I'm pregnant and recently fell. Should I be worried?
Answers from Yvonne Butler Tobah, M.D.
It depends. Falls during pregnancy are a common cause of minor injuries and, in some cases, can be harmful to you and your baby.
Your body is designed to protect your developing baby during pregnancy. The walls of your uterus are thick, strong muscles that help keep your baby safe. The amniotic fluid also serves as a cushion. During the early weeks of pregnancy, the uterus is tucked behind the pelvic bone. Minor falls during early pregnancy are typically not of concern.
However, falls during the late second trimester and early third trimester might be harmful to both you and your baby, especially if there is direct trauma to your abdomen. You could experience contractions, the loss of amniotic fluid, the separation of the placenta from the inner wall of the uterus (placental abruption) or the passage of fetal blood cells into the maternal circulation (fetomaternal hemorrhage).
If you have a minor fall during your first trimester, call your health care provider, describe the fall and discuss any symptoms you have. If you have a fall toward the end of your second trimester or anytime during your third trimester, seek immediate care from your health care provider. In addition, seek emergency care if:
- You're experiencing vaginal bleeding
- You feel abdominal pain
- You have uterine contractions
- You can't feel the baby move
Your care provider might run tests to make sure everything is OK.
Feb. 14, 2018
Yvonne Butler Tobah, M.D.
See more Expert Answers
- Kilpatrick SJ. Initial evaluation and management of pregnant women with major trauma. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Dec. 15, 2017.
- Brewin D, et al. Women's perspectives on falls and fall prevention during pregnancy. MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 2014;39:300.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Month 6. In: Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month. 6th ed. Washington, D.C.: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; 2015.
- Creasy RK, et al. Stillbirth. In: Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014.