Falling during pregnancy can be alarming. This is why our elders always tell us to walk cautiously when pregnant, especially when we are always in our third trimester. There is no wrong in taking extra care, however as pregnant; your body becomes very protective towards you and your baby. Therefore, minor falls might have just a few repercussions while major injury firstly affects the mother before your unborn infant.
Why do you fall during pregnancy?
Based on research, there are approximately 27% pregnant women fall once during pregnancy, and 10% of pregnant women fall twice or more. 29% of women suffer from trauma because of falls.
Why do you fall during pregnancy? It is not entirely because of clumsiness. There are many reasons why you lose balance. These are:
1. Relaxin Hormone
Relaxin hormones, pregnancy hormones, help you to relax your ligaments and joints. They also help your pelvis and cervix tissues to stretch in labor, to make pushing easier for you. However, these hormones also affect the way you walk and your whole movement. Because you have loose joints, you might suffer instability when walking. Thus, you can sometimes slip on your feet.
2. Your bulging tummy
Because you have a bulging tummy that shifts the center of gravity, you will have difficulty in balancing your body. You might be very prone to falls especially when you are walking on an uneven surface.
3. Low Blood Sugar and low blood pressure
Because you have low blood sugar and pressure, you may often feel dizzy, making you lose balance when walking.
4. Swollen feet
During pregnancy, your feet may become swollen. This makes you a bit clumsy and a bit numb, making it hard for you to feel the floor’s surface resulting to outbalancing.
5. Exhaustion and discomfort
When you’re pregnant, you experience changes in your body and hormones. These changes affect your emotion and mood. Pregnancy can make you exhausted and uncomfortable. This can affect your movement and walk.
Is falling harmful to my unborn baby?
Your body protects your baby against bumps and impacts from outside factors. When it is a minor fall, there is a lesser chance of harm. This is because the following protects your baby:
• Muscular uterus
• Your pelvic bone
• Abdominal fats
• Abdominal uterus
These five prevent any exterior disturbances and minimize your baby’s movement inside the womb. However, if your fall creates a major injury, there is a higher chance that it can affect your baby. The mother will be the one who would first feel the impact before the baby.
When can it be dangerous?
The fall’s impact differs for both the mother and the child and depends on several factors.
1. Mother’s age
When you are older, there is a higher risk of complications due to a fall, especially for women aging 35 years and above. At this age, you should seek immediate doctor’s assistance when you feel any symptoms.
2. Your position after the fall
Most women fall on their side or back. In this case, you would feel no serious injury aside from the pain in that area. Remember, as long as you don’t fall flat on your stomach or any positions that directly impact your tummy; you should be okay. Always remember to support yourself with both hands when you accidentally fall.
3. The surface you land on
The surface of where you fall also creates a significant impact to both of you and your baby. Soft surface creates lesser damage to your baby while hard surfaces like concrete may cause little harm. However, most women who have fallen on hard and concrete surfaces delivered their babies in standard procedures.
4. The pregnancy state you are currently into
The impacts also heavily rely on the period you are into during the fall. Always remember that the risk of damage increases in the later trimesters. This is because, during the later trimesters, your growing baby is gradually pushed closer to the surface and is in an inverted position.
What can I do when I fall
During the first trimester?
Your uterus is remained inside the pelvis and is securely protected by your pelvic bone. This means that there is a lesser impact during falls. When you fall during this trimester, we recommend you just to lie down and relax your body for a while. However, if you experience any pain in your back or abdomen, seek medical assistance immediately.
During the second trimester?
Your uterus is already away from your pelvic floor during the second trimester. Still, your baby is protected by the thick uterus lining and the amniotic sac and fluid. However, seek immediate medical assistance if:
• You feel severe after the fall
• There is vaginal bleeding
• You feel uterine contractions
• You can’t breathe and feel dizzy
• Fetal movement is reduced
• Your abdomen feels tender when touched
During the third trimester?
When you are in your third trimester, the risk increases because you would be more vulnerable to clumsiness and fatigue. Always remember that the most affected part when you fall will be the placenta. Always remember that when you fall within this semester, it could lead to premature labor.
An extra precaution is needed when you are in this period. Seek immediate medical assistance if you:
• Have vaginal bleeding
• Experience abdominal pain
• Can't breathe and feel dizzy
• Feel contractions
• Feel your amniotic fluid leaking
Read Physical Activities to be Avoided During Pregnancy
How can I reduce the risk of falling?
• Try to wear footwear with proper grip and non-skid soles. Avoid wearing high heels and very flat footwear because they cause strain on your back and calf muscles.
• Always find support when using the staircase. It can be from the hand rails or a person.
• Do not carry heavy materials
• Have extra precautions when walking to slippery floors
• Replace mats with anti-skid mats in your bathrooms
While it is true that your body protects your baby, you still need practice extra care especially when you are in your third trimester. Always remember that falling hard can cause premature labor. So, stay safe, mommies!
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