Is It Safe to Wear a Seat Belt While Pregnant?

For years now people have speculated whether or not wearing a seat belt while pregnant is safe for the unborn child. Due to the placement of belts, right under the developing baby, some worry buckling up could do more harm than good. However, extensive research suggests that wearing your seat belt while pregnant significantly increases the safety of both the mother and her unborn baby.

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Health System conducted a study to find out exactly how safe it is for pregnant women to go without a seat belt. The study found that80% of women who did not wear seat belts either lost their baby or the child was seriously injured. Additionally, their research found that 50% who wore their seat belts incorrectly suffered either loss or injury to their unborn child. This showed that not only should pregnant be vigilant about buckling up, they should also be very vigilant about wearing their seat belts the correct way.

As a pregnant woman’s body grows and changes to accommodate her unborn child, she should be mindful of where she wears her seat belt. Some injuries to unborn children in car accidents involved seat belts pulling or pushing on the unborn baby’s body, causing serious harm or even death. To prevent this, the belt should be worn around the belly, with the lap belt low between the hips or over the top of the thighs. The chest belt should swoop to the side of the mother’s belly, resting between her breasts. By wearing a belt this way, it relieves pressure from the baby in the event of a crash or sudden stop.

To stay safe behind the wheel, expectant mothers should also be mindful of how they sit. As the belly grows, a mother should extend her seat backward so that there is room for her belly without it hitting the steering wheel. Again, during a crash the impact with the steering wheel could be harmful to a developing baby.

If you are ever in an accident while pregnant, or you are with an expectant mother who has been in a crash, seek medical attention immediately. Even if the mother feels perfectly fine, adrenaline can sometimes mask symptoms, and the baby may be harmed even if the mother is not. For this reason, always see a doctor for a professional opinion after an auto accident.

If you or a loved one was injured in a motor vehicle accident while pregnant, our firm can help. Contact Syfrett, Dykes & Furr for legal help or to schedule a free initial consultation.

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