Buckle Up For Your Baby

Buckle up, Mom -- a recent study affirms that in a car accident, not only is your life in danger, but your baby’s is as well.

Pregnant woman and seatbelt

Seatbelts are a part of life, and that should include pregnancy, right? A recent study affirms that pregnant women should buckle up in a vehicle, not only for their safety, but their baby’s as well.

The numbers behind the study

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center examined the reports of 126 pregnant women (in their second and third trimesters) who entered the hospital between 1994 and 2010 due to car accident trauma. They determined which expectant mothers were using seatbelts and which were not.

They found that 3.5 percent of fetuses died when Mom was wearing a seatbelt, and 25 percent of fetuses died when Mom was not.

The sample size was quite low -- just 126 mothers at a single hospital -- but the numbers may help convince moms to buckle up.

Proper seat belt use

"Position the shoulder belt so it goes in between your breasts, and the lap belt so it fits snugly under your belly, along your hip bones"

I know that seat belts can be uncomfortable during a pregnancy, but since I grew up wearing one at all times, I honestly feel strange and exposed until I get mine fastened. When you’re pregnant, your growing belly and inflated breasts can make positioning a challenge, but it’s fortunately pretty easy to work around your changing body.

Position the shoulder belt so it goes in between your breasts, and the lap belt so it fits snugly under your belly, along your hip bones. This will help you stay planted in your seat in the event of an accident, and will keep the belt off your baby.

Nobody likes to think about being in a car accident, but even if you’re an excellent driver, things can happen that can turn your drive into a nightmare, like the weather, a drunk driver or someone making a mistake.

Case in point -- my older daughter and I were on our way back from Kansas City a year ago or so and it started raining. We were northbound on I-29  in three lanes of heavy traffic, and it became a massive downpour. There were vehicles on all sides of me. We rounded a corner and I saw a car spinning out of control, right in front of us. By some miracle we managed to almost miss him, just nailing his rear end as he sailed down an embankment off the highway. No serious injuries -- it just scared the pants off everyone. But a sudden downpour, hydroplaning -- it can go foul really quickly.

So buckle up!

More on safety

Pregnancy travel guide: 9 safety tips
Swimming pool safety for pregnant women
5 tips for safe travel while pregnant

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