Car accidents carry risks to pregnant drivers and passengers, and can have catastrophic effects for unborn children. Learn how to protect yourself here.

Vital Tips You Need to Know to Protect Your Pregnancy During and After a Car Accident

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protect-your-unborn-baby-in-the-carUnfortunately, no matter how careful you are or how diligent you may be with following the safety recommendations for pregnancy, there are certain dangers that many prenatal books fail to mention. One of the dangers pregnant women face on a daily basis is riding in a car. The potential risk of a car accident can have devastating effects on a pregnancy as well as the safety and well-being of the baby.

Prenatal Car Accident Protection

Babies are pretty well protected while they grow in the uterus, but traveling by car can be hazardous if you get into an accident. An estimated 32,800 pregnant women are involved in motor vehicle crashes annually. Due to the positioning of a pregnant woman's body, the child is susceptible to impact injuries from the console, dashboard, seat belt, and side airbag. These injuries can range from minor bruising to severe trauma. However, you can reduce these risks by understanding the dangers and taking the initiative to plan ahead when you absolutely must drive or ride in a car. Consider the following tips:

  • Avoid non-essential trips. The best way to avoid car accident injuries is to not be in a car. However, this option isn’t wholly practical in a busy world. You can still reduce your risks by limiting driving time, especially in the third trimester, and positioning yourself as far away from the steering wheel and console as possible. The safest place for an expectant mother is actually in the middle of the back seat as there is less risk for crush injuries.
  • Use your seat belt properly. Three-point belts are essential to keep both mother and child safe in the event of a collision. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough that you just strap yourself in while driving—you must position the belt correctly depending on the size of your baby bump. Pregnant women are expected to wear the shoulder portion of the belt over the collarbone, between the neck and the top of the arm. However, as the belly gets bigger to accommodate the growing child, the lap portion of the belt must be adjusted and placed under the abdomen, across the upper thighs, and as low as possible on the hips.
  • Drive consciously. Remember that you’re driving for two and refrain from taking unnecessary risks. To ensure your baby remains safe, follow all traffic rules and allow aggressive drivers to pass you.
  • Avoid expressways. The faster the traffic, the higher the risk for an injury accident. If you must travel, try to limit your routes to back roads where speeds are slower and traffic congestion is light.
  • Get medical help immediately. No matter the degree of your injuries or how you feel after an accident, you should always seek medical attention immediately. Even if your injuries don't appear to be severe, fetal trauma can be hard to detect until it is too late. Have your doctor examine you thoroughly to rule out any fetal distress.

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Category: Car Accidents


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