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Gardening Safety for Pregnant Women

Want to have a garden? You can, even while pregnant!

Okay, so I’m crazy.

Over the past weekend, I finished putting in my garden.  This year I’m growing a lot of stuff; you can see what I’ve put in my garden if you’re curious.  It’s hard to garden when you’re pregnant, though: the heat, bending over, getting on your knees, hard digging….

You may have the desire, as I do, to garden this year, and ’tis the season.  But pregnant women do have some unique needs when it comes to this sort of work.  Read on to find out how to make gardening a safe and fun experience!

It’s not easy to garden when it’s hot…and you’re big and pregnant!  But it’s certainly possible to do so, and do it safely.  Some women choose to garden because they enjoy it; some want a frugal way to feed their families (I do!).  Whatever your reason, sometimes it’s not exactly the most convenient time…but it can be done.

1. Take it slow — I put my garden in over a period of 3 days.  Each day I’d spend an hour or so outside, usually not all at once, working on stuff.  When I was tired or hot, I went inside to rest.  Plan to take extra time to garden instead of pushing forward to do it all at once!

2. Bring water — Especially if it’s hot, make sure you are drinking enough water!  Bring an insulated cooler with ice water outside if you can and drink whenever you feel you need to.  Staying hydrated is so important when you’re pregnant.

3. Work early or late in the day — This is good for anyone, but especially for pregnant women sensitive to heat.  Try to do most of your outdoor work in the morning or later in the evening so that you miss the heat of the day.  Working at 6 or 8 PM, when the sun’s still up but the blazing-ness is gone can be very pleasant, especially if there’s a breeze!

4. Ask for help — You don’t have to do it all yourself.  And especially if there’s heavy lifting involved, you may not be able to.  Enlist the help of your husband or a non-pregnant friend to lift or reach anything that you can’t (think hauling dirt around).  Most things you can do yourself, but don’t hesitate to ask when you need to.

5. Find a comfortable position — Bending down to plant or weed isn’t much fun.  Try to get a towel or a small bench that you can kneel or sit on so that you can get close to the ground to reach what you’re doing without bending over.  Some women may enjoy the chance to “practice” their squatting too!

With these tips, pregnant women can safely garden!

Each day I plan to spend 15 – 20 minutes outside in my garden, sometimes in two or three different spurts.  During this time I might pull a few weeds, water, and possibly harvest anything that needs it.  At this point I’m just taking a few herb clippings here and there, and soon I’ll be gathering my strawberries (there are tiny green ones out there, but not much more than that yet).

Today I went strawberry picking at a local farm, and I used these tips there too!  I brought water, and I sat on the ground to pick, and left when I needed to.  It works out well!

Will you be gardening this year?  How do you stay safe?

Top image by Southern Foodways Alliance

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