As an expectant mother, you’ve probably thought long and hard about how precious your baby is and to what extent you’ll go to protect them from pain and danger. Even the slightest slip or bump into a nearby cabinet can send you into a panic attack, leading you to fear the worst. Time and again, we’ve been told that pregnancy is a crucial period and the womb is a fragile space. While it is true that you should be extremely careful during pregnancy as you are responsible for yourself and your baby, many people go overboard with their worry.
We’re here to clear the air for you. It is best to know how safe your child is if you can carry on with your daily pregnancy routine and what activities put you at risk. Read on to get a clear picture of this:
How Safe Is Your Baby?
Before we get into how much pressure your pregnant belly can take, you need to understand how safe your baby is. The chances are that you’re walking on pins and needles, stressing about the fragile, precious thing that is your baby. But believe it or not, since the beginning of time, the human body has been well-equipped to handle all sorts of pressure, even when pregnant. Back in the days, women would work on fields, carry pots of water, and walk miles and miles, even though they were in the family way. And, they were alright!
What’s protecting your baby from all that roughing up? Well, there are a few factors that are responsible for the safety of your little one. They are (1):
- The Uterus: This vital muscular organ is the real MVP when it comes to protecting the little one inside. It works as a safe space and houses your baby throughout the pregnancy (2).
- The Amniotic Fluid: The amniotic fluid protects your baby from injury by absorbing shock and working as a cushion. It also protects your baby from infection, thanks to the many antibodies present in the fluid (3).
- Body Weight: Pregnant women gain body weight during pregnancy, and there’s a good reason for this — the protective layer of fat works as a barrier of sorts. Nope, we aren’t kidding!
So, what we’re trying to say is that you don’t have to go overboard with worry when it comes to your child’s safety. You can perform day-to-day activities knowing that your baby is protected in your womb. What you need to be worried about is trauma. We’ll get more into that so you understand what limits not to push! (4).
Causes And Risks – When To Be Worried About Pressure On Your Belly
You will encounter situations that may put you at risk of excess pressure on your belly throughout your pregnancy. While you can’t avoid most of these situations, you have got to be more careful. We’ve listed a bunch of them below (4), (5), (6):
- Children Or Pets: Sometimes, children or pets show their affection by jumping or leaping onto you. It is better to be careful as they may end up hurting you accidentally. Always be prepared for sudden actions that may cause any sort of trouble.
- Tripping Or Slipping: When pregnant, your center of gravity changes. This can cause you to stumble, fall, or slip. Such mishaps are common during pregnancy, but it is best to take precautionary measures to avoid them. Also, if you do happen to trip or fall, call your doctor immediately.
- Household Chores: Yes, you can be at risk of trauma even while doing household chores. Think about it — you could bump into cabinets, tables, and furniture. As we said, your center of gravity isn’t the same, so you may find that you have less control over your movements. If the intensity or force of contact is too much, it may be a cause for concern.
- Lifting Weights: The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) clearly states that lifting anything heavy during pregnancy can put you at risk for preterm birth. A set of guidelines have been published that define the factors involved in lifting weights during pregnancy. This includes how far along you are in your pregnancy, how heavy the object you are lifting is, and how often you indulge in lifting heavy objects. The later you are in your pregnancy, the more you should refrain from lifting heavy objects. And it is best to avoid lifting heavier objects frequently. If you must lift heavy objects, make sure you use safe techniques such as bending your knees before lifting.
- While Exercising: Exercise during pregnancy is good. Medical health professionals recommend 150 minutes of weekly exercise when pregnant. However, there are specific exercises that you should steer clear of as they can put unnecessary pressure on your belly. Before starting on a workout, check with your doctor to confirm that it is safe.
- Using Your Muscles To Get Up: If you are in the habit of getting up straight instead of sideways after sleeping, then you should know that you may be straining your abdominal muscles. This can harm your pregnancy. Instead, turn sideways while getting out of bed or use a pregnancy pillow for support.
If, due to unforeseen circumstances, there has been a certain amount of pressure, force, or trauma, consult your doctor immediately. You should also contact your doctor if you experience pain, bleeding, discharge, urinary problems, dizziness, changes in fetal movements, or bruises after an impact.
It’s natural to worry about the pressure that you intentionally or unintentionally put on your pregnant belly. You should take good care not to cause any trauma that can put you and your baby at risk. You should also know that your body is made to protect the baby inside your womb — so don’t freak out unnecessarily! How often do you come across such situations, and what do you do about it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
- Can bumping my pregnant belly hurt the baby?
- Physiology, Maternal Changes
- Embryology, Amniotic Fluid
- Can bumping my pregnant belly hurt the baby?
- Clinical guidelines for occupational lifting in pregnancy: evidence summary and provisional recommendations
- Healthy Pregnant or Postpartum Women