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When you are pregnant, all of a sudden your life changes. Things that seemed a child’s play earlier, during pregnancy may seem extremely challenging. Morning sickness, nausea, fatigue are common issues during pregnancy, and all this will pass. But things to which you never paid attention will fill your mind with doubt. For example, while sitting in a car, you must have never thought that wearing a seat belt would ever pose a challenge. But, when you are pregnant, you will wonder should you wear a seatbelt or not? Usually, nobody pays heed to such small things but during pregnancy, you should. Seat belts can prevent any serious injuries and save lives too. When you are pregnant, it is not one life on the line, but two. So, be careful.
Is It Safe to Use a Seat Belt during Pregnancy
It is safe to use a seat belt in a car when you are pregnant. Studies show that women who do not wear seat belts are more likely to lose their babies if they are in an accident than women who do wear them. If you wear it properly, there is no harm then.
How to Wear a Seatbelt When You are Pregnant
If you wear your seatbelt in the correct way, it can protect both you and your baby from serious harm. So, here are a few tips to wear your seat belt the right way:
- Pregnant women should stick to the three-point seat belt. In a 3-point seat belt, a strap goes diagonally across the shoulder and one strap across the lap.
- Wear the belt snugly on the hips.
- During the first trimester, wear your belt the same way you usually do.
- Tilt the seat back in order to make more room for your tummy.
- Make sure you wear the shoulder strap between your breasts and a little to the side of the belly. It is important to wear it, as it will keep your weight off the baby if you get into an accident.
- Place the lap belt under the belly to avoid an injury or unwanted pressure on the baby.
Safety Measures to Take while Wearing a Seatbelt
You know that it is better safe than sorry, so here we have put together some safety measures you can take when sitting in a car:
- Wear your seatbelt in the proper way during pregnancy.
- Move your seat back as far as you can if you have airbags.
- Do not try to dismantle the airbag as it can save your life as well as your baby’s.
- Try sitting in the backseat if you are a passenger, as injuries sustained in the backseat are often less serious than those sustained from the front.
- If you are driving, make sure to tilt the steering wheel towards your head instead of allowing it to remain facing your chest or belly.
- Do not place the shoulder strap behind the back.
- If you are wearing an extra layer of clothing, such as a jacket, remove it for the time being if it interferes with the lap strap by either making it too tight or if it causes it to slide around.
- If you are carrying twins, try not to drive until you have delivered.
- From your second trimester onwards, use a cushion or a folded blanket under your butt to raise you up until you are sitting flat. This will reduce the chances of you getting back aches and a posterior baby.
Tips for Being Comfortable while Wearing a Seat Belt during Pregnancy
The thought of going for a long drive and having to bear the heavy straps of a seat belt across your body may not sound pleasant. Therefore, here are two tips that will make wearing a seat belt during pregnancy a comfortable experience:
- If you are going for a long drive, make sure that you take a break often. You should get the chance to stretch your legs and allow blood circulation.
- To prevent a backache, carry a cushion and use it to support your lower back.
Here are some frequently asked questions about seat belts during pregnancy:
1. Do I Need to Buy a Pregnancy Seat Belt?
There is a special kind of pregnancy seatbelt out in the market that has been tested for safety, and it is designed to keep the lap belt away from the belly by securing the seat belt across the thigh and not across your lower abdomen region that is sensitive and could injure your baby. It also comes with a stainless steel anchor that is wrapped in foam cushion. There is a hook on the anchor seat that is placed in the middle of the legs so that the belt can be hooked on.
While this does sound very good, it is not necessary to go out and spend extra money on this as it comes with some notable problems. It may restrict your movement as it unwinds the seat belt much further than usual. If you like wearing dresses, remember that the positioning of the seat belt through the legs is not very convenient.
It only works for the front seat and not for the seat at the back, as the back seat is more like a bench. The pregnancy seat belt protector will also not work if you are overweight and there is no proper room for your legs to spread. If you are tall, your head may hit the roof of your car as the seat will raise your height. A regular seat belt will work just fine if you wear it correctly.
2. Are Seat Belt Positioning Devices Safe during Pregnancy?
Most seat belt positioning devices are not tested, and this makes them unsafe for anyone, let alone a pregnant woman. Try not to use the seat belt positioning devices, but stick to the standardized ones instead. The seat belt positioning devices have been known to place the lap belt on the uterus due to poor designs, and that is a very dangerous place for the seat belt to be.
Despite being careful, people can sometimes get into accidents. If you get into a car accident, no matter how small, go see your doctor and have a check-up immediately. Even if you do not feel like you were injured, it is always best to check if all is well with your baby as any extra pressure to your abdomen may have unpleasant impacts on your baby. If something turns out to be wrong, it is better to catch it as soon as possible so treatment can begin.
Also Read: Safety Tips for Travelling during Pregnancy