Some people believe that gardening is a great form of exercise for pregnant women, but it can also carry risks. On the other hand, gardening while pregnant might seem enjoyable to get some much-needed fresh air and stay healthy.
However, there are certain factors one must consider before taking up this hobby or even touching the yard with bare hands. The female gardening lovers who are confused about “can you garden while pregnant” must read this article as it gives the in-detail answer to this question.
- Gardening Risks During pregnancy
- Garden Tips During Pregnancy
- Prevent Toxoplasmosis During Pregnancy
Gardening Risks During pregnancy
There are risks that you should be aware of if gardening while pregnant. For example, you might experience garden-related accidents such as mildew or rot fungus, which can lead your body into an illness. The three main risks during pregnancy are:
- Chemical exposure
1. High Temperature
A pregnant body is undergoing a lot of great change; therefore, it has an increased metabolism. As a result, your body easily gets overheated when gardening in the afternoon, which is not good for your health.
Moreover, your skin is also more sensitive to sunlight during pregnancy. It means that it’s easier for you to sunburn, and even worse: third-degree burns (that can be fatal) can occur in just 30 minutes.
2. Chemical Exposure
Chemicals in our environment are a big concern for both the gardener and their loved ones. You probably heard about various companies were sued because of supplying harmful chemicals, which could lead to cancer. Pregnant women need to be especially careful when gardening because chemical exposure can harm the developing fetus.
Toxoplasmosis is a disease that results from infection with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite. It is a serious disease that can affect humans and cause problems for pregnant women, including damage to their baby’s developing organs. Infected cat feces contain this microbe, and it can be transmitted to humans through:
- contact with contaminated soil or water
- ingestion of undercooked meat
- oocysts (infectious reproductive cells) which are produced by infected animals’ excrement
You may find that outdoor cats (including stray cats) use your garden soil as their litter box. Pregnant ladies must be extra cautious when working in the soil just in case, there is toxoplasmosis present. Always assume that there’s toxoplasma infection lurking in your soil even if you can’t see any trace at first glance.
Garden Tips During Pregnancy
Hobbies are a great way to keep the mind calm and even lift your spirit, which will benefit you. Gardening falls into this category – it’s both an activity that is good for mental health and physical exercise during pregnancy.
However, it would help if you were careful while gardening when pregnant to prevent the risks mentioned above. Luckily these problems have easy solutions with just some common-sense precautions, which are listed below.
1. Remain Covered
Wear long sleeves when working outside, so no spores get caught up in them. Use gloves instead of bare hands while gardening because it protects against dirt getting stuck under nails – which may cause blisters later on if left unchecked.
Also, make sure to use a protective eyewear at all times when working with weeds or pests in your garden.
2. Wash Clothes And Shoes
Wash clothes after using tools near soil sites since muddy shoes and clothes could transmit many bacteria and viruses. Also, wash gloves after use.
3. Opt For Organic Gardening
You don’t need to use harsh chemicals if you want a safe gardening experience. Instead, you can practice organic gardening, which will be much healthier for both plants and people.
4. Get Someone’s Help
Although wearing long sleeves and gloves will reduce your exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals, these chemicals will have more serious effects on your body when you’re expecting.
So, it is best not to spray yourself and get someone else who can help you out with spraying and using chemicals. A lawn care professional can be the best in this regard.
5. Remain Hydrated
Pregnant women do not have their temperatures rise too high while outside in summertime conditions if they remain hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Try bringing along an extra-large bottle filled up at home before leaving outside for gardening.
Other drinks such as iced tea or lemonade can work the best in keeping you away from overheating or heat stroke.
6. Wear Sunscreen
As the skin is more sensitive to sunburn during pregnancy, be sure to wear sunscreen. Long sleeves and pants are an effective way of staying cool. It would be best to opt for a light-colored fabric to cover yourself that wicks away moisture so it doesn’t overheat in the summer heat.
7. Invest In A Lawn Chair
Invest in a sturdy lawn chair like Lawn Chair USA Webbing Chair and park it by your garden, preferably in the shade while you’re pregnant. Then, if you feel hot— sit down for a break.
8. Keep Cats Out Of Garden
Cats inside your yard mean you are at risk of having toxoplasma infection. So, it is important to keep them out of the garden as much as possible, especially when you are pregnant.
Prevent Toxoplasmosis During Pregnancy
Toxoplasmosis is a disease that can affect humans and result in serious problems for pregnant women, including damage to their baby’s developing organs. So, if you plan on gardening or handling garden tools to prevent yourself from getting this potentially fatal illness, be sure to take precautions.
Always wear gloves! It would help if you didn’t let your hands come into contact with the earth or anything that might have been around cats at some point. The precautions are essential because of how dangerous this Toxoplasma gondii parasite can be in pregnant women.
Now you know how gardening affects a pregnant woman and what precautions she should take to avoid potential risks.
- Remain covered using gloves, long sleeves, and light-colored clothing to avoid contact with infected soil and overheating.
- Keep hydrated and take precautions to avoid the harmful infection toxoplasmosis.
If you have any more questions or concerns about this subject, please leave them in the comment section below!