Household chores that are and aren't safe for expecting moms

Pregnant woman spreading the bed

Household chores are a necessary part of life, and household chores during pregnancy are a great way to remain active and stay fit during pregnancy, but should you be doing all your usual tasks while pregnant? Find out what is safe and what isn't.

Household Work You Can Do While Pregnant

Some basic household chores and tasks can be attended to with relative ease, while some tasks may involve the inclusion of new ways of doing them.

  • Cutting & cleaning vegetables is one of the things that can be done effortlessly. Most women are used to cutting vegetables while standing, for pregnant women it is recommended that they pull up a chair for the same.

  • Sweeping and mopping, can also be done with a bit of innovation. It is advised that you pick brooms and mops which have long handles attached to them so you do not have to bend too much. Pregnancy puts additional stress on account of weight gain and a marginal shift in the body’s centre of gravity and tasks that require bending often, or standing for prolonged periods of time should be avoided, if you feel tired immediately stop this activity and take rest. If you do not have proper long-handled brooms and mops then it is best that someone else do the cleaning.

  • Cleaning of bathrooms and toilets should only be attempted by expecting moms that have access to green/eco-friendly cleaners, using harsh chemical-based products is a strict no. White vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda are some effective yet inexpensive cleaning products that can be used safely during pregnancy if you do not have access to these products then have the duty done by someone else.

  • Light washing of utensils and dishes can be done, but again avoid stress and refrain from standing for more than 15 – 20 minutes.

Here are some household chores to avoid during pregnancy:

While it is safe to do household work during pregnancy, it is important to remember that certain household tasks pose a hazard to pregnant women and their babies. Always keep in mind tasks that have to be avoided. Listening to your body is also important. Refrain from any work that makes you tired or sick and works out a schedule that includes a good amount of rest along with work.

Chores that involve lifting, carrying or moving heavy loads

No safe limits have been established as a guideline for lifting (or moving) weight during pregnancy.

You're already going to have a lot of back strain just from carrying your growing baby. The whole way you hold yourself changes because your centre of gravity moves forward.

If you then exert yourself to lift your older child, a bucket of water, a bagful of groceries, a gas cylinder or if you try moving heavy furniture it increases the strain on your back, even more, putting you at risk for a back injury.

Some doctors may recommend you avoid lifting very heavyweights as they feel doing so may sometimes trigger premature labor, bleeding or a rupture of the amniotic sac in some cases.

Using chemical cleaning products

These could be toxic. Use fewer amounts of cleaning products, and wear gloves. And make sure the room you are cleaning is well ventilated. Try using safe and natural cleaners such as vinegar and baking soda for your home.

Chores that involve balancing and climbing

It is wise not to climb on stools or ladders if you need things from the loft or upper shelves of the kitchen cupboard. You may not be your nimble self and may risk a fall.

If you are bothered by dirty ceiling fans, window panes or mirrors, ask your maid to help out. If fused bulbs or other electrical fittings need to be changed ask your husband or an electrician to fix them.

You may also want to keep the following in mind:

If you sleep on the floor request another family member or household help to pick up the mattress, quilts or bed linen. Bending over constantly to pick up things littered on the floor, washing clothes, and scrubbing the floor can all affect your back. Squat rather than bend down.

Try not to stand for long periods of time. If you need to chop fruits or vegetables, pull out a chair and sit at the dining table or sit in front of the TV. You will get a much-needed break and get your work done.

Also, while cooking, resist the urge to always prepare dishes that require you to stand by the stove for a long time.

Speak to your husband. Can he help with certain tasks? Good communication is key to dividing household and childcare duties. This will help when your baby comes along and you settle into your new roles as parents.

All the same, it's best to stay active during pregnancy and doing safe household chores can be a great way of getting some exercise when you're pregnant without having to take time out for.

Courtesy: BabyCenter

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