How Pregnancy Can Trip You Up

A recent study from Hiroshima university has found that pregnant women are as likely to fall as 70 year old women. By tracking eight women who were pregnant (as well as 7 who were not) with a 3d motion capture system, researchers were able to discover that even as early as the first trimester, women must hold and carry themselves differently thus increasing risk for falls. Early in pregnancy a woman’s center of gravity shifts, forcing her to compensate by adjusting her weight and walking, as well as standing, in a different position. The biomechanical models created by the researchers and subsequent analysis of the data hold the possibility of decreasing the risk of falling for women who are in any stage of pregnancy.

Key Points:

  • 1Pregnant women are just as likely to fall as 70 year old women.
  • 2bio-mechanical models have shown that the center of mass of pregnant women is farther forward.
  • 3Pregnant women lean backwards to counter balance and this causes them to be more prone to tripping and falling.

The study’s findings confirm why pregnant women walk differently. Even in their first trimester of pregnancy, women’s center of mass is farther forward. As a result, they lean backwards while standing and bend their hips less while walking. This increases their risk for tripping over their toes or losing their balance.

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