How to Safely Wear a Seat Belt During Pregnancy

The safety of the seat belt is always important, but especially for pregnant women who must wear the belt correctly for their own safety and the safety of their unborn child. There are some products for pregnant women that claim to make seat belts safer during pregnancy. But many of these products can make the journey more dangerous if they are placed across your belly or the belt is too loose.

Pregnant women can continue to use a regular seat belt safely — they just need to make sure it is properly fastened.

How to install a seat belt

A lap and shoulder harness combination is the safest type of harness. Place the waist belt below your abdomen so that it touches your thighs, low and snug against your thighs. It is important to never wear the belt above or across the belly.

Always use a shoulder strap that is centered on your shoulder and fits snugly against the center of your chest – do not place the shoulder strap under your arm or behind your back.

How to position the seat

If you are a passenger, move the seat as far back as possible. If you are driving, keep your belly at a safe distance from the airbag and the seat in an upright position. Your chest should be at least 10 inches from the dashboard or steering wheel, and your stomach should not touch the steering wheel; you may need to adjust the wheel or tilt it up. You may also need to move the seat back as your belly grows.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says pregnant women should always wear seat belts and leave airbags on. It is the safest for both the woman and the unborn child.


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