Traveling During Pregnancy
Car Safety During Pregnancy
Although the baby is protected inside of your body, you should wear a lap and shoulder belt every time you travel while pregnant for the best protection, even in the final weeks of pregnancy. You and your baby are much more likely to survive a car crash if you’re buckled in.
When wearing a seat belt, follow these rules:
- Buckle the lap belt below your belly so that it fits snugly across your hips and pelvic bone.
- Place the shoulder belt across your chest (between your breasts) and over the mid portion of your collar bone (away from your neck).
- Never place the shoulder belt under your arms or behind your back.
- Pull to tighten the belt.
Follow these tips if your car has air bags:
- Keep 10 inches between the steering wheel and your breast bone.
- If the car has an air bag off/on switch, check to make sure it’s turned to ON.
- As your belly grows, you may not be able to keep as much space between you and the steering wheel. If the car has a tilt steering wheel, make sure it is angled toward your breast bone, not your belly or head.
Zika Virus Prevention
Zika is a virus spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects.
The Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges travelers to talk to their doctors before traveling to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America due to potential Zika risks. There have been past cases in the United States. The virus has been linked to microcephaly (small head and brain), other congenital birth defects, and fetal death. The virus may also be sexually transmitted.
The current recommendation is to use condoms if you or your partner have traveled to at-risk areas within the last two weeks. The symptoms are fever, rash, muscle aches, or conjunctivitis (pink eye). Notify your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
It is recommended that you use insect repellent (Repellents containing DEET, Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin. Products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan [outside the US]) Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD (Products containing OLE include Repel and Off! Botanicals) IR3535 (Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart) anytime that you are outside. These preparations are safe during pregnancy. Also wear long sleeved shirts and long pants.