How safe is driving while pregnant?

Expecting? You must be excited and anxious!

You have a life growing inside you, he or she will be your friend, soul mate, best friend for the rest of your life; you will laugh together, you will cry together, you will do anything in your power to protect this tiny life growing inside you.

If you knew that the most dangerous place to be while pregnant is behind the wheel or as a passenger in a motor vehicle, what would you do? If you knew that studies show 700 babies — and perhaps up to 5 times that — are lost every year in the U.S. from trauma caused by motor vehicle crashes?

There is overwhelming evidence to prove this fact. Studies reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association states, “Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause [4 of 5, or 82%] of fetal deaths related to maternal trauma. Improved tracking of traumatic fetal injury deaths is important to stimulate and guide research and efforts to reduce the risks to women and fetuses from injury during pregnancy.”

It is simple. Tiny babies are not meant to travel at high speeds then come to a stop by hitting a seat belt. Even at minimal speed, seat belts can cause serious damage to your unborn child. Studies also found that seat belts can cause severe damage to the placenta (the organ that provides nourishment and takes away waste), which can result in the loss of your child.

Numerous tests and studies were conducted by leading U.S. obstetricians and gynecologists as to the effect of motor vehicle crashes on pregnant women and their unborn babies. Most results were shocking, and in almost every report, the conclusion is more must be done to protect the mother and her unborn child, even in a minor collision.

Tests revealed that the force on the tummy during a crash or sudden braking could be as high as 2 tons. Tests also revealed that during a crash or sudden braking, the body’s motion is to submarine, which means that the body pushes down and forward under the seat belt. This motion combined with the body’s weight causes most harm to pregnant women. The Tummy Shield is a simple device that virtually eliminates this serious problem of submarining, and yet is easy to use.

how safe is driving while pregnant

Tummy Shield™ is carefully designed to reduce the risk of injury to your unborn child and to yourself, it does this by diverting seat belt pressure away from the tummy area to the thigh and pelvis areas.

Learn more from the March of Dimes.

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