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Should pregnant women worry about lifting heavy things?

pregnancy and lifting heavy things

While there are risks associated with heavy lifting for pregnant people, many parents-to-be want to maintain their usual activities. Pregnant people can engage in their normal activities, including lifting, but there are some health concerns to consider.

Lifting heavy objects can strain the back and abdominal muscles, which are already under increased stress due to the growing uterus. Additionally, lifting heavy objects incorrectly or with poor posture can increase the risk of injury to both the pregnant person and the developing baby. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women avoid lifting heavy objects or, if lifting is necessary, to follow proper lifting techniques. 

Some general guidelines for safe lifting during pregnancy include the following:

  • Avoid lifting objects heavier than 25 pounds.
  • Bend at the knees—not at the waist—when lifting objects from the ground.
  • Use your legs to lift, rather than your back.
  • Hold the object close to your body (this becomes difficult to do as your belly grows).
  • Avoid twisting your body while lifting.
  • Take breaks and rest when needed.

If lifting heavy objects causes discomfort or strain, it’s best to avoid it or seek assistance.

a man carrying two children

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