5 Household Chores You Must Avoid in Pregnancy

Household chores are a necessary part of life, but not all chores are safe during pregnancy. Find out which chores are safe and unsafe for a safe and healthy pregnancy.

House Cleaning

Pregnancy is a delicate phase in your life. Carrying a new life inside you means you have to be very careful about physical activities as whatever you do affects both you and your baby’s health directly.

Nesting, a sudden urge to clean, organize, and keep everything in order, is an instinct experienced by many expecting mothers. While it is not harmful to you or your baby in any way, it can sometimes put you into full working mode.

Nonetheless, you should work only as much as your body allows you to. The following are some household chores you must avoid during pregnancy.

1. Lifting, moving, or carrying heavy objects

Woman Moving Sofa at Home

Lifting, carrying, or moving weight of any kind is a definite no-no during pregnancy. Such heavyweight objects include:

  • A gas cylinder
  • A filled bucket of water
  • Lifting your older child
  • Laundry baskets
  • A suitcase or a bagful of groceries
  • Moving furniture around

As your center of gravity changes during pregnancy, lifting or moving these items can increase the risk of:

  • Pulled muscles
  • Preterm labor
  • Low birth weight
  • Hernias
  • Unexpected bleeding
  • Rupture of the amniotic sac
  • Miscarriage

Follow your doctor’s advice on how much weight is safe for you to lift.

2. Changing or cleaning the pets’ litter boxes

Cat Litter Box

Various studies have proved that cats can carry Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite they can get from eating infected rodents, birds, raw meats, and other animals.

That means, if you clean or change your cat’s litter box during pregnancy, you are more likely to contract this parasite infection which can be harmful to you and your developing baby. You can take these precautions to minimize your risk of exposing to harmful parasites and germs:

  • Keep your cat indoors.
  • Feed your cat dried or canned food only.
  • Avoid giving your cat raw or undercooked meat.
  • Wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
  • Delegate this task to other adult family members.

3. Using pesticides and harsh chemical cleaning products

Chemical Cleaning Products

No matter what stage of pregnancy you are at, the use of pesticides and chemical-rich cleaning products is a big no. The reason? It can expose you to piperonyl butoxide, a highly toxic substance found in pesticides, affecting fetal brain development.

Some common household chemical-based cleaning products you should avoid during pregnancy are:

  • Paint thinners
  • Air fresheners
  • Bug killer sprays
  • Varnish removers
  • Certain paints
  • Bathroom, Kitchen, Oven, and Carpet cleaners

Read labels carefully when buying any household cleaning product. Avoid anything labeled “toxic,” and instead, go for the green, natural products tagged “Eco Logo” or “Green Seal,” etc.

4. Painting the nursery

Paint Color Cans with Roller

Paints emit toxic fumes, so it’s better to delegate the job to your partner or a contractor. Although latex or water-based paints are safe for pregnant women, it’s essential to take the following preventive safety measures:

  • Wear a mask or respirator.
  • Cover your skin properly.
  • Take frequent breaks.
  • Avoid lead paint.
  • Paint in a well-ventilated area.
  • Keep your doors and windows open.
  • Drink and eat out of the room.
  • Use an exhaust fan to blow pollutants out
  • Shower when you’re done.

Also, avoid entering the freshly painted nursery for at least three days.

5. Chores that involve balancing, stretching, or climbing

Woman Changing Light Bulb

Carrying the baby’s weight changes your center of gravity, increasing your risk of falling and losing balance. For this reason, you should avoid any household chores that involve climbing, stretching, or balancing. These include:

  • Climbing stairs or a ladder.
  • Changing the curtains.
  • Hanging clothes.
  • Standing on a chair or stool.
  • Cleaning the ceiling fans.
  • Stretching your legs to reach the upper shelves or lofts.

Remember, even a minor imbalance can cause pregnancy complications like placental abruption, preterm labor, or even miscarriage. Also, avoid standing, sitting, or bending for too long.

When to Call Your Doctor?

Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Spotting
  • Cramping
  • Pain-like contractions
  • Leakage or discharge
  • Blurred vision
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea and fatigue
  • A sudden change in body temperature

While light household chores are a great way to stay active and fit during pregnancy, you should avoid doing any tasks mentioned above as they can be hazardous to your developing baby. Listen to your body and delegate these chores to others.

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