In the last trimester you're just not as secure on your feet as you used to be. Your center of gravity has shifted forward, your joints are less stable, and you can barely see your feet. All of these things make it more likely that you're going to fall down if you're not careful.
Although the heroines of many soap operas still lose their babies when they fall tragically (or get pushed) down the stairs, a fall during pregnancy is not as dangerous to the baby as was once believed. Your baby is cradled in an incredibly shock-resistant womb. He is protected by amniotic fluid, tough membranes, the flexible, muscular uterus, and the abdominal cavity, which is made up of muscles, bone, and fat. It would take quite an accident to penetrate that fortress.
If an accident were severe enough to cause a problem, however, the damage would most likely be to the placenta. (Remember, this is the organ that attaches to the uterine wall and supplies the fetus with nutrients and carries away wastes.) Trauma to the abdomen can cause the placenta to pull away from the uterine wall. This occurrence needs immediate attention. If you notice vaginal bleeding, leaking amniotic fluid, abdominal pain, or uterine contractions after an accident, call your doctor immediately. He will probably want to meet you in the emergency room.
As you begin to feel yourself getting wobbly on your feet, pay attention to things in your environment that could be hazardous, including the following:
You can also avoid trouble by getting more sleep. In the third trimester, you're bound to feel more fatigued and clumsier than usual and this can put you at risk for accidents.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth © 2004 by Michele Isaac Gliksman, M.D. and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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