Although it may not always be the most comfortable thing in the world you're required by law to wear a seat belt when you travel by car, no matter how short the journey. This applies whether you are sitting in the front or back seat and even when you are pregnant.
Wearing a seat belt correctly protects both you and your unborn baby in the event of a crash and, if you need an added incentive to buckle up, the Department of Transport estimate that a correctly fitted seat belt can reduce the risk of injury to your baby by 70%.
In most cars you have the option of wearing a diagonal + lap seat belt or just a lap strap (these tend to be fitted on the middle seat in the back of the car). For your safety it is recommended that, wherever possible, you only wear seat belts that have both diagonal and lap strap components while you are expecting as these spread any impact across the frame of your body and minimise any harm to your baby should you be involved in a collision.
So, to make sure you're safe when you strap up here's how to fit a seat belt correctly:
- Place the diagonal strap between your breasts so that it sits flat against your breast bone and fits around the side of your bump. Additionally, the top of the strap should sit across your shoulder, not your neck.
- Fit the lap strap so that it sits as low as possible underneath your bump, lying flat across the tops of your thighs and stretching across your pelvis from hip to hip. No part of the seat belt should sit directly across your bump.
By taking the time to check that you're wearing your seat belt correctly every time you travel by car you'll be doing your bit to make sure both you and your baby stay safe.