Lifting During Pregnancy

Image of pregnant woman lifting a box

Lifting While Pregnant: Is it Safe?

As your growing baby develops, your body will go through changes to make room for the baby. Your uterus is expanding as the baby grows, and this can lead to cramping or a feeling of pulling muscles in your abdomen. This is normal, but it does lead to questions about lifting during pregnancy.

In addition, your hip joints are loosening to help prepare for the delivery of your baby. It is important to realize your body is changing and you may not be able to do the same activities you were able to do before becoming pregnant, including lifting heavy objects.

Whether you should be lifting during pregnancy or not is a question for your healthcare provider, but the general rule of thumb is let someone else do it for you.

Women who are at risk for premature labor may need to stop lifting objects after the first trimester. This is something to discuss with your doctor.

Risks of Heavy Lifting During Your Pregnancy

Women should avoid lifting heavy objects while pregnant.However, if you are going to lift any object, it is important to exercise caution. For some women, lifting heavy objects can lead to an increased risk of premature labor and low birth weight.

Lifting an object incorrectly, whether heavy or not, can also result in a pulled muscle. A potentially severe complication of heavy lifting is a hernia.

Techniques for Lifting During Pregnancy

Image of pregnant woman getting help with lifting a package

Safe lifting techniques dictate you should bend at your knees, not your waist, to pick up an object. It is important to keep your back as straight as possible while bending at your knees and pushing up with your legs. Also, do not make any jerking or sudden movements while lifting during pregnancy.

These are healthy lifting practices whether you are pregnant or not. It becomes even more important to lift things correctly while pregnant, because your skeletal and support system are changing and you are more susceptible to strains or problems.

If you are worried about having to lift heavy objects at work or at home, it is best to talk to your doctor about these concerns to make sure it is safe. Remember, you can always ask for help from others, if you need help lifting something while you are pregnant.

Compiled from the following Sources:,. (2014). Retrieved 3 October 2014, from Mayo Clinic Complete Book of Pregnancy & Baby’s First Year

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