Are there any household activities to avoid during pregnancy? Check out our list here.
Being pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t maintain a clean house. Like many other activities such as washing dishes during pregnancy, it simply means changing your approach. Be careful, enlist some help and pay attention; you’ll soon be back to your old routine before you know it. But first, here are household activities to avoid during pregnancy.
When you’re expecting, you may feel the urge to clean and prepare the house for your future newborn. But if you have pregnancy complications you may have to keep safety concerns in mind. Some household tasks can be hazardous to you and the developing foetus.
To keep both you and your baby safe, we’ve listed down 8 household activities to avoid during pregnancy. From washing the dishes to vacuuming, you may be surprised to find just how many chores you have to put on hold for now.
8 Household Activities To Avoid During Pregnancy
It’s time to pass on these household chores to others for the time being.
Using Harsh Chemicals
As many household activities involve the use of harsh chemicals, it’s best to avoid anything to do with them during pregnancy.
Products such as mosquito spray, oven cleaner and bleach all have noxious fumes. If you must tackle problems such as bugs, dirty ovens and toilets while pregnant, seek out alternatives.
Avoid these products and chemicals:
- Bug killer sprays
- Commercial oven cleaner sprays
- Air fresheners (which may also make you nauseated)
- Commercial household cleaners with multiple chemicals
Instead, use the following as a substitute:
- Boric acid for bug killer sprays
- Baking soda and water paste for oven cleaners
- Vinegar for bleach
- Baking soda for commercial tile cleaners
- Hydrogen peroxide for commercial stain removers
You see it in movies, but painting the baby’s nursery is on top of the list of household activities to avoid during pregnancy. You can just pick a colour for the pain, and let your partner or a professional handle the rest. Also designate filling the gas tank for your car to your partner.
Lifting Heavy Loads
Is bending down safe during pregnancy?
Unless your doctor tells you that you shouldn’t, bending down is generally safe during pregnancy. However, you might find it difficult or even impossible to do so when you reach your third trimester and your belly starts getting in the way.
Try not to struggle with large shopping bags and moving furniture around. The bigger your belly the more strain it puts on your lower back and a back injury is the last thing you need. Get relatives, other kids or your husband to help you out for this is also one of the household activities to avoid during pregnancy.
Cleaning Up After Pets
Changing the cat litter or cleaning up dog poop can expose you to parasites and germs. One of the biggest risks to a foetus is toxoplasmosis, an infection transmitted by a parasite that lives in cat faeces. If you must handle pets, wear gloves and wash your hands afterwards.
Cleaning Curtains and Ceiling Fans
Try not to do chores that require climbing or balancing on chairs or ladders. Pregnant women are vulnerable to falls and the impact could be dangerous. Don’t stand on tables, stools or even low steps.
Mopping and Sweeping
While these activities are okay in small amounts, sweeping and mopping during pregnancy may aggravate lower back pain and strain your hamstrings.
How to mop the floor during pregnancy? If you have to mop and sweep, use brooms with long handles to avoid straining your back and take frequent breaks to rest. Don’t overdo it and take on the whole floor in one go.
Be careful when cleaning windows because it’s easy to slip and fall. Avoid harsh glass cleaners and just use a damp newspaper to wipe the window clean.
Washing Dishes During Pregnancy
Washing dishes during pregnancy? Make sure to use gloves or just delegate.
If it can’t be helped then go ahead for it’s not exactly one of the strictest household activities to avoid during pregnancy. Just remember to wear gloves because your skin is very sensitive during pregnancy. And make sure not to overdo it to avoid back pain.
Carting the vacuum cleaner around the house can be very tiring. If you must do it, use a light, handheld vacuum cleaner. Also, try not to change the filter while you’re pregnant. The filter contains dust, spores and hairs which can irritate your eyes and lungs.
Practise Caution With These Other Chores
Doing laundry while pregnant
If your doctor advised you against bending and lifting heavy loads, then doing laundry may be a no-no. But if you’re only washing lightweight clothes, then it’s okay. Just let your partner do all the heavy lifting and hang the clothes to dry to avoid straining your back.
Moreover, be very careful when walking around wet floors to avoid losing your balance and obtaining any injuries. Also, always wear rubber gloves and avoid any harsh chemicals when doing the laundry while pregnant.
Ironing while pregnant
As long as it’s not putting any pressure on your stomach, you can iron the clothes during pregnancy. But ironing also puts you at risk of overheating, which is not good, so make sure you do the chore in a well-lit and well-ventilated room. Try not to stand for long periods and take breaks to stretch your back and arms.
Pregnant Mums and Chores
It may comfort you to know that you’re not the only one struggling to discover household activities to avoid during pregnancy. These mums share their own experiences during their pregnancies:
“My skin was hypersensitive to soap products. I couldn’t wash dishes, clothes or bathrooms. I will get water boils.” – Mary Ann
“I couldn’t do the dishes because my belly got in between me and the sink. I couldn’t do the laundry because that would involve crouching and I wouldn’t be able to get up after. And I couldn’t clean the floor because my husband didn’t want the mop handle accidentally poking my tummy.” – Winona Tay
“I only do very light and simple chores like sweeping the floor and any type of chore that doesn’t require me to exert a lot of energy/strength.” – Adeline
Exercise to avoid during pregnancy
Back Pain During Pregnancy – Can You Prevent It?
Plantar Fasciitis in Pregnant Mums: What You Need to Know About Foot Pain In Pregnancy
Tips In Doing House Chores While Pregnant
Yes, there are so many things that need to be done before the baby arrives. But as you have probably learned, this is your time to relax and prioritise taking care of your body and your unborn baby. So if you really want to get things done and do chores, here are some tips:
- Be conscious of your form. When you are pregnant, you are more prone to getting back pain, especially when doing household chores. Reduce your risk by paying attention to your lifting and bending form. Spread your feet apart and find your balance before doing something. Bend your needs when you need to pick something up.
- In moving a lightweight object, push, don’t pull. Use your legs, not your trunk. If it’s too heavy, stop and get some help.
- Make sure there’s proper air ventilation, especially when you’re cleaning and working with chemicals. Open the doors and windows if you need to.
- Avoid standing or staying in one position for a long period of time. If you’re cooking or preparing food, chop vegetables and fruit at the dining table so you can sit rather than stand by the kitchen counter. Don’t forget to take breaks while cooking too.
- If you’re doing a household chore that is not on the list above, but you suddenly feel something weird or painful, stop what you’re doing right away and ask for help. Call your doctor immediately if you’re in severe pain.
- If you cannot rely on your partner or family member to do the chores for you, hire someone else to do it.
Looking for more tips? Remember to check out this additional list of things to avoid during pregnancy!
Updates by Camille Eusebio
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