Is it safe to use a seat belt during pregnancy?

Is it safe to use a seat belt during pregnancy?

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Yes. It's dangerous not to. Research has repeatedly shown that the best way to protect your growing baby is to protect yourself by wearing a properly positioned safety belt every time you're in a car or truck.

To avoid injuring yourself and your baby, the seat belt must be properly fastened. The seat belt should be a three-point restraint (that means it should have a lap strap and a shoulder strap).

Secure the lap belt under your belly, low and snug on your hipbones. Never wear the belt across or above your belly. During a crash, the sudden jolt from a belt in this position could cause the placenta to tear away from the uterus or cause other injuries.

If you're wearing a winter coat or heavy sweater that makes the seat belt slide up on your belly, consider removing your outerwear once it's warm inside the car.

Always use the shoulder belt, too, which should fit snugly between your breasts and off to the side of your belly. If the shoulder belt cuts across your neck, reposition your seat or the belt so it fits better. Do not place the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back.

There are now seat belt positioning devices being sold for use in pregnancy, but I would warn against their use. There are no safety standards for any of these devices, and—by respositioning the seat belt or how it functions—they may put you in an unsafe situation in the event of a crash.

Air bags offer additional protection. However, air bags do not replace the need to wear your seat belt. (In fact, an air bag can be dangerous if it opens and you're not securely buckled up.)

When you're driving, adjust the front seat so it's as far away as possible from the steering wheel and dashboard while still allowing you to reach the pedals comfortably. If your steering wheel is adjustable, aim it up and away from your stomach. That way, the air bag will deploy toward your chest, not your belly.

Whether or not you're pregnant, the safest place for you to sit as a passenger is in the back seat. Where a mother sits has not been shown to affect the safety of an unborn baby in a crash, but injuries from car crashes tend to be less serious to people who are sitting in the back seat. Again, buckle up in a three-point belt.

By the way, if you're in a car accident – even a minor one – see your healthcare provider as soon as possible after the crash. Although you may feel just fine, it's important to make sure both you and your baby are unharmed.

Watch the video: Are Pregnancy Seat Belt Attachments Safe? (January 2023).

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