Everyone, including pregnant women, should wear a seatbelt when riding in a car. When used properly, seatbelts help save lives and can lower the chances of you getting injured in the event of an accident.
A growing pregnancy belly can make things more challenging and difficult at times, including wearing a seatbelt. It’s important for an expecting mom to think about their bodies as their baby’s first “car seat.” Wearing a seatbelt properly, including both the lap and shoulder belt, is critical every time you travel, even during those really uncomfortable last few weeks. Your seatbelt will help keep you and your baby safe should a crash occur.
How should I wear a seatbelt while pregnant?
- Buckle the lap belt below your belly so that it fits snugly across your hips and pelvic bone.
- Place the shoulder belt across your chest (between your breasts) and over the mid-portion of your collar bone.
- Pull any slack out of the belt for a firm fit.
- If you are in an accident, seek medical attention right away, even if you’re not injured.
- Never place the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back.
Important air bag information:
- Keep 10 inches between the steering wheel and your breastbone.
- If the car has an air bag on/off switch, check to be sure it is turned on.
- As your belly grows, you may not be able to keep as much space between you and the steering wheel. If the car has a tilting/adjustable steering wheel, make sure it is angled upward, toward your breastbone, not your belly.
- As a passenger, tilt your seat away from the dashboard and move the seat as far back from the dashboard as possible to reduce impact.
For more information about car safety while pregnant, click here.