I should start this post by explaining that I am a seat belt and car safety fanatic. I spent hours researching car seats for my babies. I have had a Safety Specialist check to make sure our child car seats are installed properly. And I always, always, always wear a seat belt, and not just because it’s the law in MA.
But a few weeks ago when I got behind the wheel of my car I looked down and realized how close my belly is getting to the steering wheel and I started wondering how much damage the seat belt and air bag could do to my unborn baby if I was in a car accident. As you know, it’s never good for a hormonal, emotional pregnant lady to start imagining gruesome, worst case scenarios.
Thankfully, a study from last month’s American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology assuaged my fears immediately. As reported by Reuters, researchers at Duke University found that pregnant women who do not wearing a seat belt during a car crash are more likely to lose the pregnancy than mothers who buckled up.
Researchers looked at data from women in the second and third trimesters who had been treated after car accidents at Duke University Hospital between 1994 and 2010. Results showed that three fetuses (3.5 percent) died among the 86 mothers who were wearing a seat belt during the accident and another three fetuses (25 percent) died among the 12 mothers who were not wearing a seat belt.
So now I feel better knowing buckling up is the best choice for me and my baby. Just a reminder to you ladies packin’ babies right now: the lap belt part should be fitted across the hip bones, beneath your belly, NOT above your bump.
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