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Pregnancy is an exciting time for the mother-to-be. A pregnant woman should take extra care to make sure she has a safe pregnancy. One of the important concerns for a pregnant woman is whether it is safe to climb stairs. This article tells you everything you need to know about climbing stairs during this period.
Is it Safe to Climb Stairs during Pregnancy?
As long as you are extremely careful, climbing stairs is safe during pregnancy. The biggest concern is slipping and getting hurt while walking up or down the stairs. Physical trauma in the first trimester of pregnancy can cause a miscarriage, while injury in the final trimester of pregnancy could cause premature birth of the child. However, the chances of falling down in early pregnancy are less as women can maintain better balance during early pregnancy.
Why is Climbing Stairs Good during Pregnancy?
During a normal, healthy pregnancy, it is perfectly safe to climb stairs. Some of the benefits of climbing stairs during pregnancy are:
- Lowers The Risk Of Preeclampsia: According to some published studies, women who stay active during pregnancy and climb stairs have a lower risk of preeclampsia. This is a life-threatening condition where pregnant women develop high blood pressure, swelling in hand and feet, and kidney problems.
- Lowers Chances of Gestational Diabetes: Certain studies have found that climbing stairs during the first trimester can reduce the chances of developing gestational diabetes. This is a condition where blood sugar levels are too high, and the body is not able to process the increased amounts of sugar.
- Reduces Backaches And Constipation: Physical activity such as jogging, walking or climbing stairs during pregnancy can reduce the occurrence of backaches and constipation. It also helps in reducing swelling and bloating. Climbing stairs can also improve the ability to cope with labour.
When to Avoid Climbing Stairs in Early Pregnancy?
There are some circumstances during early pregnancy when climbing stairs should be avoided:
- If You Have Had Previous Miscarriages: If you were wondering, can climbing stairs cause miscarriage, the answer is it can if you have already had miscarriages previously. The effort of climbing stairs during early pregnancy can put pressure on the foetus and cause a miscarriage.
- If you experience bleeding or cramping
- If you are carrying multiples
- If you have high or low blood pressure
- If you have diabetes or autoimmune disease
- If your doctor advised bed rest
Why is it Unsafe to Climb Stairs in the Later Stages of Pregnancy?
Climbing stairs during a pregnancy’s second and third trimesters can be very unsafe. Here are the reasons why:
- Stumbling: If you stumble or slip while climbing stairs, it could cause you and your baby serious injuries.
- Pressure On The Back: As your belly grows larger, you begin to feel the pressure of the increasing weight. This can make you dizzy and pull you downwards when you climb stairs.
- Swollen Feet: If you have swollen feet during pregnancy, climbing stairs may put further pressure on your feet and increase the swelling.
- Breathlessness: Climbing stairs can make you feel breathless. This can impact the foetus as the oxygen supply is reduced when you are breathless.
- Loss Of Balance: As your belly grows larger, the centre of gravity of your body shifts, making it harder to maintain your balance.
Precautions to Take while Climbing Stairs
Here are some precautions to ensure that you are safe and uninjured:
- Walk slowly: Climb the stairs slowly, at an even pace. Avoid rushing up or down the stairs, and take the stairs one at a time.
- Use the Handrail: Make sure you hold the handrail with at least one of your hands for support. If you have heavy bags or luggage, get someone to help you carry them upstairs.
- Lighting: Make sure the staircase is well lit so that you can avoid missteps and risk hurting yourself.
- Watch Out For Slippery Stairs: Do not attempt to climb wet or greasy stairs when pregnant, as you may slip and hurt yourself and your baby.
- Do Not Wear Overflowing Clothes: If you wear overflowing dresses or sarees while climbing stairs during pregnancy, you may end up tripping over your dress and injuring yourself.
- Be Careful On Carpeted Stairs: Make sure the carpet is not loose, or it will trip you up. Also, lift your feet high to avoid tripping over the carpet.
In a healthy pregnancy, it is safe and even beneficial to climb stairs. However, climbing stairs should be avoided if you have been advised by your doctor to not exert yourself physically. In the final trimester, it is best to avoid stairs as the risk of injuring yourself is higher.