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What are fall risks during pregnancy?

If you are an expectant mother in Oregon, you may wonder about your risk of falling while pregnant and the likelihood of harm to your unborn child in the event that you do fall. According to Verywell Family, a number of common factors during pregnancy could increase your fall risk. The good news is that the risk of injury to the baby during a fall is relatively small, though it does exist.

Falls during pregnancy occur most often during the third trimester. You might think that it is because the baby’s growth has shifted your center of gravity from its baseline. This is a contributing factor but does not fully account for the increased fall risk.

As your body prepares to give birth, it releases hormones that cause the birth canal to soften and widen. One of these hormones is relaxin, which works specifically on the ligaments that bind the joints of the pelvis together. The loosening of these joints can affect your balance, making a fall more likely. However, your body affords your unborn child a certain measure of protection from trauma due to falls. For example, the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby in the womb has shock absorbing properties.

Nevertheless, there is still some risk of injury from a trauma resulting from a fall during pregnancy. Severe trauma could result in placental abruption. The placenta connects the baby’s umbilical cord to the wall of the uterus and supplies the baby with its oxygen and nutrients. When abruption occurs, the placenta tears away from the uterine wall, cutting off the supply to the baby. Fortunately, placental abruption is a rare occurrence. It is more likely to occur from a car accident than a simple fall.

If you experience any serious symptoms after a fall, such as decreased fetal movement, vaginal bleeding or discharge, dizziness, cramping or contractions, seek emergency care immediately. In the absence of symptoms following a fall, it is still a good idea to obtain a check-up from your doctor to ensure that your unborn child has not come to harm.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.