Cleaning During Pregnancy:
House Cleaning Tips and Safety

Congratulations! Your family is about to grow and your days must be filled excitement, waiting for your precious one to arrive. While you are blessed with the joy of pregnancy, it also brings in significant challenges to your day to day life. Being pregnant can make the simplest task of your life into a most challenging one. For example, I never imagined sleeping and walking would be so challenging. As I became heavier, my leg kept falling asleep randomly while walking and my jacket zipper broke when trying to tie my shoes.  

Chores around the house does not get easier now that you are pregnant. I understand you want to organize and clean the house and it is part of your nesting instinct! Well, let’s look at some tips to turn cleaning into a more safe and fun thing to do during your pregnancy.

Avoiding Toxic Products

While most residential cleaning products are not toxic, it is a good time to think about going green or even greener as not only the growth and development of you baby is important; your soon to be toddler will be touching licking and rubbing everything in the house. It would be best to avoid any heavy chemical around the high traffic surface. For example, tile, grout, and oven cleaners are heavy on the toxic elements. Store them safely (baby proofing has started!) and ask your partner for help with these heavier cleaners if required. Keep the cleaning simple and easy. Our best cleaners has some recommendations for you:

  • Cleaning vinegar (diluted) – Facets, chrome. Be careful not to use on countertops and marble floors
  • Dawn Professional Soap (counter tops, grease, floors, anywhere)
  • Baking Soda Mix
  • Vim Cream
  • Palmolive dish spray
  • Non-toxic glass cleaner – windows and mirrors
  • Non-toxic version of special cleaners – granite, stainless steel, etc.
  • Hydrogen peroxide for sanitizing

Using Tools and asking for help

Yes, elbow grease gives the best result for cleaning. However, this does not apply to you during pregnancy. Heavy listing, standing for a long period of time, and bending are not safe for you and your unborn baby. If you feel that you want to (or need to) clean, It is time for a smart cleaning. 

It is a good time to make a small investment on smart tools to make the cleaning easier for you. You do not need to spend a fortune to make this happen. Extendible dusters and extendible mops can be a great start and you can buy them at your local grocery stores. These tools help to reduce pressure on your body and help you clean places and corners without bending too much. Reducing any heavy lifting during cleaning is an important step to protect your unborn baby while pregnant and the CDC recommends (link) reducing your lifting by a significant amount if you are cleaning for one or more hours per day. 

Feel free to ask for help. It is time to tag team with your partner. Carrying a vacuum or a mop bucket full of water can cause a significant stress on your body during pregnancy. Ask your partner for the cleaning that involves carrying and bending. You can focus on dusting and organizing. Cleaning can be a fun family activity when shared within all members of the family. 

Consider accessing professional help and get a house cleaner. Bi-weekly or even monthly cleanings can help you maintain the house clean and take the stress off your shoulder. If you are not convinced to commit to recurring cleanings, there are one time cleanings you can try out. Your well being and time are most valuable things especially when you are expecting an addition to your family. Rather than spending time cleaning, you can spend the time organizing the nursery, picking the baby name, shopping for baby essentials,  enjoying your self care, or date nights. Oh trust me, you will miss spending time for yourself or alone with your partner once the baby arrives. It is your opportunity to embrace your time to do something you most enjoy.

Great information from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/repro/physicaldemands.html

Cleaning Kitty Litter is a No Go

Are you a cat lover? Cats can be the best companion, but cleaning the cat litter is off-limits during pregnancy. If you have a pure indoor cat, you may not have an issue, but if your cat goes outside at all, the cat interacting with mice, rodents, birds, raw meat will encounter Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite can cause an infection that may lead to problems with pregnancy, including miscarriage or still birth.

Don’t stress though, you do not need to apart with your loved cat. Just remember to move the cat litter to a place where you are less likely to be interacting with it and the particles.

Things you can do:

  1. Have your partner or family member change the litter daily to reduce your cat stepping on it and tracking it around the house.
  2. Wear gloves
  3. Wash your hands after touching your feline friend
Help When Pregnant and Cleaning

House Cleaners and Pregnancy During Covid

Toxic cleaning products when pregnant

Like I mentioned earlier, consider getting a house cleaner, so you can spend your valuable time on your self care and time with your family. Regular cleaning usually takes 3-4 hours depending on the size and the condition of the house (1.5-2hr if shared by two people).  If you clean every week, imagine what you can do with the freed up time if a cleaner takes care of it for you. 

If you decide to hire a cleaner, please do a research to find the best fit for your family. Finding a caring, detail-oriented person can be rewarding as the cleaner becomes the second part of your family, getting to know your family, your children, and even your fur babies.

There are additional factors to consider given this COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Hire a company or a cleaner who has precautionary procedure as well as proper sanitization to keep everyone safe
  • Safety first. Please inform the cleaner if any member of your family is  feeling unwell and reschedule the cleaning to keep everyone safe
  • Don’t be upset when you cleaner cancels if they are feeling sick. They are doing their best to keep you and your family safe 
  • Discuss your or cleaner’s vaccine status. It is your decision to either get vaccinated or not, but it is a good idea to discuss to find a good fit to keep the service safe for both parties 
  • Ensure your cleaner wears a mask and ask them to wash their hands upon arrival
  • Leave the house if you feel concerned, walks are great exercise when pregnant 😉
  • Ask your cleaner to sanitize the high touch points during the clean including light switches, door knobs, and cupboard handles.