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Can Sweeping & Mopping While Pregnant Hurt the Baby?

author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
Can Sweeping & Mopping While Pregnant Hurt the Baby?
Pregnancy shouldn't restrict you from cleaning house. Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

While it would be a convenient excuse, housework generally is safe for pregnancy. Since the actions could be considered low-impact exercise, sweeping and mopping actually could be a beneficial way to stay active while pregnant. Unless your doctor has expressed specific concern for physical activity, you might not be able to convince your significant other into doing the housework himself. Still, know the signs of a problem so you can listen to your body and contact your OB with any possible issues.

Housework Safety

The American Pregnancy Association encourages physical activity, warning only against high-impact exercise that could result in injury. Since sweeping and mopping typically are done in a safe area and a temperature-controlled home, there's little chance that you'll hurt yourself or become overheated when cleaning your floors. As long as you're not actively straining your body while cleaning, you can continue to keep a pristine house throughout your pregnancy.

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General Precautions

Use common sense when tackling housecleaning projects. The nesting instinct typically affects you as you near the end of your pregnancy during the third trimester, which is when you might be tempted to move heavy objects and rearrange furniture as you clean house. Avoid heavy lifting, as it could strain your body and cause injury. Use natural cleaning products in a well-ventilated area when mopping your floors and keep cool with air conditioning if necessary.

High-Risk Pregnancies

The only time your physical activity is restricted during pregnancy is if you're considered high risk. High-risk pregnancies typically are those involving multiples or issues such as hypertension, preterm labor, ruptured membranes and any other issues that could cause early delivery. To stop the onset of delivery, your doctor might order you to adhere to modified bed rest or full bed rest, which means spending as much time resting as possible. In this case, housework is discouraged and could cause you to go into labor prematurely, posing danger for you and your baby. Follow your doctor's instructions exactly when she expresses concern for a high-risk pregnancy.

Signs of Danger

Whether you're enduring a high-risk pregnancy or your pregnancy is normal, know the signs of a problem when engaging in physical activity, such as sweeping, mopping and other household chores. Stop immediately and contact your OB if you experience cramping, spotting, sudden nausea or fatigue, light-headedness, leakage or discharge, blurred vision or a sudden change in body temperature, all which could be signs of a serious problem.

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