Pregnancy, Seatbelts and Travel
Many newly pregnant women have questions about safety for them and their unborn during car rides. Following is the low down on seatbelts and traveling while pregnant.
The best way to protect an unborn baby in a collision is, as you may have guessed, to protect the mother. Unborn babies die every year because of injuries to or the death of their mothers who were not wearing seat belts in a motor vehicle collision. If worn properly, seatbelts will not harm the baby. One way to be sure you’re wearing your seatbelt properly is to obtain and use a Tummy Shield.
Tummy Shield is a crash tested pregnancy seat belt positioner. Tummy Shield significantly reduces the chance of injury to both mother and child by diverting seat belt pressure away from the tummy area to the thigh and pelvis areas.
If you are leaving the country when traveling, it is a good idea to check with the AHS Travel Clinic 403-944-7100 to see if there are any special concerns for pregnant women at your destination. You may want to check into travel insurance for both you and your baby as well.
It is safe for most pregnant women to travel through much of her pregnancy, but always check with your care provider before taking any kind of trip.
One of the main problems with traveling is the long periods of time that the body tends to be immobile. At the best of times this can be uncomfortable and can lead to circulation problems in a person’s lower limbs. During pregnancy, hormonal and physical changes exacerbate the negative consequences of these periods of immobility.
As long as you’re comfortable driving short distances is fine. On longer trips, be sure to take frequent breaks. Avoid driving when you are tired. Both driver and passenger should get out of the vehicle, walk around and stretch every few hours. Also, be sure to maintain good hydration and stop for meal breaks.
If you are traveling by air, check with the airline to see if there are any restrictions for pregnant women. It is not unheard of for some airlines may require a note from your caregiver before allowing you to fly. It is important to do foot and leg exercises in your seat on long flights to increase circulation and to help prevent blood clots from forming. Some women find it helpful to wear support stockings, but whatever you do be sure to dress comfortably. And, as always, eat and drink regularly during the flight.