Gardening During Pregnancy - Tips to Stay Safe

Pregnancy brings you an ocean of emotions, including stress, anxiety, excitement, and fear. This is why pursuing a hobby during pregnancy is inevitable to stay calm, positive, and relaxed.

If you’re a woman who loves gardening and being around flowers, plants, and nature in general, you are sure to wonder whether or not you can shower the same amount of love and care to mother nature while pregnant. After all, gardening not only ensures you get a little exercise but also lifts your spirit with the beauty around.

Is Gardening Safe During Pregnancy?

Well, the good news is that you can continue gardening even during your pregnancy. You just need to be aware of some risks associated with gardening and take appropriate measures accordingly to safeguard yourself and your baby from deadly chemicals and toxoplasmosis infection. Gardening has its unique benefits for pregnancy, but you need to use a common-sense approach to eliminate the risks involved.

Risks of Gardening While Pregnant

Before you roll up your sleeves and get busy gardening, you must become familiar with the involved risks for pregnant women. These are the three risks associated with gardening while you’re expecting:

  • Exposure to chemicals like insecticides and herbicides can impact the baby’s brain and nervous system development.

  • Sunlight and overheating can cause skin irritation and dehydration.

  • Toxoplasmosis infection can cause flu-like symptoms in mothers and lead to mental disabilities and blindness in the unborn baby.

Safe and Unsafe Gardening Activities for Pregnant Women

The ideal garden activities for pregnant women are:

  • Growing seeds
  • Watering the garden
  • Planting up window boxes
  • Growing salad crops
  • Taking cuttings
  • Hoeing weeds
  • Creating a herb planter
  • Planting bedding plants

During pregnancy, steer clear of strenuous gardening activities, such as:

  • Spading
  • Tilling
  • Raking
  • Lifting
  • Pruning
  • Moving the pots and pans around

Precautions for Safe Gardening During Pregnancy

If your doctor has allowed for gardening during pregnancy, here are some tips you can follow to keep you and your unborn child safe in the garden:

  • Don’t spray chemicals yourself! Let someone else in your family take charge and stay indoors while chemicals are sprayed in the garden. Wait for a minimum of 48 hours or longer before returning to the garden.

  • Use an organic, non-chemical type integrated pest management (IPM) to protect your garden from insects and pests whenever possible.

  • Refrain from gardening during the afternoon. If you can’t, use good sunscreen to protect yourself from the heat. Put on a big hat and wear light-colored maternity clothes made of cotton or wicking materials to maximize comfort. Opt for long sleeves and long stretchable maternity pants to avoid exposure to contaminated soil and chemicals.

  • Always wear gloves (preferably the rubber-coated type) and even a mask to keep bacteria from getting into your body.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or face with dirty gloves or soiled hands.

  • Keep yourself well-hydrated when you are working under the direct sun.

  • Use appropriate gardening tools for specific tasks instead of using your hands too much.

  • Maintain proper posture while working in the garden. Find a position that is comfortable for you. Always work in a kneeling or sitting position and use long-handled tools to maintain better posture.

  • Take frequent breaks rather than working continuously for hours.

  • Don’t push yourself past your limit in the garden. It might be too tiring!

  • Always wash your hands and feet thoroughly after the gardening is over

  • Wash all produce thoroughly before eating it.

Take all these necessary precautions and keep your love for gardening alive during your pregnancy!