Electric Shock Feeling while Pregnant: What's Happening?

Fact checked

By Agata P. | Updated: Jan 13, 2020

Managing Electric Shock Feeling while Pregnant

Electric shock feelings surely belong to the less common pregnancy symptoms. While frightening, especially when they occur for the first time and localize in the belly, electric shocks during pregnancy are rarely a sign of complications.

Continue reading about electric shock feeling while pregnant to understand why they occur and what you can do to alleviate them and ensure that your little one is well taken care of.

About Electric Shock Feelings while Pregnant

Electric shock sensations resemble rapid, lightning-like jolts or burning stabs that usually only last for a few seconds.

While they can occur in any part of the body, most pregnant women report experiencing an electric shock feeling in the stomach area, thus increasing their worries about the baby's well-being.

Causes of Electric Shock Feeling while Pregnant  

In most cases, electric shock feelings in the stomach and other body parts are a natural part of pregnancy and do not signal any pregnancy complications.

The most common causes of electric shock feelings during pregnancy include:

Expanding Uterus

In order to house the baby, the rapidly expanding uterus can put extra pressure on and stretch the surrounding muscles and round ligaments, often resulting in sharp electric-like throbs and pain in the lower abdomen and back areas.1 Sometimes, the sensation can also radiate to one or both legs or centralize in the groin.

Developing Fetus

The developing fetus can sometimes press on maternal nerves and trigger a series of electric shocks feelings in the stomach. Women also report that a sudden change in baby's movement feels like an electric shock sensation, especially pushing on the pelvic or cervical wall. The sensation can worsen in the third trimester, which is when the baby drops lower into the pelvis before birth.

Hormonal Fluctuations

Electric shocks while pregnant can also be caused by natural hormonal changes, especially estrogen and progesterone. This can not only disrupt the nervous system, causing the neurons to misfire in a form of electric-like shocks, but it also relaxes the ligaments, which can lead to back pain and trigger electric jolts.2

Other Potential Causes

An electric shock feeling during pregnancy can also potentially be an indication of other medical conditions that are independent of pregnancy. They might include vitamin B12 deficiency, back problems, or certain neurological disorders, among others.

When should I see a doctor?

If electric shock sensations are accompanied by painful cramping, vaginal spotting, or severe abdominal pain, you should seek medical attention right away as they might signal more serious pregnancy complications.

Management of Electric Shock Feeling while Pregnant

Though the symptom is often inevitable, an electric shock feeling in the stomach while pregnant can often be lessened by incorporating certain helpful practices into one's daily routines, such as:3

Observing Triggers

Paying attention to the circumstances in which electric shocks occur can help women better avoid them. Maybe it is a specific sleeping position, an old mattress, uncomfortable shoes, or spending too much time sitting down. Using a maternity pillow at night to take the pressure off of their belly is another helpful management tip.

Staying Active

Stretching, doing light yoga, and taking short walks during the day can lessen tension in the back, strengthen core muscles, and reduce the risk of electric shocks in the stomach while pregnant. Though exercising during pregnancy offers numerous benefits, a woman should first get an approval from her doctor for personalized recommendations.2

Wearing a Pelvic Belt

Using a pelvic belt or a belly band can also be beneficial in reducing electric shock feelings in the belly and other body parts while pregnant. It helps distribute weight more evenly across the body, relieve pressure that the belly puts on muscles and ligaments, and decompress nerves that could otherwise trigger electric-like jolts and lower back pain.4

Getting a Massage

Treating oneself to a prenatal massage can do wonders to an electric shock sensation-stricken maternal body. It can loosen painful muscles, reduce joint pain, stretch ligaments, and boost blood flow throughout the body to prevent electric-like shocks. As an added bonus, it will also decrease stress levels and improve sleep quality. 

Conclusions

In comparison to other pregnancy discomforts, the information about electric shocks during pregnancy is limited. However, many women find consolation in knowing that this unpleasant symptom will soon be a thing of the past once they give birth to their little one. Meanwhile, they are encouraged to explore effective healthy pregnancy tips, including diet, exercise, and stress-reduction techniques, to help their body withstand pregnancy demands and give their babies a healthy start in life.