Seat belt safety is always important but especially for pregnant women who must wear the belt correctly for their safety and the safety of their unborn baby. There are some products marketed toward pregnant women that claim to make seat belts safer during pregnancy. But many of these products can actually make the ride more dangerous if they are placed across the belly or introduce too much slack to the belt.
Pregnant women can continue to safely use a regular seat belt—they just need to make sure it is positioned properly.
How to position the seat belt
A lap and shoulder belt combination is the safest type of seat belt. Place the lap belt below your belly so that it is touching your thighs and is low and snug on your hip bones. It’s important to never wear the belt above or across your belly.
Always use the shoulder belt, which should be centred across your shoulder and fit snugly across the centre of your chest—do not place the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back.
How to position the seat
If you’re a passenger, push your seat back as far as possible. If you are driving, keep your belly a safe distance away from the air bag with your seat in an upright position. Your breast bone should be at least 10 inches away from the dashboard or steering wheel and your belly should not touch the steering wheel; you may need to adjust the wheel or tilt it up. You also might have to move your seat back as your belly grows.
Pregnant women should always use seat belts and leave the air bags turned on. That is safest for both the woman and the unborn child.