Warn of Dangers of Women Driving While Pregnant

Who Should Warn about the Dangers of Women Driving While Pregnant?

When it comes to fetal mortality, the danger of getting in a car may be similar to that of smoking or drinking.

pregnant women drivingIn our research regarding the danger of women driving while pregnant, we came across this article in The Atlantic CityLab titled, Should Pregnant Women Be Warned About the Health Risks of Driving? The quote above came from that article.

Here is an excerpt:

“But although pregnant women’s exposure to motor vehicle crashes has increased, the public health message has lagged behind. Weiss doesn’t anticipate that we’ll be seeing warning labels about driving while pregnant on cars anytime soon, similar to the ones that hang at establishments serving alcohol, and he doesn’t think that type of warning makes a meaningful impression, anyway.

“It’s more effective if it comes from a health care provider,” he says. “It should involve clinicians and direct counseling. It should be on the list of things that women are told to think about.”

For most women in an autocentric society, Weiss says, not driving isn’t an option. That doesn’t mean that their risk can’t be significantly reduced.” (Read the whole article here.)

While yes there is the question, should they be warned? And one of our facebook fans brought up a good point that some moms-to-be don’t want to hear about all the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy. This reader suggested the doctor, or whomever, should ask the mom-to-be if she wants to know.

I can see her point and I think there is a bigger issue at hand. Are they safe? And is there something they can do to be safer, other than not getting in a car for 9 months? Or just “positioning the seat belt correctly,” which as I’ve discussed before never quite worked for my three basketball-sized mama bellies?

Our team obviously believes there is something more pregnant women can do to be safer while driving because we offer the Tummy Shield for that very purpose. But there is still more to the issue.

In my three pregnancies I hated the seat belt. I knew I was better with it than without and I wore it. But I hated it. It was SO uncomfortable! And I questioned the safety because the seat belt was as low as it could go but was still going across my womb, across where my precious baby — who I was so anxious about losing after losing three already — was hitching a ride. No one ever mentioned a possible danger. No doctors. No books I read. No friends who had been pregnant. I googled it but didn’t find anything other than the usual: wear you seat belt low and properly positioned.

Do the doctors even know dangers of women driving while pregnant?

If I knew then what I know now, I would have searched high and low for something. And for my last pregnancy I may have found and bought the Tummy Shield, even if I had to order it internationally.

Moms-to-be that don’t want to hear the anxiety provoking dangers during pregnancy can turn a deaf ear to this as much as they can to all the other warnings, if that’s what they choose. But shouldn’t somebody be talking about it? And if so, why aren’t they?

Read the article. We have a list of studies.

We want to increase the conversation between expecting moms and their caregivers so we launched a Love the Babies Kickstarter campaign in March 2015 to help us fund a project to create a video and support materials to distribute to every OB/Gyn and Midwife in U.S.

Did you discuss driving during pregnancy with your doctor? Share your comments below.

By Amie Durocher, Creative Director at Safe Ride 4 Kids and certified CPS Tech since 2004

Copyright 2015 Safe Ride 4 Kids. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

This post was originally published June 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

@amie durocher
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