Seat Belt Safety

Your seat belt is your baby’s first car seat

A growing pregnancy belly can make a lot of things more difficult – including car seat belts. Think of your body as baby’s first car seat. It’s important to wear a lap and shoulder belt every time you travel — even in the difficult final weeks of pregnancy.  Your seat belt will help keep you and your unborn child safe in a crash.

How should I wear a seat belt while I am pregnant?

  • 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 arm or behind your back.
  • Pull any slack (looseness) out of the belt.
  • If you are in an accident, seek medical attention right away, even if you are not injured.

What should I know about air bags when I travel in a car?

  • Keep 10 inches between the steering wheel and your breastbone.
  • If the car has an air bag “on/off” switch, check to be sure it is 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 breastbone, not your belly or head.
  • Driving in car pregnant and buckled in seat belt.

    Pregnant Moms and Seat Belts

    It’s important to wear a lap and shoulder belt every time you travel — even during pregnancy. See this illustrated downloadable flyer “If You’re Pregnant: Seat Belt Recommendations for Drivers and Passengers” for specifics.

What do I need to know about car seat safety for my baby?

Louisiana law requires you to buckle up your children in proper car seats. Before you deliver, be sure you have the car seat installed correctly in the rear seat of the vehicle.