Car wrecks are always troubling, but add in a pregnancy and the problems can multiply quickly. The health and well-being of both you and your unborn child could be at special risk if you get in a wreck, so read on to learn more about staying safe while driving.
A Dangerous Situation
No matter how minor the car wreck may seem, seek medical treatment immediately. You would be surprised at how much even a relatively minor jolt can affect your baby, even when you did not seem to suffer any injuries yourself. While the amniotic sac works amazingly well to protect your precious child from impacts, you and the baby could still suffer from several serious injuries, such as:
- Early labor. Babies who aren't quite ready to face the world are at special risk, and the trauma and impact of a wreck could cause you to begin labor too early.
- Water breakage: Once your water breaks, the birth of the baby will inevitability follow, whether it's a good time or not.
- Separation of the placenta wall.
- Miscarriage. A birth that takes place prior to 20 weeks of pregnancy is seldom viable.
- Still birth.
Safety tips for driving while pregnant.
1. Don't make the mistake of thinking that using a seat belt while pregnant can harm the baby, and be sure you understand the correct way to wear it:
- Never use only the bottom part (lap belt) or top part (shoulder) alone; they work together to keep you and the baby safe and must be used in tandem.
- For proper fit, lift up a little on your belly and place the lap belt underneath. Make sure to tighten the belt.
- It may be tempting (and more comfortable), but never wear the shoulder belt section under your arms; make sure it rests between your breasts.
2. The presence of the airbag makes it safer for both of you, but presents a greater challenge if you are pregnant. You can avoid some of the impact of the air bag by keeping your seat as far back as possible and still ensure safe driving. If you can tilt the steering slightly upwards and still drive safely, you can also re-direct the impact of any air bag inflation.
3. You will likely tire more easily, so limit your driving to 2-3 hours at a time. Take lots of breaks to keep alert and walk around a little to help prevent leg cramps.
If you are in an accident.
Once you have sought medical care, be sure to contact a personal injury attorney immediately. Being injured while pregnant entitles you to special compensation, and the insurance companies are seldom prepared to pay you enough to compensate you for your pain and suffering for this extraordinary circumstance.