If My Toddler Jumps on My Pregnant Belly, Will It Hurt My Baby?

Being pregnant with number two {or three. . .} can be an entirely new ballgame. Each pregnancy is different, so you may be experiencing random new symptoms that vary from last time. Likely, you are also feeling much more tired than with your first baby, because now you are chasing around a toddler instead of getting some occasional rest. You are also learning to play defense with your pregnant belly, attempting to keep baby #1 from clobbering it on a regular basis. Despite your best efforts you will occasionally get bumped, pulled on, and likely even body slammed hard enough to take your breath away. This can be scary and painful to the mom, but is extremely unlikely to hurt the baby.

Your baby is protected by many layers:

Bones

Skin

Fat

Muscles

Fascia (strong connective tissue that holds muscles together)

Intestines

Uterus (super thick and strong muscles)

Any blunt force has to pass through all these insulating layers to reach the baby. But even then, the baby is further insulated by the amniotic fluid.

In the first trimester the uterus has not even reached the pubic bone, so the pelvic bones protect the baby.

Many moms often wonder if tight clothes, seat belts, a toddler sitting on her lap, intercourse or pushing on their abdomen might harm the baby. Please rest assured these activities are not going to cause any issues.

To injure a baby in the womb, it takes a significant amount of force. Most cases of fetal injury are due to domestic violence (gunshot wounds/stabbing) or car accidents.

What can be concerning is shearing forces, especially in the third trimester. The placenta is made to detach from the uterus after delivery, but strong shearing forces can make it pull away prematurely. Falls onto the abdomen or buttocks, car accidents or severe trauma can cause the placenta to be dislodged from the uterus in a condition called an abruption. An abruption can happen immediately after trauma or may not show up for 24 hours after an accident. Symptoms of an abruption include:  contractions, bleeding, and abdominal pain. Anytime you fall during pregnancy, if it’s hard enough to knock the wind out of you, you should call your provider. Even if you don’t fall directly on your abdomen it is important to be monitored for signs of an abruption.

Testing for an abruption includes an ultrasound, labs to check for bleeding, and monitoring contractions and baby’s heart beat. Often we will monitor women for up to 8 hours after an accident to make sure that there is no evidence of an abruption.

The unavoidable day to day bumping and pushing on your pregnant belly is fine. The occasional toddler hop, though painful and stressful for mom is unlikely to injure your baby.  The baby will just be sloshed around in his amniotic fluid swimming pool. If you fall or are involved in any type of auto accident, this could be a major issue. Please call your provider to determine if you need further evaluation.

Have you had issues with your toddler unexpectedly pouncing on your belly?

{Photo Credit: Amy Conner}

About Dr. Heather Rupe

Dr. Rupe is a mom, wife and OB/GYN. She is the co-author of The Pregnancy Companion book and blogs at www.ThePregnancyCompanion.com. Her heart is to help guide women through as peaceful a pregnancy as possible. In her spare time she loves to run and laugh whenever she can.

Comments

  1. Carolyn Lowenv says:

    I fell right on my tummy crossing the street, second trimester, second baby. I sort of just bounced back up and all was fine.

  2. Wi Kennedy says:

    Im 18 weeks pregnant. I was woken out of my sleep from my toddler forcefully and repeatedly dragging his elbow across my tummy. Now im having what feels like gas pains. Im just hoping everything is ok with my unborn! Extremely worried…..

  3. I took my 20 month old to the dentist yesterday, he was sitting on my lap and threw a tantrum. I was worried that something might have happened to the baby, but my ob’s office wouldn’t see me they told me if I was concerned to go to the hospital. I currently have no insurance, and had no belly pain just minor back pain so I didn’t go. my next appointment in in the middle of September so hoping everything is fine. I was feeling movements occasionally in the beginning of the week, but im only 14 weeks 6 days so I know its too early to expect to feel them. After reading this it sounds like things are probably fine and that it is typical to have this happen with a toddler at home.

  4. im 11 weeks and fell in work yesterday hitting my tummy on the workbench it went red but no bruising and only feels a little sore when i touch were hurt, do you think i should contact doctor? havent had any bleeding or cramping. thanks.

    • Lynsey,

      I am sorry we didn’t get back with you sooner. How is everything? It’s always ok to contact your doctor if you are concerned. Praying for you today!

      • hey, thanks for gettin back to me :) i seem to be all good now no pain or anything! im now 13 weeks..so just looking forward to my 20week scan now lol :) thanks again jessica xxsc

  5. Michelle C says:

    My Son just jump on me elbowing me in the stomach in the process
    im 8 weeks pregnant with my second child and its so hard
    to keep my 1 st child off my tummy. Reading this article
    made me feel better about the safety of my unborn. But
    needless to say it still hurts and is scary.

  6. hi am 5months pregnant and today while working one of my employeesbump into my stomach it was kind of hard but it ddnt knock me down or anything it just felt like someone bump into my stomach.now am worried that that bump harm my angel.can someone help plz

  7. hi I am 18 weeks ans someone pulled my stomach will my baby still be fine

  8. Okay I kind of scared my husband you know messing around tickling him and he accidently elbowed my belly I’m 26 weeks pregnant would that harmed my baby?

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