While there are no hard and fast guidelines, most pregnant women should decrease what they were able to lift before pregnancy by about 25 percent.
Many pregnant women with other children wonder if picking them up will harm their developing baby. The good news is that lifting has not been linked to concerns with premature birth or the growth of your baby. The most common issue is sustaining an injury as your center of gravity shifts, and you may be more unsteady on your feet. In addition, the hormones of pregnancy can make you more prone to joint injuries since they are more lax in pregnancy.
While most safe estimates tell women to not lift anything more than about 25 pounds, this is a broad generalization. If your child is 30 pounds, lifting him or her up is most likely fine as long as you have a low risk pregnancy and do so wisely (that is, lift with your knees, and stop the activity if you feel fatigued or uncomfortable).
Reviewed by Dr. Jen Lincoln, April 2020
Hi Bianca DCL. My work is very labour intensive I am a server on a cruise ship. I lift big trays all the time. I am 13 weeks pregnant my gyne says exercise is good. I am concerned because i don’t think he understands how much I carry. Should I stop working or keep going till week 24 when I go home?
Hi Bianca, If what you carry falls within the guidelines (which are general at best) above then you should be OK, but if you notice any pain, bleeding, or have any concerns about the weight you are carrying you should let your employer know (they may be able to modify what you carry but can only do so if you ask!). And the good news is that you are so early, so having loose ligaments or having a huge bump to contend with shouldn’t be an issue quite yet. Good luck!
Good to know!
Wow, good to know! I was just sharing with my husband how concerned I was about this since I am used to carrying very heavy stuff. Laundry, groceries, water, etc.
Now if you need an excuse to not do laundry or carry groceries we may be able to help you out 😉
Good to know, thanks!