Q: Is it safe to wear a seatbelt during pregnancy?
Not only is it safe for pregnant women to wear a seatbelt, it’s dangerous not to. There is no better way to protect your baby when in a vehicle than by buckling up. However, proper seatbelt use is critically important.
How to Wear a Seatbelt Properly
The seatbelt should be a three-point restraint, with both a lap belt and a shoulder strap. This prevents you from being thrown from the vehicle in an accident.
Always use both the lap belt and the shoulder strap, and ensure that they both have a snug fit.
Never place the shoulder strap under your arm or behind your back. Position it between your breasts and off to the side of your belly.
Never place the lap belt above or across your belly. Buckle it under your belly, touching your thighs, and snugly over your hip bones.
If you’re wearing a coat or sweater that causes the lap belt to slide up on your belly, you should remove this outerwear prior to driving.
How a Vehicle Accident Can Impact Pregnancy
Depending on the severity of your injuries during a vehicle accident, you could face serious pregnancy complications, including:
- Premature rupture of the membranes, causing the sac around the baby to break prior to going into labor.
- Preterm labor, which begins prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy.
- Miscarriage or stillbirth. In a miscarriage, the baby dies in the womb prior to 20 weeks of pregnancy, while in a stillbirth the baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Placental abruption, a serious condition that develops when the placenta separates from the womb prior to birth.
Injury to the Unborn
If you’re involved in a vehicle accident while pregnant, you should seek medical treatment right away, even if you believe you haven’t been hurt. Next you should contact an attorney, since any injury to the unborn child may be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.