Pressure on the Stomach While Pregnant: How Much Can Your Belly Take?

By nature, I tend to be a bit clumsy. So when I accidentally hit my stomach while pregnant with my eldest while doing some chores around the house, I panicked. Fortunately, it was nothing to be concerned about.

Pressure on the stomach while pregnant can happen in many ways, and much of the time, you’re pretty well covered there as far as padding inside of you goes.

However, all of that really depends on the scenario at hand. Accidentally bumping your baby bump into the wall as you scooch by because you’re no longer aware of your growing dimensions is usually not cause for concern.

But what if you get hit in the stomach while pregnant in the third trimester? Before you worry needlessly about something that may or may not even happen, I’ve covered everything you need to know below.

Can you pressure your pregnant belly?

The more I learned about pregnancy and our bodies, the more fascinated I was. Our bodies are perfectly designed for growing and carrying babies. While you don’t see it, tons of padding protect your baby inside you.

That’s not to say it’s completely protective, for there are certain instances when pressure on your pregnant belly can be quite dangerous.

However, the odds are typically in your favor since your uterus is holding your baby, and there’s also all that amniotic fluid. And not to make you feel bad, but more body weight adds another layer of cushion.

Basically, your baby belly is designed fairly well to handle any random day-to-day pressure it may undergo. I’ll get to it shortly, there are more traumatic things, but they are far less common.

Does it bother my baby when I poke my belly?

Are you tempted to take a finger and poke at your belly? Go ahead! Your baby, as I mentioned, is quite cushioned in there. It won’t hurt her, but you want to know something cool? She might feel some kind of sensation. In the beginning stages of pregnancy, she’ll get to know you and all your movements, even if you poke your belly a little.

Once she’s bigger, you’ll start feeling her moving around, and she will kick and jostle you back. It’s such a fantastic feeling!

Can I hurt my baby by only pressing my stomach?

No, Mama, you can’t hurt your baby by applying pressure to your stomach. Of course, you don’t want to slap at it or things like that. But if you roll over in bed or accidentally walk into the kitchen counter, it will be fine in most cases.

Can pressure on your stomach cause a miscarriage?

A simple pressure on your baby belly shouldn’t cause a miscarriage. However, there are definitely times when you will need to seek help right away. I will break down the most common things everyone asks me about putting pressure on a pregnant belly.

Toddlers and animals

If this isn’t your first rodeo and your other child (or children) are still small, you may wonder what you should do if your toddler comes at you and smacks you in the belly while playing or jumps onto your lap. Same if you have a dog, which you can read here in more detail.

kid touching mom's pregnant belly

If you have both in your home – dog, and toddler – this is certainly something I could see worrying over. However, most of the time, this shouldn’t be an issue. Children and pets under 40lbs won’t really do damage.

Still, it does require training on your part, so teach your toddler well about not jumping on Mommy or hugging your belly too tightly. And train your dog not to jump up too.

Car accidents

While I didn’t drive in China, I was always afraid whenever I was in a car. The driving there is worse than in Boston. There, I said it. Sorry, it’s true. Anyway, my biggest worry was in the taxis because they do not have seatbelts in the back. Please don’t ask me why…I’m still struggling to understand it myself.

Relevant: Buckle up! Pregnancy seat belt guide.

In any event, you’re at more risk if you get in a minor fender bender, especially if you’re in the first and second trimesters. The third trimester has a little lower risk, but my advice is the same for all of you…even if everyone walks away from the accident just fine, get checked out immediately.

Bumps around the house

I briefly hit on this earlier, but honestly, if you’re nesting and scrubbing the house like a fiend, chances are you will bump into things in your home. Your center of gravity is so out of whack right now, so it’s really quite normal of you. But not to worry…unless you completely fall onto your belly on the ground while cleaning or walking from one end of your house to the other, it is totally fine.

Getting it on

Now, let’s talk about sex, the reason we’re all Mamas! You might already be aware that you can totally have sex while you’re pregnant. All positions are just fine, though some may be more uncomfortable to you now. And no, none of those bumps and grinds that get you in the belly can harm your baby.


Tripping is tricky, though not every trip leads to a fall. You will be fine if you trip and stumble over your toddler’s shoes (or your husband’s!) but don’t fall. But if you completely fall, that warrants a call to your doctor, especially if it shakes you up.

Anything that involves falling downstairs, slipping and falling in the shower, or other more severe falling incidents needs immediate medical attention. Depending on the severity, you should call your doctor or get to the hospital if it’s really bad.

With severe scenarios like these, you may have bruising and internal bleeding. The first trimester can be very dangerous because a heavy blow can lead to a miscarriage. Please note the difference between a heavy blow and a bump on the bump.

Is it concerning if someone squeezes my pregnant belly hard?

huge belly bump

They would have to REALLY squeeze to the point of torture for it to do any harm. So, those bear hugs from your toddler? Everything will be fine, but you will want to teach your little one to be gentle with Mommy.

What happens if I put too much pressure on my pregnant belly?

That will depend on the trimester. In your first trimester, there’s little risk when it comes to pressure on your belly. If you have an accident, slip, fall, or someone deliberately hits you with the intent of force, it is much more likely, though.

The risk increases slightly with too much pressure in the second trimester but remains low. In the third trimester, the baby takes up way more space, and a severe blow could cause some harm. You also have a greater risk of placental abruption so the third trimester can be the most dangerous.

It’s why most mamas are told not to drive as they get toward the end of the pregnancy. There’s way less space between you and that steering wheel and less protection in your belly.

When to call the doctor?

So, to recap, accidentally bumping the bump, overzealous hugging little kids and animals, and little things are generally no cause for concern. But these things mean you must call the doctor or go to the hospital straight away:

pregnant woman in severe pain
  • Car accidents – even after a minor one, call the doctor.
  • Falls onto the ground – whether you fall forwards or backward if you impact with the floor or ground, it needs to be checked out.
  • Hits or kicks to the stomach – this excludes random moves from little kids or pets in most cases, but if someone deliberately punches you or kicks you in the belly, you need to see a doctor immediately.

And should someone deliberately harm you, make sure you call the police (or ask your doctor to do so if you’re afraid).

Also, if you bump your belly and then notice vaginal bleeding, consistent cramping pains, contractions that come frequently, or a decrease in your baby’s movement, you should make sure you get checked out right away.

Most of the time, these worries have never come to fruition. But now you know what to do should anything like that happen to you!

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