Why pregnant women shouldn’t carry heavy objects

Besides causing a possible miscarriage, SmartParents explains why carrying heavy objects during pregnancy is a no-no.

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Pregnant bodies undergo numerous changes to adapt to the baby’s growth. Your uterus expands, your hip joints loosen and your centre of gravity and balance shifts.

So, it’s important to realise that you may not be able to do the same things you did before you fell pregnant. The list of no-nos includes lifting heavy objects as it is associated with risks.

Risks linked to heavy lifting

Miscarriage and premature labour
If your pregnancy is deemed high-risk or at risk of premature labour, speak to your doctor before attempting any heavy lifting.

SmartParents expert Dr Christopher Chong, an obstetrician-gynaecologist at Gleneagles Hospital, points out, “If one is bleeding in the vagina, the blood clots needs to form well to stop bleeding. Lifting heavy objects can break this clot and bleeding can persist or get worse. In the first trimester, it can lead to miscarriage. It can also lead to premature labour for those who are at risk of it.”

“Chronic heavy lifting can put a strain and damage the pelvic floor further, leading to increased risks of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.”

Pelvic damage

During pregnancy, the pelvic floor muscles are stretched. According to Dr Chong, many expectant women do not do pelvic floor exercises or Kegels (simple clench-and-release exercises to strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor).

He warns, “Chronic heavy lifting can put a strain and damage the pelvic floor further, leading to increased risks of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.”

Falls
Your centre of gravity has now shifted as you are carrying a bump, which may put you off balance, especially when you bend or lean forward to pick something heavy. Falling is dangerous during pregnancy as it is risky for both the mum and baby, particularly so in the third trimester where a bad fall could lead to premature labour or separation of the placenta.