Driving is still considered a fairly safe activity during pregnancy. If you’re going to get behind the wheel, however, you need to protect yourself: You should always wear your seat belt, including when you’re pregnant.
If you wear your seatbelt correctly, there’s little chance of injury to your baby during normal driving and even during road accidents. What little chance there is pales in comparison to the risks of not wearing a seat belt at all.
As far as getting comfortable using a typical three-point seat belt during your pregnancy (and doing it safely), here are a few tips:
- Position the lap portion of the belt as far under your belly as possible, not straight across.
- Keep the driver’s seat as far back from the steering wheel as you can while still maintaining easy access to important stuff like the brakes, gear shift, and headlights.
- Consider adjusting the angle of the steering wheel upward, so the bottom edge of the wheel isn’t directly parallel with your stomach.
- Make sure the shoulder portion of the belt is positioned correctly (over your shoulder and down the center of your chest).
If it makes you more comfortable, you might be able to utilize a seat belt positioner when you’re pregnant.
This allows your lap belt to be secured in between your legs — rather than at one side — so it rests on top of your thighs, not under your belly. We recommend checking with your OB-GYN or midwife first, though, to see if this is safe for you.
Now that you know how to drive more safely while pregnant, when should you choose not to drive at all? Here are six scenarios.