What’s a pregnant woman to do about household chores? Should she be able to use the vacuum cleaner and take on more than one chore at a time, or should it all have to wait until after she has given birth? And what about laundry, sweeping, mopping and dusting the surfaces? Should she continue with those chores throughout her pregnancy? We’ll answer all these questions and many more.
As much as you want to curl up on the couch with your partner and watch Netflix until you’re six months pregnant, it’s important to take care of your health. Exercise during this time helps build a strong body and reduces the risk of postpartum depression and anxiety. Your doctor might prescribe an exercise program in addition to scheduled prenatal appointments.
Household chores to do during pregnancy
When pregnant, you should consider only doing basic household chores and activities that you can handle without straining, some of which may require doing them differently and with ease.
Below are some household tasks you can do during pregnancy:
You can sweep and mop with a bit of innovation. You can use a lightweight handheld vacuum to clean the bare floors. Mop with a washcloth or cleanser and a bit of warm water every other day.
Vacuuming is acceptable during pregnancy but may take longer to complete the same number of passes. This is because your belly prevents you from bending to the floor while vacuuming, but there are a few things you can do to make the process easier on yourself.
If you’re vacuuming whole rooms in your house, use additional care when vacuuming near fragile items such as china or breakables because your belly may need a little extra room. When vacuuming, avoid using power tools that are strong enough to harm your baby. Prolonged exposure to high noise levels or vibrations may also cause discomfort.
To clean bathrooms and toilets, you must have eco-friendly cleaners. Most chemical-based products can cause discomfort or problems. You can opt for affordable eco-friendly cleaning products such as baking soda and lemon juice. Let another person do the job if you cannot access such products.
You are advised not to wash heavy items such as frying pans because it will increase the strain on your body. You can wash smaller items like spoons, cups and glasses without any problem. However, you should avoid standing for long. Take breaks after 15 minutes if you have a lot of dishes and utensils to wash.
Household chores to avoid during pregnancy
You can do most household chores within your first months of pregnancy. However, you should avoid activities that put undue pressure on your body, placing the baby’s life at risk. Also, repetitive and monotonous chores may increase stress hormones.
That said, below are some household chores you should avoid during the course of your pregnancy:
It is better to avoid any task involving the use of harsh chemicals during pregnancy or seek eco-friendly alternatives.
For instance, you can use:
- boric acid instead of bug killer sprays
- water and baking soda instead of commercial oven cleaner sprays
- vinegar instead of commercial bleach products
- hydrogen peroxide instead of commercial stain-removing products
If you must use harsh chemicals (not recommended during pregnancy), such as bleach or ammonia, ensure you keep a safe distance from the fumes. Ensure the room is well ventilated, and you don’t stand in one place for too long. You should also wear gloves to avoid direct contact.
Avoid heavy lifting such as shifting furniture and carrying laundry when pregnant. Heavy lifting can increase the pressure on your body and worsen any medical problems you may have. It can also lead to high blood pressure and preterm labor symptoms. As a result, heavy lifting puts you and the baby in danger.
The weight you gain during pregnancy alters your body’s center of gravity, making you relatively unstable. As a result, the following household chores involving climbing should be avoided:
- changing the curtains
- cleaning the ceiling fans
- reinstalling or repairing air conditioners.
Caring for your pet will be a big task during pregnancy. Consider getting someone else to clean up your pet as your cat’s litter contains a parasite that can threaten you and your baby’s lives.
If you MUST clean your pet’s litter box, ensure you keep the following things in mind:
- Use gloves and wear proper personal protective equipment such as a mask, goggles and gloves to avoid direct contact with the animal waste.
- Protect yourself from dog bites or scratches by training your pets to obey a few simple commands.
As a mother, you will want to keep your home and yourself clean as possible. And you can do so during pregnancy, but you cannot use harsh chemicals or scrub too hard. You can hire other people to help or opt for inexpensive, “safe” cleaning products. If you need help with tasks that are rough on your body or take a lot of your time, get someone else to do them. There’s no shame in asking for help, especially when keeping yourself healthy and the baby safe.