As a woman, there's nothing more important than feeling safe and secure in your everyday life, especially when you're pregnant. However, expecting mothers face unique challenges when it comes to self-defense. Physical limitations and concerns for the safety of their unborn child can make it difficult for pregnant women to know what the best tools are to protect themselves and their child from potential harm.
At Women Who Fight Back, we understand these challenges and offer support to help pregnant women navigate and select the right self-defense tools. Our favorites are practicing situational awareness, purchasing pepper spray with minimal blowback and using tactical flashlights as the first line of defense. As a last resort, when all other options are exhausted and your life is in jeopardy, we suggest using a firearm. (Before some of you begin panicking over why we included a firearm, please read what we have to say about it in the firearm section below.)
Ultimately, the choice of which tool to use is entirely up to the woman, and we suggest doing extensive research and weighing the pros and cons of each option.
We hope none of our readers have to use any self-defense tools to defend themselves from an attack while pregnant, but unfortunately, we have seen far too many instances of this exact scenario in our society. That being said, women should be prepared for the unexpected. We don't advocate being paranoid about your surroundings, but be aware and prepared. By being aware of your surroundings and lightly equipped to defend yourself, you can take control of your own safety and the safety of your baby.
Here are the current self-defense options for pregnant women that we would like to discuss more in depth:
#1 - Practice and Use Situational Awareness
Our top suggestion would be for women to be extra vigilant and aware of their surroundings while pregnant. During pregnancy, a lot of women instinctively become hyper-vigilant of their surroundings, so having situational awareness comes pretty naturally. We suggest women be extremely picky about the venues they choose to go to while pregnant and the events they choose to participate in. If something feels off or dangerous about a situation or person, please trust your intuition and feelings.
The first step in situational awareness is being fully present in the moment. That means putting away your phone or other distractions and focusing on what's happening around you. When you're pregnant, especially by the third trimester, your mobility might be limited. So it's especially important to be aware of any obstacles or potential hazards in your environment. A perk for some pregnant women is that their senses (especially smell!) are naturally heightened, so being aware of their surroundings is even easier.
Another key part of situational awareness is understanding body language and recognizing potential threats. This means being able to read the behavior of others around you and identify signs of danger. For example, if someone is approaching you aggressively, making you feel uncomfortable, or acting in a disorderly manner, it's important to be able to recognize that and take steps to protect yourself. Do not wait it out to see what happens. Pregnancy isn't the time to put yourself in a risky situation, especially if you can choose to leave.
By practicing situational awareness, you can take more control of your own safety and avoid dangerous situations before they escalate. This might mean avoiding certain areas or situations that make you feel uneasy. A woman is responsible for the health and safety of her unborn child and should do everything to protect it. The unborn child relies 100% on his/her mother to choose wisely in order to not endanger his/her life. It's a huge responsibility.
(Note: There are some cases where the mother has a difficult pregnancy even though she is doing everything "right". Still, her baby has complications that are outside of the mother's control. We are not referring to these situations.)
It's important to remember that every situation is different, and what works for one person might not work for another. The key is to stay aware of your surroundings, trust your instincts, and be prepared to take action if necessary. As a pregnant woman, your safety is especially important, and by practicing situational awareness, you can help ensure that you and your baby stay safe and secure.
#2 - Blowback resistant Pepper Spray
If a pregnant woman is caught in a dangerous situation, pepper spray is the next best choice for a self-defense tool. It is not lethal and can really stall an attacker or stop him completely. That being said, not all pepper spray is created equal and a pregnant woman needs to take extra time to consider her options and understand how pepper spray functions depending on the "type".
When using pepper spray, it's important to consider the risk of the spray coming back and causing harm to you and your unborn child. Luckily, there are certain types of pepper sprays that are designed to reduce this risk and be more effective in windy conditions.
One way to reduce the risk of blowback is to use a pepper spray that comes in a gel or foam formulation. These types of sprays have a thicker consistency than other types, making them less likely to be dispersed by wind and therefore more accurate in hitting the intended target.
Another factor to consider is the spray pattern. Stream sprays are less likely to be affected by wind than cone or fog sprays. We highly suggest NOT getting a pepper spray that fogs the area. Stream sprays have a longer range, allowing you to keep a safe distance from the attacker.
When choosing a pepper spray, look for products that are specifically designed to prevent blowback and minimize the risk of harm to yourself, your unborn child, and any other innocent person around you. Always read the instructions carefully and practice using the spray in a safe environment before using it in a real-life situation.
Three of the Best Brands That Have Created Blowback Resistant Pepper/OC Sprays!:
Sabre: Sabre produces a variety of pepper spray products that are specifically designed to reduce the risk of blowback. Their pepper sprays use a cone or gel spray pattern that minimizes the chance of the spray affecting the user.
Fox Labs: Fox Labs is another popular brand that produces high-quality pepper spray products. Their pepper sprays are known for their accuracy and effectiveness, as well as their ability to prevent blowback.
Mace: Mace is a well-known brand of pepper spray that has been used by law enforcement and military personnel for decades. Their pepper sprays use a gel or foam spray pattern that helps prevent blowback and provides better accuracy.
Here are some good pepper spray options for pregnant women.
They are all known to help prevent blowback:
#3 - Blind Your Attacker with a Tactical Flashlight
The ultimate goal of using any self-defense weapon is to quickly eliminate a threat or create enough space between the user and the attacker so that the user can escape or defend herself in another way. What's great about tactical flashlights is they are totally legal and can be carried in places guns or knives cannot. Tactical flashlights come in many different sizes making it easier to conceal them and stow them in easily accessible locations. Tactical flashlights are generally used by the police, military, and personnel in other security roles, but they can be used effectively as self-defense weapons by the general public as well.
In the right situation, a tactical flashlight is a useful tool for pregnant women who need to defend themselves. We suggest this tool be used in combination with other self-defense weapons. For example, blinding an attacker and then using pepper spray would be ideal. It's important to note that tactical flashlights can be used as an impact weapon as well. There are many options for tactical flashlights but there are certain standards we suggest if a woman is going to use the flashlight as a self-defense weapon.
When choosing a tactical flashlight for self-defense, look for one that is bright enough to disorient an attacker and sturdy enough to be used as an impact weapon. It should also be easy to carry and use in a high-stress situation. Some tactical flashlights come with additional features, such as strobe settings, that can disorient an attacker even more and give you time to escape.
The amount of lumens needed to stop an attacker will vary depending on the situation and the attacker's level of aggression. While a high-lumen flashlight can be effective in disorienting and distracting an attacker, it may not be enough to stop them from attacking. In general, a flashlight with at least 500 lumens can be effective in temporarily blinding and disorienting an attacker, giving you time to escape or take other defensive measures. This is why we suggest using the tactical flashlight in combination with another self-defense weapon like pepper spray or a tactical pen.
It's important to note that while a bright flashlight can be an effective tool for self-defense, it should always be used with caution and only in situations where it is necessary and appropriate. Additionally, it's important to receive proper training and instruction on how to use a high-lumen flashlight for self-defense.
A Firearm (LAST RESORT OPTION!!)
The topic of using a firearm while pregnant is a highly debated issue that requires careful consideration of many factors. If at all possible, Women Who Fight Back suggests firearms only be used as a last resort in life or death situations. While firearms can be effective tools for self-defense and can provide a sense of security, they also come with significant risks and potential dangers, especially for pregnant women. The main concern when it comes to using a firearm while pregnant is the potential for harm to the unborn child. Unless the firearm is being shot with a suppressor, firearms generally produce very loud noises and vibrations that may be harmful to the developing fetus.
If a pregnant woman is considering using a firearm for self-defense, it is important to take extra precautions to ensure safety. This may include taking additional training courses, practicing proper firearm handling techniques, and ensuring that the firearm is properly maintained and stored. It is also important to consider alternatives to firearms, such as non-lethal self-defense tools like pepper spray or a tactical flashlight.