Help, I Fell During Pregnancy!
As pregnancy changes your body, it also affects your centre of gravity, making it harder to maintain your balance when you walk. That is why as much as 27% of pregnant women fell at some point during their pregnancy. Fortunately, amniotic fluid in your body helps cushion against injuries, but some falls can still hurt you or your baby significantly.
What are the possible complications?
If the fall was a light one, your uterus will probably be fine, without any permanent damage or trauma. However, if you fell hard, hit or land at a certain angle, there could be certain complications, such as:
- Foetal skull injury
- Placental Abruption
- Altered Mental Status
- Loss of Pregnancy
When to Seek Help?
Although your body can withstand certain bumps and bruises when pregnant, certain trauma or injuries can increase the likelihood of miscarriage or stillbirth.
During your first trimester, if you had a fall, call your doctor as soon as possible, describe how the fall was, and let them know if you are experiencing any symptoms. Usually falls, especially minor ones during this period will be unlikely to lead to a miscarriage. However, do mention to the doctor when you are visiting, so that they can check you just in case.
If you fell during your second trimester or later, it is best to seek a doctor immediately because as the uterus grows larger, its walls are thin and your baby is positioned in a prominent area- any trauma, even a blunt one, might cause a placental abruption.
Unfortunately, falling is not only at higher risk later in your pregnancy, but also a more common one, as it gets harder to stay balanced with a growing belly. Your body also tends to produce relaxin then, a pregnancy hormone that makes you feel unsteady on your feet.
If you experience any of these symptoms at any time after a fall, you should probably seek medical attention:
- The fall results in a direct blow to your stomach
- Amniotic fluid leaking and/or vaginal bleeding
- Severe pains, especially in the uterus, stomach or pelvis
- Start feeling contractions or faster ones
- Decreased foetal movement
- Cramping and/or dizziness
- Any other worrying symptoms
Precautions to take
We cannot prevent falls, but we can be more careful to reduce the chances of falling. For instance, mothers should be more cautious where they step, to avoid slipping on slippery, wet or grassy surfaces. It is also safer to wear non-skid shoes with a grip and to avoid wearing high heels or wedges.
When going downstairs, hold on to handrails for safety. Avoid carrying heavy and large objects. Mothers do not have to stay away from physical activities as long as they are careful; you can exercise on even, level surfaces such as a mat. It is better to be safe than sorry when you are pregnant. If you experience any falls or bumps, it is better to get checked to assess the potential harm to both mother and baby.