How to Keep the House Clean During Pregnancy
Having a baby on the way brings joy and anticipation, but it also means dealing with many changes. One often overlooked aspect of pregnancy is how to maintain a clean house. Keeping your home — especially the baby's room — clean and sanitary is crucial, but it's equally important to ensure your own safety as an expectant mother.
In this blog, we'll share practical tips and guidelines to help you get a clean, comfortable living space while safeguarding your well-being and the health of your growing family. If you're located near Naperville, IL, you can explore our professional house cleaning services for extra support during this special time.
Can pregnant women clean the house? The short answer is yes, though it's important to do so with caution. Engaging in light household cleaning is generally acceptable, but certain tasks, like lifting heavy objects or using harsh cleaning products, can be harmful for moms-to-be.
Here are some professional recommendations to help you navigate the house-cleaning process safely and efficiently during pregnancy.
Cleaning a large living space can be challenging for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for pregnant women. There are a number of cleaning tasks pregnant women should avoid, as they can be harmful to the developing baby.
The following are some of the household chores pregnant women should avoid (or at least consider getting help with).
Lifting Heavy Objects
As pregnancy progresses, the growing fetus places more weight on the abdomen, making everyday tasks more challenging. Lifting heavy objects can place significant strain on the back and abdomen, potentially leading to premature labor. As such, pregnant women should refrain from heavy lifting to minimize the risk of premature labor and back pain.
Using Harsh Chemicals
Prenatal exposure to toxic chemicals found in various household cleaning products, such as glycol ethers, aerosol cleaners, and phthalates, can pose serious health risks to the developing fetus. These chemicals can cross the placenta and interfere with normal growth and development.
Pregnant women should prioritize natural cleaning products whenever possible and, if using harsh chemicals, always wear protective gloves and a mask to minimize exposure.
Cleaning Cat Litter Boxes
Cat feces often harbor a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which can cause a serious infection known as toxoplasmosis that can be fatal to a developing baby if contracted during pregnancy.
This parasite can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected feline excrement. Expectant mothers should therefore avoid cleaning cat litter boxes to prevent exposure to Toxoplasma gondii and protect the health of their unborn child.
If no one else is available to clean the litter box, wear gloves and a face mask while carrying out this chore, and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
Mopping can pose a safety hazard for pregnant women due to the increased risk of slips and falls.
A growing baby can shift the center of gravity of the mother’s body, making balance more challenging. Slippery floors can further exacerbate this risk. To prevent falls, consider using a wet mop with a textured surface, taking frequent breaks, and enlisting help from others whenever practical.
Vacuuming can expose pregnant women to dust and other allergens, potentially triggering asthma or allergy attacks. These airborne particles can irritate the respiratory system, producing symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
Pregnant women with asthma or allergies should take extra precautions when vacuuming, such as wearing a mask and working in well-ventilated areas. If possible, delegate vacuuming tasks to others to minimize exposure to allergens.
Standing for Too Long
Standing for long periods, which detailed cleaning work often requires, can put pressure on the back and legs, resulting in discomfort and fatigue. Expectant mothers should take frequent breaks when engaging in activities that require prolonged standing to reduce discomfort and prevent backaches.
Bending can strain the back and abdominal muscles, potentially leading to pain and discomfort. This is particularly true for pregnant women, as the baby’s weight already forces these muscles to work harder. For this reason, pregnant women should avoid tasks that require deep bending or lifting objects while stooping.
Climbing or Balancing
Tasks that require climbing or balancing, such as cleaning curtains or ceiling fans, can present a danger of falls for pregnant women. As mentioned, a shifted center of gravity makes balancing tricky, and reaching high areas can be more difficult due to a distended abdomen. Avoid these tasks or seek assistance to minimize the risk of injury.
Window cleaning often involves working at height, which can be even more hazardous for pregnant women than for others. The risk of falls increases as pregnancy progresses, making it imperative for pregnant women to seek assistance with chores like window cleaning to prevent injury.
Like vacuuming, carpet cleaning can expose pregnant women to harsh chemicals, dust, and other allergens and irritants. Expectant mothers with asthma or allergies should generally avoid carpet cleaning and wear a mask and gloves when it must be done.
You now know that cleaning the house while pregnant is doable (within reason), but that it calls for a little extra caution. To make your to-do list a little easier, we’ve rounded up a few expert tips for cleaning while pregnant:
- Wear protective gear, like a mask and gloves, to keep chemicals from cleaning solutions off the skin and out of the lungs.
- Have someone else clean the litter box to avoid exposure to toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can cause pregnancy complications.
- Avoid using aerosol spray since the fumes from these products are easy to inhale.
- Check your labels and stay away from anything that says it should be avoided while pregnant.
- Never mix ammonia and bleach!
- Wherever you happen to be cleaning, keep the area ventilated so you don't inhale too many fumes.
- Swap cleaning products containing harsh chemicals for all-natural solutions
- If you need to spray for pests, hire a professional.
Most of these guidelines are just good common sense and apply to everyone who has to clean the house, not just expectant mothers.
How to Clean a Newborn’s Room
Cleaning and disinfecting your little one’s room before it arrives is vital for limiting the spread of germs. To protect your health, our team has provided some special advice for cleaning a nursery while pregnant:
- Ventilate the room: Before you get to work, open all the windows and doors in the room to let some fresh air in (and potentially harmful fumes out).
- Dust with a damp cloth: Make sure you go over all major surfaces, including furniture, toys, and shelves.
- Wash the floors with a mild cleaning solution: For this task, you can either use a gentle, non-toxic floor cleaner or mix up your simple DIY solution at home.
- Clean the crib: Launder the mattress cover, sheets, and pillowcases regularly.
- Sanitize the changing table: If you have a dedicated changing station, use a mild, pregnancy-safe sanitizer to kill harmful bacteria and viruses on the changing table pad and cover.
- Disinfect toys: Wipe down hard toys with a mild soap solution and throw soft ones in the washing machine.
By following these tips, you can give your new addition a safe, hygienic environment to spend their first few months at home.
Creating a Cleaning Schedule While Pregnant
Putting together a detailed cleaning schedule can help expectant mothers stay on top of essential cleaning tasks while avoiding overexertion. Here are some pointers for creating a cleaning schedule while pregnant:
- Break down large tasks into smaller ones: Tackle household chores in bite-sized chunks to prevent fatigue and keep your stress levels manageable.
- Set achievable goals: Think about how much you can realistically get done each day and let that be enough.
- Take frequent breaks: Break often to rest, recharge, and sustain your energy as you clean.
- Ask for help: Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask your loved ones or roommates to pitch in; consider hiring a team of cleaners to handle the household chores while you focus on all the responsibilities that come with pregnancy.
No matter how far along you are, listen to your body and rest when you need to. If you’re feeling tired or overwhelmed, stop and take a break. Whatever you were working on will be there when you get back.
While it’s okay to use most cleaning supplies during pregnancy, you must be cautious about the types of products you use. Here's what to know about household products that may be harmful and what to use instead.
Household Chemicals to Avoid During Pregnancy
Steer clear of the following chemicals and components to protect your well-being and that of your unborn child:
- Bleach: While bleach isn’t inherently hazardous, it's best to limit your use during pregnancy; if you must use it, make sure the area is well-ventilated, and wear protective gear to minimize exposure to fumes.
- Ammonia: Ammonia-based cleaners can irritate your respiratory system and should be used sparingly or avoided altogether.
- Phthalates: This class of chemicals, which is often found in scented cleaning products, can disrupt hormone production and therefore poses a significant risk to pregnant women.
- Glycol ethers: Glycol ethers are found in some degreasers and heavy-duty cleaners and can be harmful when inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
If you aren’t sure whether a particular product contains any of these components, take a moment to read the ingredients list or do some research online.
Safe, Natural Cleaning Alternatives
Thankfully, there are many safe and effective alternatives to commercial cleaning products, many of which you probably already have at home. Here are some good options:
- Baking soda: Baking soda is a versatile cleaner that can effectively scrub surfaces, remove stains, and neutralize odors.
- White vinegar: White vinegar is an excellent natural disinfectant — mix it with water to create a potent all-purpose solution that can tackle a wide range of surfaces.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice can cut through grease and grime, leaving surfaces clean and smelling fresh.
- Castile soap: This mild, eco-friendly soap can be used for various purposes, from washing dishes to mopping floors.
- Essential oils: Some essential oils, like tea tree and lavender oil, have antibacterial properties and can lend a pleasant scent and added cleaning power to homemade cleaning solutions.
As a bonus, these DIY pregnancy-safe cleaning products and solutions are not only gentle on you and your baby but also environmentally friendly.
Your well-being is your top priority during pregnancy, so don't hesitate to ask for help. If you find yourself in need of professional assistance, EuroMaids is up to the task. We understand the unique challenges pregnancy can present, which is why our team is dedicated to providing regular house cleaning and deep cleaning services.
Focus on cherishing the precious moments of this special time in your life while we take care of your home. For questions about our services or additional support, reach out to us today at (630) 737-1080.
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