Why Pregnant Mothers Should Wear Their Seat Belts
f you think that your baby is safer by not wearing a seat belt, think again.
According to Kerry Grens's Reuters report, a new study shows that more fetuses die when their mothers aren't wearing seat belts in a car wreck than mothers who are buckled.
A 3.5 Percent vs. 25 Percent Difference
Of course, everyone needs to decide for themselves whether or not they'll wear a seat belt. Grens quotes the study's senior author, Dr. Haywood Brown, of Duke University Medical Center: "[L]ike all individuals, some choose and some do not choose to wear their seat belt."
Authors of the study looked at 126 cases of car or truck accidents in which mothers in their second or third trimesters were brought to the Duke University trauma center from 1994 to 2010. 86 mothers were wearing seat belts. 12 weren't. Of those who weren't, 25 percent of the fetuses died, as opposed to 3.5 percent among those mothers who wore seat belts.
So if you think a seat belt will actually cause more harm than good, this study indicates that you're wrong.
Wear the Seat Belt Below the Belly
"The bottom line is," says Brown, as Gren reports, "you've got to wear your restraint because it decreases the risk not only for your injuries but injury to your child."
Let's say you're convinced. You'll always wear your seat belt from now on.
But how should it be worn?
If you were worried that a seat belt would cause more harm than good, there's a proper way to wear it while pregnant. And it makes sense to wear it this way. According to Gren, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that the lap belt should be below the belly low on the hip bones. In other words, the lap belt shouldn't be right across the belly.
A Mother's Safety is the Baby's Safety
Ultimately, the mother's safety matters in any motor vehicle accident, no matter the cause, whether from texting to speeding to drunk driving. If the mother minimizes her injuries through the use of both the seat belt and the airbag, the unborn baby is also more likely to survive.
Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney
At the Dallas law firm of Crain Lewis Brogdon, LLP, we help Texans who have suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of someone else's careless behavior.