There is no time when lifting is absolutely safe or unsafe. If you aren’t under any medical limitations, you can follow these guidelines. During the first trimester, you can do whatever you did before your pregnancy. For example, if you were comfortably able to lift 30 pounds before, then you could still do so, unless you are feeling too fatigued. Good body mechanics and back-saving techniques are always important: Bend at the knees rather than the waist to lift a heavy object. During the second trimester, you will probably feel more energetic, so this may be the best time for projects such as rearranging the furniture and decorating. You can lift things carefully, keeping in mind that your center of gravity has changed and that you will be less balanced in certain positions. I recommend against lifting any amount of weight that causes you to strain. During your third trimester, it is best to leave the lifting to others. You need to reserve your energy and strength, and at this stage, it is much more difficult to maintain balance when lifting. If you must lift something heavy, have another person help you, and never lift more than you comfortably can.
If you are going to be moving into a new home or renovating the current one, it’s best to get resettled a couple of months before the baby arrives. If you must take on a physically demanding project in late pregnancy, obtain as much help as you can get. You might invite over a group of friends, supply the pizza and sodas or beer, and have a party while getting the heavy work done. This can make for some happy memories after the baby is born.
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Ask Tori RN®, by registered nurse and resident author of The Joy of Pregnancy, is a helpful and reassuring resource for parents-to-be.
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