Most of you will drive at some point in pregnancy so here are a few tips to make sure you’re safe.
Your baby is generally well protected by you and the amniotic fluid surrounding them, but, there are a few very important safety tips you need to know before getting behind the wheel.
- Always wear a seat belt, unless you have been given an exemption certificate from your Obstetrician or GP. Ensure the top part goes over your collarbone and between your breasts, the lower strap should lie across your thighs, hips and under your bump. It should be as low as possible and never over your bump this has been shown to cause serious injuries to unborn children if you are involved in an accident.
- Move your seat back as far as you can, ensuring you are both comfortable and can reach the peddles. Then tilt your seat slightly to gain more distance between your bump and the steering wheel. Basically, you want to be as far away from the steering wheel as safely possible.
- Avoid long distance driving if possible. If you do have to go on a long journey, try and share the drive with someone else. Plan additional time to stop regularly (your bladder will probably prompt you anyway), circle your ankles, have a walk and a stretch. Get the blood flow circulating. Keep well hydrated, this is so important during pregnancy but even more important if you are travelling long distance.
- Try and sit with your back flat against the seat rather than slouched. This will reduce the slack on your seat belt and help to keep it tort so if you do suddenly stop or are involved in a collision your movement will be minimised.
- Airbags are considered safe so you do not need to have it disabled during pregnancy.
- Finally, not really a safety tip more of a trick to help encourage your baby into a good position ready for labour - put a firm, preferably wedge-shaped cushion on the seat to tilt your pelvis forward. You want your knees to be slightly lower than your hips as much as possible.
If you are in an accident, no matter how minor, you need to call your midwife or doctor for a checkup. You may feel fine but an assessment is needed to make sure there hasn’t been any harm caused to your or your baby. Also if your blood group is Rh Negative you may need an injection called Anti-D but don’t worry about this it is normal protocol.