How to Safely Clean Your House While Pregnant

Pregnant woman folding laundry

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It would be lovely if all of your household chores disappeared when you had a positive pregnancy test. But sadly, most pregnant people still need to clean their own homes while expecting.

Luckily, being pregnant does not render one incapable of doing household chores, though there are a few new rules to housekeeping that should be followed in pregnancy to keep you and your baby safe.

Avoid Fumes

Harsh, abrasive chemicals should be avoided. Try your hand at some green cleaning instead. This will protect you in pregnancy, but also prepare you for a shift in how you care for your home without harsh chemicals once your baby is born. You would be amazed at what you could do with vinegar, baking soda, and lemons.

Keep Away From the Kitty Litter

The one chore that you do need to nix is the kitty litter. The reason is that cat feces can cause you to contract toxoplasmosis. This can have a negative impact on your pregnancy by causing miscarriage or even prematurity.

Watch Your Back

While unlikely to be a problem at first, your back may start to ache as you progress in your pregnancy. After the fourth month of pregnancy, your center of gravity changes. The lifting and carrying that occurs when cleaning may become more difficult. This problem is aggravated if you don't use proper back mechanics. Start now, so that it is second nature by the time that point comes. This is also true when reaching to clean things that are high up.

Get extendable handles when possible to clean tall items like tops of cabinets and ceiling fans.

Exhaustion Periods

The first and third trimesters are often marked by intense periods of exhaustion. Unless you can afford to hire a maid, plan for this to alter how you clean.

If you were a once-a-week cleaner, now you may need to find a way to do a chore a day to get through your list of chores. Try doing chores in 15 minutes segments, maybe one in the morning and one later. This approach may help you prioritize. You may also rethink your house cleaning needs, which are likely to change once your baby arrives anyway.

Be Careful With the Belly

It's true—eventually, your belly will get in the way. Be careful in small spaces, like a guest room shower stall or behind furniture. So, despite what your nesting instinct may say, don't try to wedge yourself in.

Also, be careful of bumping your belly. You would be amazed at how easy it is to turn the corner and bump into something, including the corners of furniture, with your growing belly. While it is highly unlikely to hurt your baby (due to the protective cushion of the amniotic fluid), you can certainly wound your pride and get a nice bruise. This is particularly true while cleaning and carrying things to put away.

Getting Help

Keeping a clean house while gestating isn't always easy. You have a lot going on, feel more tired than you're used to, and have a lot on your mind. Fatigue in pregnancy is real, as are other symptoms that may keep you from cleaning or feeling like cleaning.

Consider asking for help from loved ones or friends. Or if you can, hire someone to come in and clean for you. Some services will do a single cleaning of your home. This also makes a great baby shower gift for the expectant mother and may become a necessity if you're on bed rest.

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