Safety is a top priority when it comes to designing cars at Ford. And with safety, they don’t only mean the safety of adults and their kids, but also those who are expecting and the unborn.
Ford engineers and designers go to great lengths to understand the driving constraints women face while being pregnant — to the point of donning a “Pregnancy Suit” which features belly weight inserts, a six-pound pouch that applies pressure to the bladder, and compartments for water and ball bearings to mimic mild fetal movement. While the suit will never really make them feel how it is to carry a child in their bellies, it does give them a better perspective about the special and spatial requirements and limitations that the demographic has, and surely contributes to a better overall design.
Here are the tips that expecting moms (and dads!) will surely find useful when travelling by car:
- Wear your seatbelt correctly — Make sure that your seatbelt is positioned below your abdomen, across your hips. The shoulder strap should be between your breasts, and make sure to tug on the bet to make sure it’s nice and snug.
- Move back — Move your seat back to a comfortable distance when you are driving. Reclining the seat slightly can also help. Doing this will protect your stomach in the even of airbag deployment.
- Support your back — If you have pregnancy related back pain, place a small circular back pillow to support your lower back or use a rolled up towel. This will help increase comfort while you’re driving.
- Take a break — If you’re driving for a lengthy period, take regular breaks to increase blood flow to your feet. Feet and ankles are prone to swelling and it can worsen by sitting for long periods. Take a break to gently move your feet around, rotate your ankles, and wiggle your toes.
- Be the passenger — When possible be a passenger. Sitting in the backseat is the safest spot in the car for an expectant mother. If you sit in the front seat, make sure to push the seat back as far as you can to protect yourself from airbag deployment.
- Have your information — Wherever you go, make sure to bring along your pregnancy record card, which includes a detailed list of medical information, test results, and emergency contacts.
Belated Happy Mother’s Day and drive safely!