It is generally safe to drive while pregnant, however it is a common worry that a seatbelt might put too much pressure on your stomach and your baby.
Take a look at the following advice from Arrive Alive for moms-to-be:
- It’s a common worry during pregnancy that if you wear a seatbelt it might put too much pressure on your stomach and your baby, especially if an accident occurs.
- Studies have found that it’s safer for both mum and baby if you do wear a seatbelt and is much more dangerous to not wear one at all.
- Whilst wearing a seat belt during pregnancy may not be comfortable, it will improve safety for both mother and baby.
- When you must do the driving, learn to place the seat belt in the correct position – There is definitely a correct way to wear a seat belt.
- Place the lap-belt part of the restraint under your abdomen and across your upper thighs so it’s snug and comfortable – The lap belt should never ever be placed on or above your belly.
- Wearing a lap belt alone will do more harm than good. Research done by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents found that rapid deceleration in a crash caused injuries to the unborn baby when a pregnant woman was only wearing a lap belt.
- Adjust your sitting position so the belt crosses your shoulder without cutting into your neck.
- The shoulder belt should cross over your collar bone and lay between your breasts. It should be positioned so that it does not hit your neck.
- Never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm.
- When travelling in cars fitted with air bags, the front seat (whether it be the driving seat or the passenger seat) should be pushed back as far as practical.
- The belt should be worn as tight as possible -In this way the forces applied in a sudden impact can be absorbed by the body’s frame.
For more information about pregnancy and driving, Arrive Alive offers a great guide to ensuring your safety behind the wheel. Click here.
Also read: Seatbelt safety over the festive period