‘Baby brain’ impacts road safety in pregnancy

Could so called ‘baby brain’ increase your risk of a car crash when pregnant? Unfortunately yes, according to the findings of a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Researchers studied more than 5000 000 women who gave birth during a 5-year period from 2006 to 2011. They found that the women were 42% more likely to be involved in a serious car crash during pregnancy compared to before pregnancy.  The risk was greatest in the second trimester and was similar regardless of age, pregnancy complications, socioeconomic status and whether or not they had other children.  However the risk was only higher when they were the driver and not if they were involved in an accident as a passenger or pedestrian.

The authors point out a number of factors which could play a part including fatigue, nausea and sleep deprivation which are common during pregnancy.  They recommend that reminders about road safety should be part of normal prenatal check-ups.

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