Despite fears that wearing a seatbelt may harm an unborn child, mums-to-be are being warned that the risks of going without are much greater.
Some pregnant women fail to wear their seatbelts while driving or as a passenger as they are concerned the pressure on their bump may cause damage.
But new research carried out by experts from the Wake Forest University in the US, shows that the best way to keep baby safe is by always buckling up.
The team gathered data on pregnant women who had been involved in a traffic accident and found that 8.4 per cent of women who didn’t use any safety restraints (neither a seat belt nor airbag) lost their baby or had an early delivery.
This compares to 5.8 per cent of women who used a seat belt.
Here is some advice on wearing seatbelts when pregnant from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine:
- Position your lap strap so that it lies below your bump and runs low across your hip bones. This will minimise how much pressure is put on your belly should you be in an accident.
- Always use the shoulder strap. Place it between your breasts and down the side of your bump. Never put it below your arm or behind your back.
- If you’re driving, position your seat as far from the steering wheel as possible while still allowing you to comfortably reach the pedals.
- If you are in an accident, be sure to see your doctor, even if you feel fine or your injuries appear slight.