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June 09, 2022 4 min read

INTRO

Motherhood. What a noble act of pure love. It's the most underrated time for a woman but also the most fulfilling in her life. Motherhood doesn't start from when your baby is born. No. It starts from that single act of love that has changed your life forever. While pregnant, you're eating for two, adding various prenatal vitamins and (sigh) skipping on your favorite bottle of wine. 

Another important act of love during pregnancy that is also extremely underrated is car safety. If you really think about it, your baby's very first car seat is your car's seat belt. So how responsible are you while driving a car? Do you always wear a seat belt? And if yes, do you wear it correctly?

We wrote this blog to get straight to the point on how you can make sure to be 100% safe and comfortable at all times while driving your car during pregnancy. 

 

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HOW YOU SHOULD POSITION YOUR SEAT BELT

It's logical to say that wearing a seatbelt while driving is key. Not only it's mandatory in most of the countries of the world, but it's also absolutely essential to keep you and your baby safe at all times. However, just buckling up may not be completely safe. You need to make sure you are doing it correctly. 

To avoid injuring yourself and your baby, always make sure your seat belt is properly fastened, using a three-point restraint (like all the cars have). And up until here, I think we are all on the same page. Nothing new. But pregnancy changes your body and your comfort while driving, therefore there's a few recommendations that we'd like to share with you, which have been approved by the NHTSA.

  1. Position the lap belt right below your belly, across the tops of your thighs and hip bones. NEVER place the lap belt over your belly! In the event of a crash, the pressure could harm your baby or the placenta.
  2. Place the shoulder belt right between your breasts and off to the side of your belly. This way your head and chest are protected at all times.
  3. Tilt the steering wheel upward. With that nice rounded belly, you'll need some extra room in the car! 
  4. Slide your seat as far away as possible from the steering wheel. Creating space between you and the steering wheel will increase the gap needed for the airbag to bloat during a crash and ease the impact. 
  5. Adjust your seat to a comfortable upright position. Make sure the shoulder belt is making contact with your chest and you're not sliding forward with your hips. You're not sitting on a sofa, unfortunately. 
  6. If you can, take a sit in the back and do not drive. The back seat is always the safest place. Just don't forget to buckle up!
  7. If you get into an accident, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. You may feel fine, but preventing is better that cure. 

ONE MORE SUGGESTION: PREGNANCY SEATBELTS

Every year, there's thousands of lost pregnancies due to car crashes. The sad fact is that car engineers did not design or test the existing seat belt system to protect pregnant women. In fact, the current system actually exposes a possible risk for injury, or even death, of the fetus. Jim Hofferbirth, former director at NHTSA, stated that "it is not possible to position the lap belt in a way that would prevent crushing the fetus in a frontal crash. Clearly lap and shoulder belts alone are not appropriate for use by pregnant women."

That's why, here at Queenya, we felt the need to create Safebelt™, the pregnancy seat belt. Thanks to its design, Safebelt™, lets the seat belt adjust comfortably across your thighs using a 3-point lap sash. This pregnancy seat belt will redirect the lap belt away from the belly and it'll eliminate the danger of putting pressure on it in case of sudden braking or road accidents.

The pregnancy seat belt is easy to install and you will not even feel its presence while driving. Simply attach it on the seat and drive knowing to be using all the necessary precautions. Feel free to check out this very helpful link from Federaciòn Mapfre about safety during and after pregnancy

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WHEN SHOULD YOU STOP DRIVING WHEN PREGNANT

There are no laws or general rules about this matter, so it is completely up to you. Trust your instincts and stop when you feel enough is enough. The decision can also be influenced by the kind of car you're driving. The moment you start feeling out of room it's the time to give yourself a break. There should always be at least 20cm of space between you and the steering wheel, so pull out the meter and make your calculations!

In case you need to drive for a long period of time, there's a high risk of thrombosis or DVT. So always make sure to:

  1. Drink plenty of water. 
  2. If you are traveling for long periods of time, try to share the driving with someone or just let him/her take over. 
  3. Stop for regular breaks and have snacks ready to go. Typically, a quick pause/stretch every 90' should be enough. 

NHS also suggests to wear compression stockings for long car trips for those women who are particularly sensitive to low blood flow. However, in this case, it's always recommended to ask your doctor. 

CONCLUSION

That is all my dear mothers-to-be! We truly hope you could find some helpful advices reading through our blog. Now buckle up and good luck for the most important ride of your life: Motherhood. 

 

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