If you’re like most people, you’ve got a house to clean and no one who can do it as well as you. But is it okay to be cleaning while pregnant?
Yes… and no.
It is safe for you to do most household activities during your pregnancy, but some tasks should be avoided or delegated to someone else. Below is a simple outline of what is safe and what is to be avoided.
Cleaning While Pregnant: What Is Safe To Do
- Do light cleaning around your home as you normally would, but take breaks periodically. Don’t stand for longer than 20 minutes at a time;
- Clean the bathrooms and toilets as normal, but use green or eco-friendly cleaners;
- You can sweep, mop and vacuum as normal, but it is advised that you choose tools with long handles so that you don’t have to bend over too much.
Cleaning While Pregnant: Tasks To Be Avoided
- Don’t lift or move heavy furniture
After the first trimester, avoid moving heavy things because it can lead to injuries. Your ligaments, joints, and pelvic floor soften because of hormonal changes during pregnancy, making you more prone to injuries.
If you have to move a heavy object, use your legs and push it, don’t pull it.
- Don’t stand for too long
Standing for too long can put pressure on your feet. This can lead to swelling and back pain. If you need to stand for prolonged periods, try to take breaks periodically.
- Avoid bending over
You don’t have the balance that you used to have, so it’s best to avoid bending over. Also, bending over can lead to sciatic nerve pain, (the nerve that runs from your lower back to your legs).
- Avoid climbing ladders, etc.
Your pregnancy weight gain can cause a marginal shift in your body’s center of gravity. Pregnant women are prone to losing their balance. Leave cleaning the ceiling fans, changing the lightbulbs, or hanging curtains to someone else.
- Avoid toxic chemicals
Toxic chemicals can harm your baby, and they should be avoided. If you are unsure of whether a product could be harmful, check the label to see if it is toxic or not. Try to opt for natural cleaning products with labels that say “EcoLogo” or “Green Seal”—products like these meet green standards.
Avoid exposure to:
- Air fresheners;
- Commercial oven cleaner sprays;
- Commercial household cleaners that have multiple chemicals;
- Bug killer sprays.
- Don’t paint the nursery
Have someone else do the painting, and plan to be out that day. Also, ask them to air out the house/ apartment once they’re done painting.
- Avoid cat litter boxes
Cats can carry a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii (from eating birds, raw meat, rodents, etc.) This can be passed to you through your contact with the cat’s litter box. Such contact can lead to an infection and problems in your pregnancy, including miscarriage.
You are free to snuggle with your kitty, but the litter box should be handled as follows:
- Ask someone else to clean it;
- If there is no one to help clean the litter box, you can do it carefully by wearing gloves, then thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water when you are done.
- Keep the cat indoors.
- Feed your cat dried or canned food only—no raw or undercooked meat.
- While you are pregnant, don’t adopt a stray or outdoor cat.