Electric shock feelings, which resemble rapid, lightning-like jolts or burning stabs that only last for a few seconds, surely belong to the less common pregnancy symptoms. While frightening, especially when they occur for the first time, 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.
Causes of Electric Shock Feeling while Pregnant
In most cases, electric shock feelings are a natural part of pregnancy and do not signal any pregnancy complications. The most common causes of electric shock feelings during pregnancy include:
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.
The developing fetus can sometimes press on maternal nerves and trigger a series of electric shocks in the abdomen. 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.
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
Electric shock sensations 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 inevitable for many pregnant women, electric shock sensations during pregnancy can often be lessened by incorporating certain helpful practices into one's daily routines, such as:3
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.
Stretching, doing light yoga, and taking short walks during the day can lessen tension in the back and strengthen core muscles, thus reducing the risk of electric shocks. 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 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.
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.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2016). Back Pain during Pregnancy. Retrieved October 21, 2019 from https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Back-Pain-During-Pregnancy?
- Office of Women's Health. (2019). Body changes and discomforts. Retrieved September 13, 2017 from https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/youre-pregnant-now-what/body-changes-and-discomforts
- Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. (2014). The effect of relaxin on the muscoskeletal system. Retrieved October 21, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4282454/
- American Pregnancy Association. (n.d.). Round Ligament Pain. Retrieved October 21, 2019 from https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/round-ligament-pain-during-pregnancy/
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2019). Exercise during pregnancy. Retrieved October 21, 2019 from https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Exercise-During-Pregnancy
- American Pregnancy Association. (n.d.). Sharp Pain During Pregnancy. Retrieved October 21, 2019 from https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/sharp-pain-pregnancy/
- Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (2018). Pregnancy and pelvic girdle pain: Analysis of pelvic belt on pain. Retrieved October 21, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28544276