Campaign in Mayo to encourage pregnant women to wear seat belts
MAYO COUNTY Council has launched a campaign to encourage pregnant women to always wear their seat-belts while driving.
The campaign aims to dispel “the myth that wearing a seat-belt is harmful for the foetus”, said Mayo road safety officer Noel Gibbons.
It comes after a number of pregnant women were admitted to Mayo General Hospital following road traffic incidents.
“We seemed to have a few cases one after the other,” said Frances Burke, a childbirth education specialist at the hospital.
Most of the women involved were not wearing seat-belts or were wearing them incorrectly.
Ms Burke said confusion surrounded the issue, with some women believing they had an exemption from wearing seat-belts because they were pregnant.
She said the situation in the rest of the country may be similar as increasing numbers of people were driving to work.
“We now have a lot of parents who are travelling a lot to and from work. Pregnant women are having to drive maybe larger distances than they would have before.”
There is a greater risk of the placenta and uterus separating during a collision if the mother is not wearing her seat-belt, obstetrician Ulrich Bartels said. “You can have partial or severe separation, and babies can continue to have healthy gestation with partial separation.
“But with any separation there is some foetal distress and the closer it is to full term the greater the chance of premature delivery.”
All pregnant women must wear seat-belts by law; pregnancy does not provide an exemption.