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Gardening While Pregnant and How to Do It Safely!

Gardening while pregnant and how to do it safely is to be taken seriously. The image shows a pregnant woman's tummy with a drawn childlike illustration of safari animals under a tree.

Gardening while pregnant and how to do it safely! This is a topic that women gardeners will find interesting. I have added quotes from women who answered my call to share with you their own experiences during pregnancy.

"No reason to stop if you are healthy and doing good. Keep it up. It's good for you. Just stop before you get tired.”

Is it okay to garden whilst pregnant?

From the moment you know you are going to have a baby; your life takes on a new dimension. You can still enjoy gardening when pregnant and how to do it safely, although you might have to make mini changes.

Our body is a great indicator of what it likes and what it doesn’t want to do! It’s all about being sensible, listen to your doctor’s advice.

“I was in labour and waiting for midwife to arrive for a home birth. In addition, I had the lawn mower out racing up and down the garden at 11.30 pm my daughter was born at 12 but managed to finish lawn before. We had no near neighbours to this I add, and my daughter likes gardening 54 years later.”

Gardening while pregnant and how to do it safely is a top priority

One of the top priorities is to be safe and reduce your risks in the garden. The soil holds particular organisms and bacteria, there are good one and not so good when pregnant. Something to be aware of is Toxoplasmosis.

The article Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy NHS(UK), details all you need to know. It is a great resource for the pregnant gardener.

"Just make sure to wear gloves if digging in case of animal droppings in the soil."

Gardening while pregnant and how to do it safely. The best way is to plan your activities.
Image credit: Garon Piceli

How can I avoid or reduce my risk of injuring me or my baby?

First of all, let’s take a look the physical effort in gardening when pregnant, and what might the challenges be?

Digging can be a strenuous activity, you might consider delegating any digging to someone else. Or even ask yourself do you really need to do this digging?

With the jobs that you would normally find tiring and physical you will need to ease up on those activities. If it doesn’t feel right, then stop!

Plan your time and your tasks enables you to garden while pregnant and how to do it safely

It makes good sense to mix your activities and to include a variety of movements. Gardening in bite size chunks, little and often may be preferable. For example, if you would normally spend four hours each week gardening in one day. Then split that time down over four days of the week.

Take an hour each day, break it down into fifteen-minute bursts. Have pitstop rests between each activity if you need to and then move onto the next task. It’s not about the results, it’s more about staying active.

“I was gardening the day my waters broke. I didn't do too much towards the end though, just kept my plants tidy and a little weeding. I left the heavier stuff to my husband.”

Setting an area of your garden up and using raised planters is a good option to avoid bending down. The image shows 4 raised beds with vegetables and flowers growing in them.
Image: Canva

"I was pottering the day before I gave birth. (August baby, not so much with a March baby) Raised beds luckily. Just watch your back don't stay in one position too long and wear gloves"

Gardening while pregnant and how to do it safely. The image shows a woman wearing a sunhat for protection whilst gardening.
A sunhat provides shade and reduces exposure to sun, and sunburn.

Protect, cover up and stay hydrated!

I’m a huge fan of looking after our body when gardening.

The one thing we need to protect against is the sunlight. Whilst we make vitamin D from being outdoors, spending hours being exposed to the sun can be harmful too.

Personally, I always wear a hat with a brim to protect my face. I do this, not only from the sun, but it helps prevent getting poked in the eye from a twig or a branch!

As a fair-haired person it is important that I wear a sun hat, long sleeves and apply sunscreen for the best protection.

It makes sense not only to do this while pregnant but to make it a habit for life.

You can order Sunscreen here (full disclosure; I do receive a small commission if you use this link).

In the sweltering summer months wearing long sleeves can make you feel too hot. The best materials to wear for coolness are cotton or linen. The air can easily flow over your body keeping you cool and relaxed.

"We think we are nurturing our gardens but it's our gardens that are nurturing us! "

A glass of water on a table outside.
It's not easy to drink enough water when gardening.

Do we drink enough water in a day?

One of my own challenges is to drink enough. When I am totally absorbed my focus is off hydrating my body and that’s not good. I never knew feeling hungry was a sign of dehydration until I found out years ago. Do you sometimes find you are hungry? If so, how much have you had to drink today?

Drinking enough during the day and especially during hot weather makes total sense. However, on chilly days some gardening tasks maybe strenuous, to keep ourselves warmer. We still need to replenish our water intake, although we might not realise this.

I enjoyed reading this article What you should know about drinking water (and you probably don’t).

My concluding thoughts for gardening while pregnant and how to do it safely

I discovered when it comes to the garden whatever doesn’t get done will wait until it can be done. In other words, if you have no one to help you then consider restarting that task after your pregnancy. Most of all enjoy the time you spend in your garden, after all every year in the garden has its own joys, pleasures, and challenges!

Happy gardening, Kristian

Have you subscribed yet? It’s the easiest way to delve deeper on this topic. The following articles in this series will be coming soon and I would hate for you to miss out on this! 

1: Gardening when pregnant – checklist on what tools are best for me
2: Gardening when pregnant – checklist on fertilisers, weeds and bug killers
3: Gardening when pregnant – gardening gloves for ladies

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