.
Stay Comfortable
Traveling in a car while pregnant can get uncomfortable and seem like an endless trip at times. Being comfortable is very important, especially during pregnancy. The more comfortable you are while driving, the safer you will drive. It is best to avoid long road trips without any breaks. Having swollen ankles and a small bladder can really make long car rides an uncomfortable hassle. Quick trips running errands around your town are best. Also, do most of the driving during day light hours when accidents are less likely to take place.

By Andrew Handley

Andrew Handley writes about driving health and safety a the ProctorHonda blog. Feel free to send him a message at his Facebook page.

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