For some women whose main hobby is gardening, a big question pops in their mind– “can you do gardening when pregnant?” Luckily, it is. Gardening while being pregnant is the best way to spend “me” time. Besides, it helps calm the soul and relaxes the mind. However, it is best to avoid certain chemicals that contain harsh ingredients that could harm you and your baby.
Gardening is one of the healthier forms of exercise a pregnant woman can do. However, there are also risks. While you pamper yourself in gardening, it is also important to take note of the appropriate precautionary measures needed to protect yourself and your baby.
Dangers of Gardening When Expecting a Child
Can you do gardening when pregnant? Before you soak yourself to gardening, it is important to know the potential risks involved. Usually, the soil used for gardening is often loaded with parasites and other potent chemical pesticides, and this might harm you and your baby. Study some of the described risks below and take precautionary measures when needed.
Exposure to Parasites
When gardening, the most common thing you must avoid is contracting a condition called Toxoplasmosis. It is a condition that is produced by the Toxoplasma gondii parasite. Gardeners are often susceptible to this disease, once you touch a soil that is tainted by the feces of an infected cate. It is often described as flu-like symptoms that may contribute to blindness or other mental disabilities to your newborn.
Close to Chemicals
Also, pesticides and herbicides with strong and potent chemicals must be avoided at all costs. Exposure to these harmful chemicals may alter the baby’s development from the brain down to the nervous system. So think twice if you can do gardening when pregnant because the debate about the exposure to chemicals remained unsolved.
Useful Tips for Gardening When Pregnant
From a pregnant woman’s point of view, it is your utmost concern to take good care of yourself and your baby. Doing routine activities like hobbies and chores must not be taken lightly. There will always be a possibility of contracting certain diseases while gardening, and this might cause miscarriages or stillbirth.
You can do gardening while being pregnant. However, pregnancy is the most vulnerable stage of a woman’s life. So, it is important to take note of the following tips when gardening during pregnancy.
First things first, you need to be protected at all costs! From gloves, hat, long-sleeved top, trousers or jogging pants, and sunblock. During pregnancy, it is essential to get covered up when you know you will be taking long hours in the sun.
One way to protect your skin is through sunscreen, a good SPF-50 and up will do the trick. It should prevent any unwanted conditions caused by overexposure to the sun.
Getting covered will also help your skin get the hydration it needs. Because as we all know, you might get carried away from too much gardening and forget to drink water. Coverings around the body will also help you from getting infections.
Don’t Put Too Much Work
Don’t exert too much effort when gardening, always have time to rest and relax. As much as possible, space it for a few days or do it every other day. The less chance you come in contact with different harmful chemicals, the lower the chance you might get one.
Avoid Carrying Heavy Garden Materials
It is the most common mistake women make during pregnancy is lifting objects inappropriately. During pregnancy, avoid carrying heavy objects. Let someone carry it for you.
Drink Lots of Water
It is important to stay hydrated all the time. If you ought to spend more time in your garden, carrying a handy water bottle will do the trick.
Dealing with Pesticides and Insecticides
Stay away from harmful chemicals. Whenever you encounter dealing with harsh chemicals, it is always best to ask for a helping hand. Always stay indoors whenever chemicals are being sprayed upon your garden. Pesticides or sprays often linger for hours in the air. So, it is best to stay away outside for a while and do something productive inside.
This the other part wherein you need to be a little extra careful. The use of pesticides and insecticides by gardeners to prevent pests is often overlooked. Always remember that these garden products exhibit harmful chemicals that may be detrimental to your child. Researchers back the idea that this could potentially pose a risk.
One study shows that coming in contact with these harmful pesticides during the first trimester of the pregnancy, particularly weeks 3 to 8, is the most dangerous part. It is because this is the time wherein the baby’s neural tubes are slowly forming. Other potential risks include heart abnormalities, limb defects, and cleft palate.
Although there are no firm rules regarding exposure to certain pesticides, the AAP or American Academy of Pediatrics firmly suggests avoiding the use of pesticides for the entirety of the pregnancy. However, there is a safer approach by using a more natural or organic method.
If pesticides are already in use, here are some precautionary guidelines.
- Don’t fear when pesticides are already sprayed in your garden. The most dangerous ones are always the long-term exposure to large amounts. So, a little amount is less likely to be too damaging.
- Always have someone in your family to do the pesticide spraying if you can’t help but use one.
- Always wear gloves to avoid getting in contact with harmful pathogens that may cause certain conditions.
Your passion for gardening can be kept alive even during your pregnancy, but you must be careful. Ensure that you stay away from all these harmful elements by all means possible. If you follow all the safety measures, then the answer to the question, “Can you do gardening when pregnant” is a yes.
Gardening is not something you have to shy away from during pregnancy. So, indulge yourself with these stress-free activities and have yourself the time of your life when gardening. Lastly, if these tips are followed and put into work, you won’t have to worry even a little bit! Good luck on becoming future moms! Get more tips on safety gardening.