A Scottish doctor has gone viral after sharing a potentially pregnancy saving safety tip for expectant mothers on TikTok.
Last month Dr. Katie Waldman, an emergency room specialist working in Australia, uploaded a public service announcement to TikTok demonstrating the proper way for pregnant women to wear a seatbelt. Waldman's video, which has earned more than 80,000 views, was filmed after the physician treated a patient in her third trimester who had been involved in a car accident.
According to the video, Waldman said she asked the woman how she was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash. When the patient said she had been wearing her seatbelt across the middle of her pregnant stomach, Waldman realized that some women may not be aware of how safe this seat belt placement could be.
In an interview with TODAY, Waldman recalled meeting the woman who had just been in a T-bone collision. While the patient's baby was left unharmed, the outcome could have been devastating.
“She came in because she hadn’t felt her baby move since the accident," Waldman explained. "It had been a couple of hours, which is very scary."
In her now viral video, Waldman, who was 34 weeks pregnant at the time of filming, demonstrated to users that seatbelts should be worn underneath the pregnant belly across the hip bones with the shoulder strap above the bump and between the breasts.
Waldman told TODAY this proper placement "prevents the baby from taking all the impact” of a potential crash. Improper seat belt placement across the abdomen a of a pregnant woman can cause the kind of blunt trauma that may trigger a placental abruption and miscarriage. She added that a pregnant driver should sit far enough from the steering wheel that her stomach doesn't press against it to avoid damaging impact from the airbag.
“For that reason, you want to sit as far back as you can from the steering wheel. You don’t want the steering wheel touching your abdomen,” she said. “This also minimizes the impact of airbags hitting your belly."
Waldman’s TikTok concluded with a message urging all expectant mothers involved in a collision of any kind to seek immediate medical attention from their OBGYN, no matter how minor the accident may be.
Waldman was praised for sharing her lifesaving tutorial — and many women admitted that they didn’t know there was a “safe” and “unsafe” way to wear their seatbelt while pregnant.
"Thank you so much for this. I'm 26 weeks [pregnant] and I haven't been told any of this," someone commented.
“This needs to be taught more! I would have never known this," one person added.
“I was taught this two hours before I was in a bad car accident at 22 weeks,” another woman told Walden. “It literally saved my son's life.”
"It's thanks to TikToks like this that I'll wear my seatbelt differently during my pregnancy,” a user wrote. “Thank you!”
This wasn't the first time that Waldman has used social media to share tips and tricks of the trade. She has previously touched on nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, comfortable, safe sleeping positions for pregnant women, and exercising while pregnant.
According to Waldman, it's not absolutely necessary for women to maintain their workout regimes while pregnant, or even at all.
"My advice is to do what feels right for you and your baby," she said. "And if that means exercising regularly, that's really, really great. If it means just looking after yourself, that's fine too."