Getting Hit in Your Pregnant Belly: Does It Hurt Baby?

mom in yellow dress holding pregnant bump

Impact on the belly can be one of the biggest fears during pregnancy. Not only does something as simple as a toddler bouncing or hitting the stomach cause pain while pregnant, but it can also feel scary not knowing whether or not these impacts are affecting your unborn child. With all that being said, it is always best to contact your care provider if you have any brutal hit or contact with your pregnant belly.

Counting Kicks

If you have a brutal hit to the belly and have been feeling regular fetal movements, usually between twenty-two and twenty-six weeks gestation, then you can do an exercise called kick counts. Kick counts are done by laying on the right side of the body and counting fetal movements for an hour. You should get at least ten movements in that amount of time. If you do not get ten fetal movements, it is a good idea to reach out to your care provider and have them check in on your baby by Doppler, ultrasound, or non-stress test. Successful kick counts are generally a good sign that all is well with your baby.

When to Worry

If you experience any cramping, abdominal pain, bleeding, vaginal discharge, or contractions in the first twelve hours after impact, it is a good idea to be seen. Trauma to the uterus can cause placenta abruption, where the placenta detaches from the uterine wall, and can push things like preterm labor and birth, miscarriage, and even stillbirth. The symptoms listed above could equate to some of these outcomes and require extra attention from your care provider.

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Preventing Injury

There are ways to prevent trauma to the uterus, such as wearing a seatbelt, wearing sensible shoes, using the railings on stairs, and being cautious about hazardous weather conditions. But even with all of these precautions, uterine trauma can still occur, so what will your care provider do if it happens to you?

Recovery

The most common ways of helping with an impact on the uterus are by extra monitoring and bed rest. On some occasions, a cesarean section will be necessary. You can lessen your likelihood of encountering uterine trauma by not doing a lot of heavy lifting, not driving while distracted (or with someone who is getting distracted), and not working out heavily.

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Domestic Violence

If you are in a domestic or partner violence situation, seeking help might be the only way to protect yourself and your baby. Pregnancy is a more typical time that domestic violence begins, as it can be highly triggering and exhausting for many parents. We understand that not all shelter options are optimal and that much is lacking in good care as you try to find a safe solution that will work for your family. The hotlines for the domestic violence departments in the United States are 800-799-SAFE (7233) and 800-787-3224 TYY. There is also an app called “MyPlan,” which allows individuals fleeing unsafe situations to find hope.

Takeaway

All in all, it is safe to say that most individuals who encounter uterine trauma or a hit to the belly do not sustain life-altering injuries for themselves or their babies. Between the excess fats we make and store during pregnancy and amniotic fluid and abdominal muscles, babies in the womb are commonly safe and protected from these injuries. Once again, call your care provider if you have any pregnancy-related concerns or questions. 

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