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7 Household Chores Pregnant Women Should Avoid

Being pregnant doesn't mean you should sit on your hands all day - just like rest, moving your body is equally important during this time, just that you have to be extra cautious of that tiny you inside your womb.

Women gain considerable amounts of weight during pregnancy, which requires a rebalancing of their bodies as the weight is concentrated in one area - the belly. This makes it hard for pregnant women to move around. The exhaustion may make you wonder if you should do all your housework.

During pregnancy, it's safe to do most household tasks, but some are best avoided. Here's what you should and shouldn't do; and how strenuous household work affects your health during pregnancy.

Household Works To Avoid While Pregnant

1. Moving furniture or carrying heavy objects

Any task involving lifting or moving a heavy object should be avoided during the first trimester. These chores may increase the risk of back injury and strain. In addition, as a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy, the tough tissues in your joints and pelvic floor become looser, resulting in an increased likelihood of injury [1].

2. Standing for a prolonged period

You should avoid any task that requires you to stand for a prolonged period. Following this advice is particularly important when most women suffer from fatigue or morning sickness in the morning. Long periods of standing may cause swelling and back pain due to pressure on your feet. Take frequent breaks when cooking and avoid standing for extended periods [2].

3. Tasks that require bending

Pregnant, you should avoid chores that require you to bend, such as mopping, washing clothes, and cleaning the floor. This is because weight gain during pregnancy can cause a marginal shift in the body's centre of gravity, making bending while pregnant dangerous for the sciatic nerve (which runs from the lower back to the leg). Therefore, you should stop immediately if you feel uncomfortable while performing any task [3].

4. Tasks involving climbing or balancing

Climbing on the stool or ladder is not a good idea when you are carrying the weight of another living being within you. Extra weight can affect your coordination and can throw you off balance. In addition, there is a possibility that this could harm the baby, leading to preterm labour or premature placenta separation. Therefore, for your and your baby's safety, you should seek assistance when performing such tasks [4].

5. Using harsh chemicals

Piperonyl butoxide, a chemical commonly used in insecticides, may harm the development of the foetal brain during pregnancy. To avoid pregnancy-related complications, refrain from using insecticides and other cleaning products. Instead, look for natural products free of harsh and toxic chemicals when shopping for groceries [5].

6. Hanging curtains and cleaning fans

It is risky to perform this task even if one is not pregnant. There is a risk of falling from the ladder and losing your balance. If you have an expanding belly, a strained back, and a general loss of equilibrium, you should remove this chore from your to-do list, even if you do not have anyone to assist you.

7. Cleaning of litter

Cats tend to carry the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, which can be transmitted to the person who cleans the cat's faeces. As a result, you may be at risk of contracting infections that harm your pregnancy.

You should wear gloves, a nose and mouth mask, and preferably a coat to protect your clothing from being contaminated with microbes if you have no one to help you clean the litter. To ensure your safety, wash thoroughly afterwards [6].

Is It Safe to Do Household Work During Pregnancy?

The answer is rather straightforward - one must balance work and rest in order to avoid pregnancy stress. Although strenuous work is risky, the opposite is equally unhealthy. Pregnancy can also be adversely affected by a sedentary lifestyle. As a result, it is generally safe to carry out most household tasks [7][8].

On A Final Note...

Most household activities can be done during the first few months of pregnancy. However, some household chores should be avoided during early pregnancy since they may put undue strain on the body and may potentially harm the unborn child. Pregnant women's stress hormones increase when they perform repetitive or monotonous tasks.

Story first published: Friday, July 29, 2022, 14:41 [IST]
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