Pregnancy Safety: is it Safe to do Gardening While Pregnant?

There is no such joy that can be paralleled to the joy of becoming a mother. But, this is also a phase in a woman’s life where a number of emotions start to fill you including excitement, anxiety, and fear. You begin to ask a lot of questions about the do’s and don’t’s and start to research more about what’s good and what’s unsafe during the stage of pregnancy.

Women receive an ocean of information and advice when they get pregnant. Most often, they are left with a question about whether it is safe for them to do the normal activities they used to do before. 

One of the most pleasurable activities of a woman apart from yoga and cooking is gardening. However, many expecting women start to worry about not be able to take care of their plants and soil again when they’ve found out they are having a baby. Well, the good news? You can go one with gardening while pregnant – yet there are several things to consider and understand for you to stay away from risks and have a healthy, safe pregnancy.

How safe is gardening for pregnant women

How safe is gardening for pregnant women

Don’t worry, soon-to-be mommies! You don’t have to stop gardening during pregnancy, yet there are a few adjustments you have to make for you and your baby’s safety. Gardening is a safe task during pregnancy provided you are aware of the risks connected to this activity as well as the essential tips to avoid them.

What to avoid when gardening while pregnant

Gardening may involve some risks and dangers. Make sure you what they are before you go out and keep yourself busy with your gardening tools and favorite plant. Here are two main t

1. Chemicals

Chemicals such as herbicides and insecticides are considered harmful for expecting mothers as prolonged exposure to these can affect fetal growth and development, most especially the baby’s brain and heart

2. Toxins and infections

Gardening may be fun and rewarding but it also can increase your risk to get a condition called toxoplasmosis. You can have this by touching the soil that is continued by the waste of an infected cat.

What is toxoplasmosis and how is it dangerous for preggos?

What is toxoplasmosis and how is it dangerous for preggos?

Toxoplasmosis is a condition caused by toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that is transmitted from cat to cat’s feces and then to you. Although this condition is not dangerous to adults, it may have impacts on unborn babies, thus it is crucial to stay away from this during your pregnancy.

The symptoms of toxoplasmosis can be flu-like in mothers and these can trigger abnormalities such as blindness and mental disorders to your unborn child.

How to prevent toxoplasmosis

Although the risk of getting infected by toxoplasmosis is low, it is still important to take steps to prevent it from happening. Here are the preventive measures to keep you away from exposure and maintain both you and your baby healthy and out of danger. 

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  1. Apply Integrated Pest Management (IPM) that promotes the use of safe, non-chemical methods in controlling insects, pests, and diseases in gardens.
  2. Use less toxic sprays if possible.
  3. Make sure cats can’t enter your garden.
  4. Wear gardening gloves, long sleeves and pants to protect your skin from toxoplasmosis.
  5. Wash your hands and face thoroughly with soap and water after gardening.
  6. Wash your garden produce before consuming it.
  7. Let someone do the spraying, lifting and other hard activities for you.

How to keep cats away and out of the garden

Since cats are the main source of toxoplasmosis, you must find ways to keep them out of your borders. One effective technique is to plant chopsticks into the soil with an interval of 8 inches from each other. This prevents them from staying in the area.

You can also plant some plants that can put cats off because of their smell. So, make sure you have these plants in your garden to dissuade them to lounge in the garden.

  1. Lemon thyme
  2. Lavender
  3. Rue
  4. Absinthe
  5. Geranium

Things to consider when gardening during pregnancy

Things to consider when gardening during pregnancy

Apart from making sure that you don’t get the risk of having toxoplasmosis, you may also consider the tips below while gardening during your pregnancy.

1. Stay hydrated.

Working in a garden under the direct sun can make you dehydrated and this is a no-no most especially that you’re pregnant. Drink plenty of fluid to keep yourself hydrated.

2. Use the right gardening tools

Not using the proper tools for gardening can put you in the risk of developing tennis elbow or carpal tunnel while you are pregnant. There are proper tools for specific gardening activity. 

3. Always keep your posture right.

Avoid bending for long period of time while gardening, and work while you are in kneeling position instead. So it is suggested to invest in kneeling pads if you don’t have them yet. Also, using long-handled tools can aid in maintaining your better posture while you work in the garden

4. Take a rest when needed.

Sitting for long periods isn’t good for you so stand up every now and then or walk around the garden. Don’t hesitate to break up your tasks by changing activities more often to steer clear of the same strain. 

Final thoughts

Pregnancy is an overwhelming time for women and for some, being pregnant can make them more vulnerable to infections and complications. There are a lot of rules to bear in mind and one of which is to take care of your routine, day-to-day tasks, as well as your hobbies. If you need to make some adjustments, do it! When you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean that you have to put off your love for gardening. You can still do it but with extra care and precautions to keep in mind.

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Ensure that you do anything to keep yourself away from dangerous chemicals or soil-borne infections. Be responsible enough to use the appropriate gloves and gardening tools when gardening while pregnant. Always remember, this is not for your safety alone, but more for your unborn child as well.

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