I am 22 weeks in my pregnancy and my baby does kick and stretch at times. Yesterday he poke a limb/head/butt out on my tummy which I could see a firm lump. I showed my friend, and she pressed on the lump quite hard , causing the lump slowly disappeared and the baby to reflex a kick on another spot.

I am worried if my friend had pressed too hard on the limbs/head/butt of my baby, will my baby get injured or broken limbs?

I do still feel kicks after that but no more firm lumps since (1day ago) .. Should I be worried?

  • 3
    Most likely, no problem. Your belly plus the uterus wall should protect your baby. Some babies are even "ticklish" later on...
    – Stephie
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 11:11
  • Related: parenting.stackexchange.com/q/23254/9327 Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 3:43
  • 1
    We played at this with my wife and our girl. Well, not pushing really hard but still. she was moving toward the poked place, in fact.
    – MakorDal
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 6:49

3 Answers 3


It's fine to 'poke' the outside of the baby bump. In fact it's the first 'game' you can play with your little one. :)

Is it okay to poke my pregnant belly?

Sure… if that’s what you want to do. It might seem weird at first, since baby is so small and still developing. But your baby is incredibly well cushioned in there. Remember, she’s floating in a sac of amniotic fluid, which is surrounded by a thick, muscular organ (your uterus). On top of that is your skin and belly fat (more cushioning!).

Of course, just because it won’t hurt baby, doesn’t mean she can’t feel you poking — in fact, baby will probably feel you move and poke before you can start to feel her, which is usually at around 18 to 20 weeks. And when baby’s big enough, she might even poke back!

Kelly Kasper, MD, ob-gyn and associate clinical professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine, in "Is It Safe To Poke My Belly?" for The Bump

A baby in the womb is quite well-protected, it takes a hard fall - the kind which injures mum - to injure the baby:

In the first trimester, a thick, muscular uterus and an even more protective pelvic bone shield your baby, so it is nearly impossible to injure her if you trip and fall. By the fifth month, however, your uterus grows beyond the protective shell of your pelvic bone. While the chances of injury from a simple fall are still very unlikely, many pregnancy worries stem from these changes in your body.

... There is no need to worry unduly about minor falls. Your baby is well protected by the natural shock absorbers of your abdominal muscles, uterine muscles, fetal membranes and the amniotic fluid, all of which cushion any outside blows. It would take an accident that seriously injures mommy to have even a remote chance of injuring baby.

Growing Concerns, Ask Dr Sears

  • 4
    Thorough and well-sourced. Well done :)
    – Acire
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 19:28
  • 3
    My wife does antiques and I read in a medical book she got from the late 1800s that women should not drink when they're pregnant because, get this, they may lose their balance, fall, and hurt the baby. It made me think of this answer.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 20:28
  • For a more detailed analysis of the outcomes to mother and baby of severe trauma to the mother (i.e. really serious accidents) see parenting.stackexchange.com/a/23258/11210 . But the bottom line is that anything which isn't severe enough to injure the mother is extremely unlikely to hurt the baby.
    – A E
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 9:47
  • 2
    I know this is an old post, but you're mistaken about falls in pregnancy, esp. in late pregnancy. A fall in the third trimester merits an evaluation. Dr Sears is a pediatrician, not an obstetrician. Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 2:11

I asked our OBGYN the same thing basically. He explained that it takes a really hard hit to go past the barrier provided by the amniotic fluid. So something like a hard push is definitely not a problem.

Also, we were advised by our doctor that my wife resting on her stomach was no problem (as long as she was not in pain), so her body weight can be pushing on the baby without hurting her. So there is really no way your friend pushing with her hand like that would have hurt the baby.

We also had a bit of a scare with our daughters movements becoming smaller. The doctor told us that that is no concern, the thing that matters is whether or not there is movement, not how hard the movements are. The baby re-positions and that effects how hard the movements feel (or whether or not they produce firm lumps).

So, all of that is straight from our doctor as answers to our own questions. You really have nothing to worry about.


The impact is absorbed by your own belly, and the baby is floating in a bag of water, which absorbs even more. Unless you're seriously bruised or still hurting from the poke, the baby will be fine.

You'll start taking damage to your own belly before the baby is at risk, so don't worry about it.

  • Glad to hear that, do hope so too. I am not bruised, just worried. :) Thank you
    – Win.T
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 12:54
  • 1
    I've played poke the baby with my girlfriend all throughout both pregnancies, they are both fine. Have some early fun with the little one :)
    – Erik
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 13:07
  • 10
    I think these kind of answers should have references to support them. Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 14:51
  • I looked around, but all I can find is lots of people asking and everyone answering the same as I have done. I don't think there's any kind of sources because there's simply nothing that can go wrong, so there's no research or anything either.
    – Erik
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 14:57
  • @Erik Obviously, you need to tell your girlfriend you need to do a scientific experiment.... For science! Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 15:57

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