Do you think your unborn baby is protected from outside dangers while in the womb? Sadly, car accidents can disrupt that safety. Read on to learn how.

Car Accidents Can Jeopardize Your Pregnancy

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car-accident-dangers-for-pregnant-womenAs an expectant mother, you want to do everything possible to protect your unborn child. So you read all the books, you take all of the pediatrician’s suggestions, and you stay away from anything that could potentially hurt your growing baby. Unfortunately, there's one potentially hazardous activity that you may find difficult to avoid—riding in a car.

Risks for Pregnant Women in Cars

Car travel in itself is not dangerous for an expectant mother. However, the risk of injury complications is greatly increased during a car accident when the injured party is pregnant. In fact, women who are at least four months pregnant are almost eight times more likely to require emergency treatment after a car accident than women who aren’t pregnant or who are in their first trimester.

Depending on the stage of pregnancy, injuries to the womb and fetus can range from minor bruising to severe and life-threatening injuries. These complications include the following:

  • Placental abruption. Throughout a normal pregnancy, your placenta will remain firmly attached to the inner wall of your uterus until labor. However, during a car accident, the force or impact of the collision can cause the placenta to detach, leading to placental abruption. Placental abruption can be extremely serious for both mother and child as it can cause internal bleeding for the mother, premature birth, and developmental complications for the baby. 
  • Miscarriage. A miscarriage is the accidental loss or death of a fetus within the first two trimesters of pregnancy. Any number of car accident-related injuries from impact to jarring forces can lead to uterine trauma which can then cause the fetus to involuntarily abort. After an accident, it’s important to monitor your body for signs of bleeding, cramping, and lower back pain, as these are all symptoms of a possible miscarriage.
  • Premature birth. The impact force of an accident during the third trimester can initiate labor. In addition to a placental abruption, any unexpected trauma can cause the uterus to cramp and begin contracting, which sets the ball rolling for labor. Unfortunately, if the accident occurs between 20 and 37 weeks of pregnancy, the premature birth can lead to birth defects and a low birth weight.
  • Fetal trauma. Eighty-two percent of fetal deaths are directly related to car accident injuries. Injuries to the baby’s body or brain can have long-term, life-threatening results. The jarring motion of a collision, even a minor fender-bender, can injure a fragile fetus. Just as you may experience whiplash, your baby can also experience strain on his neck as well as on his brain. In the case of an unborn baby, this type of injury is commonly referred to as “shaken baby syndrome.”

The above information is essential for any expectant mother to know. We hope that by bringing these risks to your attention, you’ll be better equipped to protect your child. We also hope that you'll share this information via Facebook and social media. Your post could help others realize their risks and the importance of car travel safety for both mother and child.

For more information on car accidents and pregnancy risks, please feel free to browse our extensive library of resources and articles.

Category: Car Accidents


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