An Overview of Lifting During Pregnancy

One of the most common questions and concerns moms-to-be have for our Plano obstetricians is related to lifting during pregnancy. The general rule of thumb is to avoid lifting any heavy objects. It is generally recommended in the Women’s Specialists of Plano office that pregnant women ask for assistance if they must lift a heavy object at work or home. When it comes to the concern of how to lift and carry a toddler while pregnant, there are certain techniques moms can use to help avoid injury.

Why is Lifting during Pregnancy Discouraged?

As a baby grows within a woman, her body goes through a number of changes in order to make room for the baby. The uterus expands, the hips loosen and the body’s center of gravity shifts. With all of these changes taking place, the back and other parts of the body involved with lifting are already placed under higher amounts of stress on a daily basis and are more prone to injury. As a pregnancy progresses, a woman becomes more at risk of falling while lifting because of the growing belly and change of center of gravity.

Women who are at risk for premature labor may need to stop lifting objects after the first trimester. Future moms may also be discouraged to lift heavy objects if they have pregnancy complications such as bleeding or early contractions.

Even though women are discouraged to lift while pregnant, that cannot always be avoided. A great example of this is when a pregnant woman is a mom to a toddler. When lifting during pregnancy, it is very important women use extreme caution.

How to Properly Lift and Carry a Toddler While Pregnant

Safe lifting techniques, whether it is a box or toddler, dictate a woman should bend at the knees, not the waist, to pick up an object. When it is time to lift and carry a toddler while pregnant, it is important the woman’s back remains as straight as possible and the weight is lifted with her legs only. Any sudden movements or jerking motions must be eliminated. Many pregnant women find it most comfortable to hold their other child on their hip just below the baby bump.

It is important that a pregnant woman does not overdo it when carrying another child. Any pain or spotting are signs that the body is overexerted. These signs do not always mean something is wrong, but it is the body’s warning to tone down lifting and weight-bearing activities.

There are certain women who may be encouraged to avoid all situations when they must lift and carry a toddler while pregnant. Two of the most common reasons are a short cervix and/or a history of preterm labor.

If you would like to learn more about lifting during pregnancy, or would like to discuss the proper way to carry your toddler while pregnant, please contact the Plano obstetricians at Women’s Specialists of Plano.