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

women driving while pregnant dangers

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

In 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.)

pregnant women driving

Should pregnant women be warned?

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.

safest pregnancy seat belt positioner

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. Not my doctors. Nor the pregnancy 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 Citylab article. Review a list of studies about driving during pregnancy.

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 2019 Safe Ride 4 Kids. All rights reserved. You may not publish, broadcast, rewrite or redistribute this material without permission. You are welcome to link to Safe Ride 4 Kids or share on social media.

We originally published this post in June 2014. We updated the article for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

@amie durocher

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