Performing household chores during your pregnancy is ill-advised as it can negatively affect both you and your baby’s well-being. Given the individual nature of each household chore, the resulting harmful effects can range from physical injuries to disorders, conditions or defects suffered by your baby.
Use of Chemical Products
Most household cleaning products contain harsh chemicals, which include floor cleaners, disinfectants and bleaching products. The breathing in of chemical product fumes can result in it entering your bloodstream and passed on to your baby via the placenta. As a result, your baby will be at an increased risk of congenital disorders or future health problems. Ideally, it would be best to ask a family member to help with the cleaning. However, in the circumstance that a family member is not able to help with the household chores, you may opt for use of natural cleaning products such as vinegar, lemons or baking soda, which are equally effective as cleaning alternatives.
Moving of Heavy Furniture
The moving of heavy furniture, especially during your pregnancy, can put you at an increased risk of muscle strains and injuries. During pregnancy, the connective tissue of your muscles, and your ligaments may loosen. Combined with an increased body weight, it can debilitate your sense of balance and increase your chance of injury. For example, the moving of a dress cupboard from one side of a room to another can cause muscle strain. Therefore, it is best to leave the heavy lifting to your husband or a family member.
Cleaning of Your Pet’s Waste Products
Infections via animal waste can pose serious health risks for you and your baby. For example, toxoplasmosis is a disease that is transmitted from mother to baby (especially during the third trimester) via exposure to infected cat faeces, and can result in your baby being born with serious health problems such as seizures, an enlarged liver or spleen or severe eye infections. Additionally, the cleaning of animal waste products can expose you to a host of different parasites and germs. Therefore, it is always to important to wear gloves when doing the cleaning, and to wash your hands thoroughly right after you’ve cleaned the waste products.
Cleaning of Fans, Windows and Floors
Certain household chores would require you to climb a ladder, or to balance yourself on a chair. For example, cleaning a ceiling fan or wiping the windows. Being pregnant when doing these chores can put you at a higher risk of tripping and falling, which can be extremely dangerous for you and your baby. Therefore, it is best to avoid performing these type of chores altogether, and instead seek assistance from a family member to help you complete the task. Additionally, sweeping and mopping of the floor can put you at risk of injuring your lower back and hamstrings. Thus, it is best to take persistent breaks when performing these chores to avoid straining these muscles.
Refurbishing of Furniture
Refurbishing furniture during your pregnancy can cause harmful effects to your baby, and is therefore discouraged. This is due to the chemical exposure from solvents, polyurethane or paint, all of which can increase your risk of suffering a miscarriage. Similarly, chemical exposure may also put your baby at a higher risk of birth defects or learning problems.
If you must however, adopting the following precautionary measures are extremely important in preventing chemical exposure during the performance of this chore:
- Work outdoors or within a well-ventilated area to prevent the risk of exposure to chemical fumes.
- Wear gloves, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts at all times when working.
- Wear a mask at all times when working to avoid inhaling dust particles.
- Avoid eating or drinking within your working area.
- Use products that do not contain solvents.
If you experience headaches, nausea or light-headedness, stop working immediately and look for a place with fresh air to breathe. Ideally, it would be best for you to ask for help with the task, or wait until after your baby is born.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.