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article imagePregnant Women Are Risking The Life Of Their Unborn Child By Not Wearing Seatbelts

By Nikki Weingartner     Jul 8, 2008 in Health
They waddle to the car, scoot the seat as far back as it goes and dismiss the horrible torture device during that last trimester because it might hurt the baby. Wrong! Studies show that proper use of seat belt would prevent 84% of injury and fetal death.
Don't let the erroneous belief that a seatbelt will harm the baby deceive you into not wearing it if you are pregnant. A benchmarking study shows that hundreds of unborn babies could be saved every year just by wearing the belt.
An ongoing myth that seatbelts could hurt an unborn fetus was recently disproved by The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, according to The belief that a fetus could be harmed by the belt due to it overlapping the belly bump is common among many pregnant women but the the seatbelts save lives, both of the living and the unborn:
"Some pregnant women are very concerned because the lap belt overlies their fetus," said one of the study's co-authors, Dr. Mark D. Pearlman, vice chairman of the U-M Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the U-M Health System. "This study shows the opposite is true, that seatbelts clearly help protect the fetus. It's very clear, based on this study, that pregnant women should buckle up every single time they're in a vehicle."
The study looked at data on 57 accidents involving pregnant women. 10 of those pregnant women did not wear their belts and 6 wore their belts improperly, totaling nearly a third not properly restraining themselves and their unborn child.
As a result, half of those who were not restrained properly, their unborn children died or suffered major complications compared to the other two-thirds who were properly restrained, where only 29 percent had issues and no fetal deaths occurred.
Proper position of the lap belt is under the belly, very low across the hips.
The report cites the following statistics involved in the study:
There are 170,000 car crashes a year that involve pregnant women. About 6-7% of all women will experience a crash during their pregnancy. The study estimates that the proper use of seatbelts would prevent approximately 84% of injuries and deaths to fetuses in accidents.
For pregnant women, pregnant wives, friends, relatives and other loved ones, ensure that they know how to wear the belt properly and that it is more important to wear it than not for both their life and the life of their unborn child.
Would you throw a newborn in the backseat unrestrained on the way home from the hospital?
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