It’s funny when I think back to being pregnant with my eldest. Something suddenly came over me where I was compelled to clean.
I was never a slob, but I was not what you’d call a neat freak. So color me amazed that I was cleaning while pregnant.
Religiously too. I did household work during and after pregnancy, though there are household chores to avoid during early pregnancy, which I’ll get to in a moment. If you’re wondering if mopping while pregnant is safe or what other activities you should and shouldn’t be doing while pregnant, you’re in the right place!
Naturally, though, you can and should ask your doctor about any more specific items you don’t see here. Every pregnancy is different as each of us are, and as such, something here may not be safe for you when it’s safe for others. Please listen to your body, and your doctor too!
Is it dangerous to do housework while pregnant?
No, cleaning while pregnant isn’t completely dangerous. It depends on the task at hand. Some things should never be done by a pregnant woman, though.
If you have a cat, scooping the litterbox is dangerous for you. Cats can carry Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite they can get from eating raw meats. It’s best to keep your cat indoors all the time to avoid contact with this, though have your spouse clean out that litterbox.
If that is not possible, you can clean it using rubber gloves and then thoroughly scrub your hands afterward. I’d also recommend a mask.
Look, I looooove cats. But please, sweet as yours likely is, protect yourself. This infection can cause problems in your pregnancy and may even lead to miscarriage.
Another thing that’s a no-go when it comes to cleaning while pregnant is using toxic chemicals. Make the switch to green products. They should be labeled with logos for the green seal or eco-friendly to make it easier to find. You can also use natural ingredients like vinegar and baking soda, which naturally do a great job!
What activities can pregnant ladies not do?
I’ve got a nice list for you here with things about cleaning while pregnant, as well as other things you may be wondering about. To be clear, DO NOT do these things!
Move heavy things
If your husband wants to move the couch to the other wall, he’s on his own. Ditto for having you help him lift the edge of the dining room table to move it with him. You shouldn’t raise any heavy object and definitely should not attempt to lift and move any heavy object.
Doing so can cause back strain and injury because hormonal changes have made your joints looser to accommodate that pregnancy.
Standing for a while
Too much sitting isn’t good for anyone, but you should not stand for long periods either when you’re pregnant. It puts too much pressure on your feet. And that, my dear, will give you swelling and back pain. Take breaks from standing as often as you can.
For example, if you’re cooking dinner, bring in a chair so you can sit when needed for a few minutes and then get back on task.
While bending isn’t a big thing at the beginning of pregnancy, it will be pretty tricky and uncomfortable to do as that belly grows. You may be able to mop and clean the floor just fine until that belly catches up. Once it does, stop these activities at once. Your center of gravity changes as the bigger bump gets and can pressure your sciatic nerve. Trust me when I say it hurts!
Climbing or anything with balancing
Yes, even that little one-step stool so you can get those special serving dishes for the holidays. That extra weight from the baby affects your coordination and can cause you to be off-balance. You can easily fall, and it’s not worth it. Let your husband or another relative help you get them.
Using anything with chemicals
And I’d like to especially call out pesticides here, for they can cause harm to your baby’s brain development. Do not use any of these products and choose natural ones instead.
Certain foods and drinks
Sorry sweetie, but alcohol isn’t recommended. Mocktails, or cocktails made in a nonalcoholic way, are perfectly fine, though. Some experts say one glass of wine is fine, while others say no way. To err on the side of caution, abstain.
Caffeine is also a bad idea in large amounts though one cup of your morning coffee will be fine. And then there are foods like sushi, raw meats, deli meats, certain soft cheeses, raw eggs, and fish high in mercury that you shouldn’t eat.
Think hot yoga or hanging in the hot tub…big no to both of these. But does a hot bath induce labor? Here’s the answer.
Sports with contact or falling
Sports are a great way to keep in shape but keep away from any contact sport while pregnant. Football, hockey, and boxing are a few examples. But even something like skiing is forbidden as you’re more prone to falling. Ask your doctor if you have a specific sport you regularly enjoy doing to see if it is safe or not.
Perhaps you may want to wait to go to Cedar Point or Disney Land until after you have your baby. Unless you don’t mind not going on any rides. Anything that starts and stops suddenly or poses a risk for falls is not for pregnant women. You CAN sit in those movie theater-style attractions, though, as long as they do not move in any way, shape, or form.
Smoking and drugs
Do I really need to explain this one? I hope not, but just in case, DON’T!!! Also, if you are on any medications from your doctor, it’s an excellent time to discuss them and how safe they are for the baby. Your doctor will help guide you here.
And while you can exercise during pregnancy (unless your doctor says you’re high risk and told you not to), there are certain things you shouldn’t do while exercising.
So, no jumping, bouncing, leaping, sudden shifts in direction/jerky movements, or ab exercises while on your back once you move out of the first trimester.
You can still do plenty of things, like walking, though please make sure your doctor is on board with your exercise plan.
Is sweeping and mopping bad during pregnancy?
Well, that also depends. See, the American Pregnancy Association says it’s a good idea to engage in physical activity. They do caution about high-impact exercises like what I mentioned above.
Sweeping and mopping are in temperature-controlled areas and are smaller spaces, so you have less chance to overheat from all the work or exhaust yourself. But you need to pay attention.
If you have a large home, it may be a strain to do all that mopping and sweeping. In the beginning, it may be easier for you. But as you move through those trimesters, you may find it’s too much for you to do.
Additionally, using natural cleaning products is essential when mopping.
If you’re a high-risk pregnancy with issues like hypertension or preterm labor, among others, you could go through early delivery if you don’t take it easy. The doctor may tell you to stay on bed rest, so if this is the case, do not do any housework as it could be dangerous for the baby.
Regardless of your condition, if you feel cramping, suddenly nauseous, fatigued, light-heated, have spotting, leakage, discharge, blurred vision, or changes in your temperature, this may indicate a significant problem. Call your doctor immediately if any of these things happen.
Is vacuuming safe during early pregnancy?
Vacuuming may be safe if your vacuum is lightweight. But it can agitate the sciatic nerve. This is very common for pregnant women due to weight gain plus the pressure of your uterus pushing down on the nerve. Chores like vacuuming may cause you to lean forward at an odd angle to bother this nerve.
You might feel fine while vacuuming, but later, that pain can arise. It’s important to start taking it easy when you get further along in your pregnancy and be gentle with yourself when cleaning around the house.
Have your husband or a relative do the chores you can’t. If you’re fortunate enough, you can hire someone to clean for you. Just make sure they use natural products in your home!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.