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Mowing the Lawn While Pregnant: Is it Safe?

When you’re pregnant, there are naturally going to be things you cannot do, but is mowing the lawn one of them?

According to most experts, pregnant women can indeed mow the lawn, even though there are certain exceptions. Since each pregnancy is different, you should always check with your doctor before getting out your lawn mower.

Some pregnancies, such as high-risk pregnancies, may warrant that you stay away from this activity, as well as others.

Considerations

The general rule when you’re pregnant is, you can do just what you were doing before you got pregnant, but this is not the right time to start something new. In other words, if you’ve been jogging several miles a day for years and you get pregnant, you can continue to jog, but if you’ve never jogged before, don’t start now! Naturally, you’ll have to check with your doctor first, just like you should with everything else pregnancy-related, but most doctors will allow you to continue the activities you were participating in before you got pregnant.

As with everything else, there are exceptions to this rule. If your pregnancy is considered a high-risk pregnancy or if you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and others, your doctor may restrict your activities and limit them somewhat, at least until the first trimester is complete. But in the vast majority of cases, you’ll be able to do everything you did before you got pregnant, which includes mowing the lawn.

Mowing the lawn can actually be good for pregnant women. It’s a form of exercise and can even release endorphins – the “feel good” hormones, and some experts claim it can even make childbirth a little easier. Exercise while pregnant has many benefits, but you still need to pay attention to certain signals and what your body is telling you. Stay hydrated and take periodic breaks while you’re outside mowing the lawn, and if your body is telling you to stop or take it easy, then that is something you must do.

When Is it Not Recommended to Mow the Lawn When Pregnant?

Just like other forms of exercise, mowing the lawn while you’re pregnant is safe as long as you don’t overdo it, you have the approval from your doctor, or the most important thing, that you listen to your body. If you start feeling poorly or weak, or experience any other negative side effect, you need to stop and go inside to rest. There are reasons to avoid mowing the lawn altogether, or to stop mowing should they happen, and these include the following scenarios:

  • You start to feel yourself overheat.
  • You are an allergy sufferer and you’re feeling itchy or start sneezing.
  • You experience spotting, bleeding, or any type of discharge.
  • You experience any type of pain or discomfort, especially if the pains are sharp.
  • You feel that your blood pressure is getting higher.

Yet another word of caution is this: if you’re close to the end of your pregnancy, it’s not wise to mow the lawn, especially if you have a push lawn mower and you like to mow aggressively because you like the exercise. In your third trimester, try to avoid any type of physical activity, especially if it’s very close to your due date, unless you check with your doctor first.

Of course, if the doctor gives you the okay, you can still mow the lawn and enjoy other forms of exercise while you’re pregnant. “Exercise is not a process that needs to be eschewed or prevented during pregnancy,” says Dr. John Botti, director of maternal-fetal medicine at Penn State Geisinger Health System, who studied the effects of exercise on moderately conditioned pregnant women. “Reasonably performed exercise doesn’t appear to cause harm, and may, in fact, have benefits.”

Some of those benefits include getting into shape, which can help you with both childbirth and recovery, as well as better-looking skin, more satisfaction with your appearance, and feeling good about yourself psychologically. This being said, make sure that you never overdo your exercise and stay at just what you’re comfortable doing. Otherwise, it can actually harm the blood flow to the fetus. Of course, you’d have to exercise quite strenuously to get to this point, but the gist of this tip is that you always want to exercise a moderate amount and no more than what you were doing before you got pregnant.

On the other hand, if you find yourself having gestational diabetes, problems with high blood pressure (which the doctor will check at every appointment), or anything else that pops up unexpectedly, make sure you never participate in any type of exercise unless the doctor approves it beforehand. This includes the exercises – such as mowing the lawn – that you were doing before you got pregnant.

Stages of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, and if you love mowing the lawn and you’re used to doing it, you can do so throughout all three stages. Nevertheless, taking it a little easier than usual in the first and third trimesters is a smart thing to do for most women. If you’ve ever heard the saying, “better safe than sorry,” this is what usually applies to the beginning and the end of most pregnancies. In the first trimester, the changes to a woman’s body are astronomical, mostly because the baby is developing at such a fast speed. This is why caution should be used in the first three months of pregnancy.

While we’re on this subject, you should be aware that in the first trimester, you should avoid any type of mowing or lawn and garden work that will expose you to chemicals and fertilizers, some of which can be harmful to the developing fetus. This means that if you hire a lawn-care company to come to your home regularly and spray any type of pesticide, you should let your doctor know that this is happening. The doctor can clear the activity or tell you not to have the company spray those particular chemicals. Whenever any chemicals are involved, you’ll want to check it out with your doctor before exposing yourself to it.

Back to exercise. The thing is, most pregnant women actually have the opposite problem, meaning they’re not exercising enough. In a recent study appearing in the magazine Preventive Medicine, it was discovered that less than one-fourth of all pregnant women do not exercise as much as they should during the nine months they are pregnant.

“This is the most comprehensive national examination of physical activity during pregnancy,” study researcher Kelly Evenson, PhD, tells WebMD. “Between 14% and 23% of women met recommendations for physical activity, depending on the definition that was used.”

So for most pregnant women, more exercise is recommended, not less; again, as long as you have your doctor’s permission and no circumstances that prevent you from getting the exercise you need, which includes mowing your lawn.

In Summary

Mowing the lawn while you’re pregnant is more than likely not a concern, especially if you’ve been doing this all along. Unless there are special circumstances that classify your pregnancy as high risk, there is no need to be concerned about mowing the lawn or getting moderate amounts of exercise during these amazing nine months. You may want to reduce the intensity of your exercise routine in the first trimester and the last few weeks of your pregnancy, but unless you don’t get an “okay” from your doctor, you are good to go when it comes to exercise.

Like those who are not pregnant, pregnant women can benefit greatly when they exercise during their pregnancy. Many studies have even shown that it can help your recuperation time after the child is born. Mowing the lawn can be considered a good form of exercise, but it’s recommended that you not mow too aggressively since it may be rough on your body. Nevertheless, if you use some common sense and listen to what your body is saying to you, there is no harm in mowing your lawn during this nine-month period, and it can even do you some good!

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