May 9, 2008, There are so many things to worry about during pregnancy, is your baby growing, will you still have an enormous belly at forty weeks, when will you fit back into your little black dress again? However, most women will tell you their greatest concern is making sure their little one is kept safe and well for nine long months.
If you asked a woman who is just weeks off giving birth how it feels to wear a seatbelt across her abdomen she would most likely tell you it is extremely uncomfortable. However, according to a recent study by the University of Michigan, if all pregnant women wore a car seatbelt, approximately 200 fetuses could be saved each year and an estimated 370 fetuses die as a result of car crashes each year in the United States.
A team of engineers has designed a novel seat belt especially for pregnant women. Unlike traditional seat belts which fit across the abdomen, the Tummy Shield is designed to be worn around the thighs, therefore protecting the abdomen from trauma resulting from a car collision.
The idea for the Tummy Shield came from an Australian engineer who believed his first child suffered brain damage as a result of a car accident. After many years of working with mechanical engineers and many prototypes, the Tummy Shield was created.
The Tummy Shield has been safety-tested in a number of Australian testing facilities and consists of a flame retardant cushion and a buckle made of high tensile stainless steel. You simply place the cushion on the car seat, secure with the buckle, sit down and then pull the seatbelt away from your abdomen and attach it to the hook. The seatbelt is pulled tight at the shoulder and then you’re ready to go. There is also an extension piece which is useful for the last months of pregnancy (or if you really have been eating for two!).
Tummy Shield retails for AUD$199.99 (approx. USD$188 at time of publication) and is available on-line at Tummy Shield.