Having A Do-It-Yourself project while pregnant is so common, I'd say 80% or more of the moms I looked after did some kind of home reno project at one stage of pregnancy or another.
The number of pregnant women who start renovating their homes while heavily pregnant is astounding. They used to say, “New Baby, New Home” and it’s still true today. Many couples either move house or renovate just before the new baby arrives!
Your nesting instincts have kicked in and you just want to re-organise the home, new colors, new drapes or simply de-clutter. Having a Do-It-Yourself project while pregnant is great and helps to make the weeks fly by faster.
So here are some tips to keep you safe if you just can’t resist decorating or have a Do-It-Yourself project while pregnant:
Keep Drinking: Make sure you have a glass of water nearby and keep sipping away at that water. D.I.Y. can be thirsty work and when you're pregnant you need extra hydration.
Wear The Safety Gear: Wear shoes at all times – it’ll keep you more stable on your feet, especially if you’re climbing ladders. Good footwear will also help protect you from back pain in pregnancy. Due to the increased weight you are carrying around, your feet are needing to support you more than ever. The hormone 'Relaxin' can effect your joints in the hips and legs too.
Wear a mask - even if you’re using VOC-free paints there will be some chemicals that you breathe in. Whatever goes into your lungs passes to your baby (well, the majority does). There are different masks for different jobs, so get the one that suits your project (painting, cutting tile, woodwork etc).
Wear eye protection (goggles), gloves, whatever is needed depending on what you’re doing. Remember that whatever comes in contact with your skin will be absorbed and go right through to your placenta and your baby. So protect your skin from chemicals including paint.
Get Plenty of Fresh Air: Keep the house well ventilated with open windows and electric fans to circulate the air. Also Have frequent breaks outside in the fresh air whatever sort of Do-It-Yourself project you're doing.
If you need to get rid of old lead-based paint before you do fresh painting, think about getting your partner or a friend to do this part of the job. In fact get them to do any Oil-based painting too. The thinners and spirits used for cleaning up oil paint are harmful to you and the baby.
Think Green: As above, if you use Environmentally-friendly paints and other materials you’ll be much safer as there will be less harmful chemicals. Maybe no harmful chemicals.
Take it Easy: Go slowly! What’s the hurry? Unless you’ve left it to the last minute and want that Nursery or lounge ready in days! Slowing down mentally and physically is a natural way to get ready for labor. Your mind and body needs time to switch to automatic, non-thinking mode in order to go into labor naturally . Taking it slowly will mean you’re safer on that ladder too.
BE EXTRA CAREFUL: It’s all well and good doing a Do-It-Yourself project while pregnant and wanting it finished on time, but remember it’ll take longer than if you weren’t pregnant. You’re carrying extra weight, you may have some water retention giving you Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or ankle edema, you need to hop to the toilet every 5 minutes. This all slows things down. Take the pressure off, better still plan for your project to take twice as long as you hope. Then when it’s done early you can pat yourself on the back.
Keep reminding yourself that you can’t necessarily do all the things you did before you were pregnant. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help every now and then.
Remember that your baby won’t mind if your project isn’t finished! If it’s the nursery you’re preparing he/she will be happy as long as they have loving parents, warmth and Mom’s milk. It can be finished later if you can’t face finishing it today.
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