“I eat for two, walk for two, breathe for two now.” To this lyric by the band 10,000 Maniacs, many women could add one more. Drive for two.
Driving when pregnant is one of the riskiest things women can do, even if, for many, it is an essential daily activity. Expecting to have someone chauffeur you about is probably not realistic.
It is unclear how many pregnant women are injured in car crashes each year. One report suggests 3000 is the average taken from various studies. Your first thought will likely be for the safety of your unborn child if you have a car accident. These are some of the dangers of a car crash while pregnant:
- The mother goes into shock: If you go into shock in a car accident, your body concentrates its resources on your vital organs. That is why people’s skin goes pale because the body directs blood away from it. Your body does not count your baby as a priority, so pulls the resources elsewhere. The chance of the baby surviving is low.
- Placenta detaches from uterus: This affects the supply of oxygen and nutrients to your baby and can cause you to bleed internally. It may lead to the premature birth of your baby.
- Uterus ruptures: It can happen if your stomach hits the steering wheel or your seatbelt can cause it. Fortunately, it rarely occurs, because it is usually fatal for the baby.
Wearing a seat belt while pregnant can be uncomfortable. You may be tempted not to wear one. However, if someone causes you a car accident, a seat belt will increase your chance of surviving. While your first concern may be for your unborn child, it should be for yourself. Without you, the baby has little chance.