Nine months really isn't a long time in the grand scheme of things, and the amount of change that a woman's body undergoes in this relatively short amount of time is nothing short of remarkable. The fact that so many women have totally uneventful pregnancies and healthy births is a testament to the amazing abilities of a woman's body. Despite the fact that the majority of pregnancies have positive outcomes, many women worry about all the potential hazards and roadblocks along the way.
Some women enter pregnancy contending with preexisting injuries and conditions that mean she'll need additional consideration to ensure her safety and that of the baby. Other women are perfectly healthy when they become pregnant but suffer some injury during the pregnancy and are afraid of how the injury could potentially impact the health of their baby. Expectant mamas might be surprised to find out that even some serious injuries could have little or no effect on their growing baby. Pregnant bodies are incredibly durable and protective of their precious cargo.
The likelihood of injury is reduced when the expectant mom is paying attention to her changing body, but even the most cautious mama can be sidelined. Every concern or injury—no matter how small—should be discussed with her doctor, but there are some painful injuries that she may be surprised to find will have little to no bearing on her pregnancy outcome.
20 Sprains Happen Sometimes
The rapid changes in weight gain, balance and hormone fluctuations make it almost inevitable that a pregnant mom is going to stumble now and again. Some moms are chagrined to find they only stepped wrong off the curb and ended up with a sprained ankle.
Pregnant women are more prone to joint injuries like an ankle sprain because of increases in hormones like estrogen and relaxin, according to Sock Doc. The joints are soft and easily fatigued because of the constant change in mom's body. Fatigued joints are more likely to indicate weakness in hyperextension. The good news is that a sprain can be treated without impacting the pregnancy.
19 Epilepsy During Pregnancy
Millions of women worldwide are living with epilepsy, and thousands get pregnant every year and safely deliver healthy children. Many misconceptions surround the condition, but most people with epilepsy can continue to manage their condition throughout pregnancy with the help of their neurologist with no issues, explains Epilepsy Society.
Most seizures do not harm the baby in any way. A specific kind of seizure called tonic-clonic could be very dangerous in rare instances, but doctors agree that the risks of continuing seizure medications are far less than the risks associated with an increase in seizures. With good communication between mom and the doctor, the pregnancy can be safe and normal.
18 Pulled Muscle: Annoying, Not Threatening
Pregnant women not only gain weight, but the distribution of that weight and her center of gravity shift can leave her feeling off-balance, especially in the third trimester. Many pregnant women report pain and discomfort, but a pulled muscle is a different kind of pain, as per Livestrong.
A pulled muscle is usually in a specific area, such as one side of the back but not the other, and the area is tender to the touch. While a pulled muscle has no impact on the pregnancy itself, it's important for mom to discuss it with her doctor to determine if it's a pulled muscle or a pregnancy pain.
17 Tripped Up By A Broken Toe
Pregnant women become aware of their feet in a whole new way. Pregnancy hormones that soften and relax the pelvis also soften and relax all the joints. Painful edema (swelling) makes the foot and ankle look as puffy as a marshmallow. These foot complaints combined with a constantly changing centre of gravity increases mom's chances of knocking one of her toes against a hard surface and breaking it, as per Verywell Family.
Never ignore a potentially broken toe; while it will not impact the pregnancy in any way, only a doctor or podiatrist can assess the break. If left alone, it could lead to chronic pain later on.
16 Minor Car Accident Worries
Pregnant women are more likely to get into car accidents than non-pregnant women, but there are easy modifications they can make to minimize the danger to the baby. Women who are pregnant are more likely to feel tired, nauseated and unfocused, and these and other distractions like a full bladder can increase the likelihood of an accident, according to Safe Ride 4 Kids.
It's difficult in this age of supermoms, but mom needs to do an honest check of herself and how she's feeling. Riding as a passenger, packing extra snacks and water, tilting the steering wheel and positioning the seatbelt correctly will help ensure a safe ride that minimizes danger.
15 Pregnancy-Related Carpal Tunnel
Most pregnant moms are excited about carrying a baby and very unexcited about carrying around so much excess fluid. This edema can wreak havoc on her hands and feet, and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is, unfortunately, a very common condition that pregnant women endure, according to Healthline.
Mom may notice that as the pregnancy progresses, the CTS will worsen, making it difficult to grip and hold things as well as manipulate small objects such as buttons. The good news is that not only does CTS have no impact on the pregnancy besides being annoying, it almost always improves and goes away in the weeks following birth.
14 Lifting Too Much Is Harder Than It Seems
Ask any pregnant woman about heavy lifting, and she'll often express a fear that the muscle constriction could push on the baby or cause a problem, but then she'll pick up a toddler or small child without thinking twice. The truth is that lifting heavy objects isn't linked to pregnancy complications in any studies, as per Today. That doesn't mean she can't injure herself, however—her centre of gravity has shifted, and because of her distended abdomen she can't bend and twist as easily without risking a strain or pulled muscle.
Pregnant women can lift, but they should be very cautious about maintaining good form and not straining to lift.
13 Throwing Out Her Back Won't Hurt The Front
Back pain is one of the most common complaints pregnant women have, but that doesn't mean a mom just has to live with it quietly. Lower back pain is most common after the fifth month of pregnancy, and women with previous back injuries are at higher risk of experiencing pain. The most important thing is to discuss it with the doctor.
Throwing her back out won't cause injury to the growing baby, but an injured and untreated back could make labor more difficult, explains Spine Health. Pregnant moms might be surprised that back pain assistance comes in many forms; they can avoid medication or invasive procedures but still get relief.
12 Spinal Cord Injuries And Pregnancy
A woman who has suffered a spinal cord injury can get pregnant and safely deliver a healthy baby just the same as a woman with no spinal cord injury—often with few complications, according to Sci Parenting. While women who have spinal cord injuries are usually referred to a high-risk specialist for a pregnancy, it's often just a safety precaution that means additional monitoring visits—many women with spinal cord injuries have no complications at all.
As with any other pregnant woman, self-observation is important. This self-observation coupled with regular checkups that will screen for asymptomatic infections and issues usually results in safe pregnancies and a healthy birth.
11 Amputees Are Often Low Risk
Some doctors are nervous about treating a pregnant mom who is an amputee, but there is no indication whatsoever that her amputations have any impact on whether her pregnancy will be low- or high-risk. A pregnant woman who is an amputee does have to make additional considerations, but these are mostly geared around how she'll move and adjust to weight and balance changes if she uses a leg prosthesis, according to Jonesboro Prosthetic & Orthotic Laboratory.
Pregnant moms with leg amputations will need to meet with their prosthetist for occasional adjustments, as the prosthesis fit will change. Above-the-knee amputations may need more modifications to ensure mobility throughout the pregnancy.
10 Safe With Scoliosis
With a strong foundation of many years of research, doctors can say confidently that women with scoliosis—even if they've had spinal fusion surgery—can not only get pregnant, they are also no more likely to be high risk than women who do not have scoliosis, affirms Treating Scoliosis. She's also likely to experience the same pregnancy symptoms as other women.
Some women worry that gaining weight will cause the curvature to worsen, but doctors say if the curvature had already stopped progressing, she won't have to worry about that. Pregnant mamas with scoliosis can also give birth vaginally and are no longer automatically required to undergo C-sections.
9 Psoriatic Arthritis Doesn't Have To Get In The Way
Women who have their psoriatic arthritis under control when getting pregnant are thrilled when their symptoms fade, and they get a reprieve. This is thought to happen as a result of a more active and protective immune system, according to Everyday Health. The riskiest aspect of psoriatic arthritis may be the medication that mom takes to control the symptoms, so it's important to discuss pregnancy plans with the doctor prior to conception to reduce the risk of loss and birth defects.
Psoriatic arthritis alone presents no pregnancy roadblocks, but the emotional toll can impact mom's mood, and the joint pain can affect her ability to exercise effectively, leading to issues with weight.
8 Falls Happen Frequently
Even the most graceful woman becomes a fall hazard during pregnancy as her weight and balance shifts sometimes overnight, along with softening joints and swelling in the legs and feet. While mom should notify the doctor even for a minor fall, her body is constructed to be protective of the baby, and most falls don't impact the pregnancy in any way, as per the Mayo Clinic.
Although most never injure more than their pride, there are fall symptoms that require speedy follow-up. If mama falls on her abdomen, experiences bleeding, feels contractions or doesn't feel the baby move (after the first trimester), she should see the doctor immediately.
7 No Spleen, Yes Pregnancy
Women might enter into pregnancy without a spleen for a number of reasons. Spleens are removed due to trauma or past disease, and they are an important organ in the body that can manufacture antibodies. Because women without a spleen are more prone to dangerous and rapidly-developing infections, extra care is needed during pregnancy. This doesn't mean that pregnancy is out of the question—women can have totally healthy and safe pregnancies without a spleen, as per Spleen Health.
A woman who doesn't have a spleen but discovers she is pregnant should review her medications and any prophylactic antibiotics with the doctor, and she'll probably need to reduce or avoid travel.
6 Multiple Sclerosis Doesn't Mean Never
Women are not impacted by multiple sclerosis when it comes to getting pregnant or carrying a healthy baby full-term. Many moms with multiple sclerosis even report that their symptoms diminish during the pregnancy, according to National MS Society. Often, women diagnosed with multiple sclerosis take corticosteroids to treat their symptoms, and this treatment can usually continue throughout pregnancy, although doctors might monitor or change treatment if mom decides to breastfeed.
Fatigue may be an issue, but extra rest is all that's needed. Women with MS were once advised to never have children, but study after study has shown that MS is not a barrier to a healthy pregnancy and birth.
5 Diastasis Recti Is A Regular Development
Pregnancy is tough on the body, and up to two-thirds of pregnant women develop diastasis recti, which is when the abdominal muscles separate, as per WebMD. Women who develop diastasis recti can and do go on to have uncomplicated pregnancies and births, but care is needed when diastasis recti has been diagnosed so that mom doesn't strain, and she should check with her doctor about what exercises are safe.
Pregnant women should always clear exercises with their doctor, or a knowledgeable trainer who understands diastasis recti before doing them, as the wrong exercises can make the problem worse rather than heal it.
4 Mom's Cerebral Palsy
Doctors and researchers have shown that the biggest hurdle for women with cerebral palsy who want to get pregnant is to assess any medications for potential side effects on the fetus. As cerebral palsy affects each woman differently, not all take medication, and women with cerebral palsy are just as likely to experience a healthy pregnancy and birth as a woman without cerebral palsy, explains Cerebral Palsy Guidance.
Some women even see a welcome reduction in their cerebral palsy symptoms during the pregnancy. Spasms may increase during labor and make getting an epidural difficult, but they won't impact the cervical dilation or uterine contractions.
3 Knee Tears Are Painful But Won't Impact It
ACL tears in the knee are painful, and numerous studies have shown that women may be more prone to them than men. Pregnancy can increase the risk of an ACL tear, especially in women who are continuing to remain very physically active. This increase in knee problems is a result of multiple factors, but the biggest may be hormonal, according to Chris Arnold and Arthur Boland, as published in Harvard Orthopaedic Journal.
Both estrogen and relaxin soften the joints and increase elasticity, and relaxin can also modify collagen, like that found in the knee joint area. An ACL tear is frustrating but won't impact a mom's pregnancy beyond discomfort.
2 Ankle Fractures: A Common Side Effect
A changing centre of gravity and even the swell of the pregnant belly blocking mom's view of her feet can make her more prone to an ankle fracture, but the resulting treatment is often contingent upon what stage of pregnancy she is in, according to AAOS Newsroom. She may not need surgery to correct the fracture, but if she does, the doctor will assess for risk.
A mom in the first or second trimester may undergo surgery with low risk to her or her baby, but if she is close to giving birth, her doctor may discuss induction before undergoing surgery, as per UW Medicine.
1 Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction Deals Out Pain
During pregnancy, it seems like everything swells. When there is swelling and pain in the symphysis pubis, the joint loses stability and mom develops pelvic girdle pain, according to BabyCentre UK. This pain can be felt in the pelvic and groin areas and may also radiate down the inside of the thighs; it can be exacerbated when walking or using stairs. Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction can be very painful but does not affect the pregnancy or mom's ability to tolerate labor and delivery.
She can discuss it with her doctor, who may refer her to a physiotherapist who can help her exercise safely to strengthen the muscles in the area.