Mums-to-be ask, "How to wear a seatbelt when pregnant?"
When you are pregnant, travelling in the car with a baby bump can be uncomfortable. But the more challenging part is wearing a seatbelt. And it isn't something you should ignore, no matter how uncomfortable you may feel.
Doctors recommend buckling up through all stages of your pregnancy. It is the single most effective action to protect yourself and your unborn child from a crash and some injuries.
But putting on a seatbelt isn't as straightforward as you thought and chances are, you've been doing it wrong. This topic was addressed by emergency doctor and mum-to-be, Dr Katie. She demonstrated the 'right' way to wear a car seatbelt when pregnant in a now-viral TikTok video.
Doctor Demonstrates How To Wear Car Seat Belt During Pregnancy
Dr Katie demonstrates how to wear car seat belt during pregnancy. | Image courtesy: Tiktok
Dr Katie shared, "Yesterday I was working in the emergency department and I was looking after a young lady who was in her third trimester of pregnancy and unfortunately she had been involved in a car accident."
"As part of my assessment, I was asking her where she was wearing her seatbelt and she indicated she was wearing it across her pregnant bump like this, and it dawned on me that not everyone may know the safest way to wear a seatbelt during pregnancy if they're travelling in a car," she added.
She demonstrated how to wear a car seatbelt during pregnancy using her own 34-week bump as a reference.
How To Wear Car Seat belt During Pregnancy
Dr Katie shares dos and don'ts for wearing a seat belt for pregnant mums. | Photo courtesy: TikTok
Pregnant mums, take note of the following reminders from Dr Katie:
- You should wear your seatbelt UNDERNEATH the bump.
- The shoulder strap should be above your bump and in between your breasts.
- You should have your seat as far back from the steering wheel as is safe to do so. This is to minimise the impact of the airbags hitting you and your pregnant belly if they do go off.
She reminded expectant mothers to visit their obstetricians or midwives in case of minor accidents.
"If you are in an accident, no matter how minor it is, you should see your obstetrician or midwife because even minor accidents can lead to complications for you and your baby," she advised.
Her viral TikTok video garnered thousands of likes. In fact, mums filled the comments section with gratitude. Many thanked Dr Katie for sharing the 'correct way' of wearing seat belts. While some shared that they managed to save their unborn baby, thanks to this tip.
One mum wrote, "I was taught this two hours before I was in a bad car accident at 22 weeks. It saved my son's life."
Another mum mentioned, "Thank you for sharing this! I had no idea how to wear my seatbelt, but it was always on my mind when driving."
Another mum credited this vital information to saving her son. She said she had an accident when she was 35 weeks pregnant but this tip saved her and her unborn child.
"I lost consciousness and have many injuries because I did what you are exactly saying, my son, survived," she shared.
How To Wear A Car Seat Belt During Pregnancy: Safety Tips For Mums
This is how to wear a car seat belt during pregnancy. | Image courtesy: iStock
If you are a busy expecting mum and often drive your way around the city, here's how to wear a seat belt during pregnancy.
1. Shoulder belt and lap belt
Stick to the three-point seat belt. In a three-point seat belt, a strap goes across the shoulder and one strap across the lap. You need to take care of a few things while buckling your shoulder belt and lap belt.
The shoulder belt should be away from your neck and across your chest (between your breasts). But it should not be off your shoulder. It is important to wear it this way, as it will keep your weight off the baby if you get into an accident.
Secure the lap belt should below your belly so that it fits across your hips and pelvic bone. Do not place it over or on top of your belly because it may pose a risk to your foetus in case of a massive jerk or a crash. Wearing the belt below the belly will also avoid unwanted pressure on the baby.
2. Sit away from the steering wheel
If you are driving, make sure to keep as much distance as possible between your belly and the steering wheel. Try not to let your belly touch the steering wheel as a precautionary measure in case of an accident. If you are a passenger, move your backseat as much as possible.
Don't dismantle the airbags as they can save your life as well as your baby. Even if your car has airbags, you still need to wear your seat belt. Airbags work with seat belts, not as a replacement.
Without a seat belt, you can crash into other passengers, or get ejected from the vehicle. Remember, an airbag (if opened) should touch your chest and not your stomach. Thus, keep the steering wheel away from your belly.
4. Try sitting in the backseat
During the advanced stage of your pregnancy, always try to sit in the backseat. Injuries sustained while sitting in the front are often more damaging. If you are carrying twins, avoid driving altogether to avoid any danger.
5. Stretch your legs
It is important to relax. If you are going on a long drive, make sure to take frequent breaks. Stretch your legs to allow blood circulation. To prevent backache, carry a cushion and use it to support your lower back.
What To Do In Case Of An Accident
If you have met with a vehicle crash -- even a minor one -- check with your doctor as soon as possible. Especially if you notice stomach pain, leakage from your vagina, or any contractions. Don't panic in case of emergencies, but take the necessary actions for your and your child's safety.
Before you plan a car trip or you may be driving down to the office every day, always consult your doctor. Remember, mid-pregnancy, about weeks 14 to 28, is an ideal time for travel. This is when emergencies are least likely. By week 28, you also may find it harder to move around and sit for a long time.
While you take care of your comfort, remember safety needs to come first. This is why you should know how to wear car seat belt during pregnancy for your and your unborn child's safety. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Image Source: iStock
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