November 6, 2002

Company develops ‘Maternity Seat Belt’ for pregnant women

Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of fetal deaths related to maternal trauma, according to a three-year study published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.*

Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that pregnant women wear their seat belt low over the hips and upper thighs, a study conducted by the Society of Automotive Engineers found that a majority of the pregnant participants complained that while they attempted to place the vehicle’s lap belt low, under the abdomen, it naturally rode up.

A Florida company has developed a special seatbelt that is more comfortable for pregnant women. “The Maternity Seat Belt is the only patented and tested seat belt repositioning device for pregnant women,” said Christina Kitterman, president of Inventive Minds, Inc., developer of the Maternity Seat Belt. The Maternity Seat Belt holds the lap portion of the seat belt low, underneath the abdomen preventing the seat belt from “riding up” onto the pregnant woman’s belly. In addition, the Maternity Seat Belt eliminates the discomfort and nausea normally experienced from the vehicle’s lap belt.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reports about 67 percent of all trauma during pregnancy results from car accidents. Until now, the only option for auto-related trauma to pregnant women and their unborn children has been education on the importance of seat belt usage and the correct positioning of the lap belt.

NHTSA advises that wearing the vehicle’s seat belt, in the correct position, is still the safest way to travel in a vehicle. The Maternity Seat Belt simply encourages pregnant women to wear their seat belt while positioning it in the safe, recommended position on the pregnant mom-to-be.

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