By: Michelle Rappold- Certified Nurse Midwife at Signature Healthcare
Sometimes, it is difficult to fit in all the things you would like to tell an expecting mom when she is in your office. What to expect over the next month, what’s normal or abnormal, things to watch out for and what tests need to be performed. There are things that we as providers take for granted that our patients know. Then we have a patient come to us with a problem that concerns us that a person did not know.
One of those is that sometimes our pregnant patients come to us after they have had a car accident to have their baby checked out and with concern about aches and pains. (Hopefully, nothing worse.) We always ask: Were you wearing your seatbelt, were you in the driver’s, front passenger’s or back passenger’s seat. Some women tell us they were not wearing a seatbelt so that she would not hurt her baby.
Well, because of research that has been done, ACOG (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), which are the people who tell us how to help pregnant people take better care of themselves, makes the following recommendations:
Taken from “Car Safety for Pregnant Women, Babies, and Children” ACOG FAQS sheet
Why is it important to wear a seatbelt when I travel during pregnancy?
Although the baby is protected inside your body, you should wear a lap and shoulder belt every time you travel while you are pregnant for the best protection—even in the final weeks of pregnancy. You and your baby are much more likely to survive a car crash if you are buckled in.
How should I wear a seatbelt while I am pregnant?
When wearing a seatbelt, follow these rules:
*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 (away from your neck)
*Never place the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back.
*Pull any slack (looseness) out of the belt.
What should I know about airbags when I travel in a car?
Follow these tips if your car has airbags:
*Keep 10 inches between the steering wheel and your breastbone
*If the car has an airbag “on/off” switch, check to be sure it is turned to “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 tilt steering wheel, make sure it is angled toward your breastbone, not your belly or your head.
No distracted driving!
Distracted driving means doing something else while driving that takes your hands off the steering wheel or your eyes or mind off the road:
*Using a cell phone
*Feeding a child or picking up a toy
*Using a navigation system or changing a dvd
Parents who are distracted while driving with children in the car are more likely to be in a crash. Wait to send a text or make a call until your car is parked.
Be safe and have a great month!
To learn more about Michelle, visit http://bit.ly/2nAf6PG.