Lifting a Baby or Toddler While Pregnant – Risks and Safety Tips

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Dr. Priyanka Kalra (Obstetrician and Gynaecologist)
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Lifting a Baby or Toddler While Pregnant - Risks and Safety Tips

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Pregnancies are complicated. This is true even for the healthiest people. When you’re pregnant, you can go through immense pain, cramping or exhaustion. None of these are ideal situations, especially if you’re pregnant but also have a toddler to take care of. It is common for parents to carry children who are 1-2 years old. However, this can have risks if you are pregnant, which is why it is important to understand what these risks are and what you should do while you carry your child when you’re pregnant.

Is It Safe to Carry a Toddler While Pregnant?

You may ask yourself ‘is it okay to carry a baby while pregnant?’. Depending on the weight of your baby and how far along you are in your pregnancy, it can be safe for both your unborn baby and the one you hold in your arms to carry them. It is considered unsafe during the third trimester of your pregnancy to strain yourself in any possible way, during this time it is recommended for the safety of both your babies that you don’t carry them. In the first trimester it is usually okay to carry your baby without restraints but in the second trimester, it is recommended that you only carry your child if they are below the weight of 13 kilos.

What Are the Potential Risks?

There can be risks to picking up a toddler by bending forward to lift him up while pregnant, it is important to know them and the reasons why doctors say you should consider safety parameters when carrying your child when pregnant. Not adhering to the safety parameters could cause major risks to both your children and yourself.

1. Miscarriage

When you strain yourself during your pregnancy and the fatigue hits, carrying any weight, even the weight of your baby, can strain your body heavily. Heavy stress to the body can cause a miscarriage.

2. Injuries to the Child

The strain and fatigue could also impair your ability to hold onto your baby firmly, causing them to fall and leading to numerous injuries.

3. Complications for the Mother

You may also face other complications while carrying your child when you are pregnant, including high blood pressure, vertigo and an increased risk of falling.

How to Lift Your Child Safely

Here are a few safety tips to help you carry your child safely:

  • Never carry your child if you feel tired or breathless.
  • Never carry your child if they weigh above 13 kilos.
  • Carry them while sitting down.

How to Lift Your Child Safely

  • While carrying them, ensure another caregiver is present.
  • Don’t carry your child and walk around.
  • Make sure that you carry your child for a short time and limit the number of times you carry him in a day.
  • It is best is to make him sit or stand on a table or bed and then pick them
  • While picking up your child, make sure you bend your knees and don’t strain your back or abdomen
  • Don’t make any sudden, jerky movements when carrying your child

Talk to your doctor and make sure you regularly check your sugar and blood pressure levels. Do not risk carrying your child without your health care advisor’s go-ahead, when pregnant.

Other Important Considerations

When holding a newborn baby when pregnant, you need to make sure you take some considerations that aren’t mentioned above. This is so that you do not hurt yourself or either of your babies in the process.

1. Lift Your Toddler Only When It is Important

Try as much as possible not to carry your child unless it is absolutely essential, this is particularly important during the first and the third trimesters. Carrying your child unnecessarily can strain your body, in the third trimester of your pregnancy, when your body is already under an extremely high amount of stress. The additional strain can hurt your unborn child, your baby or you. A key point to remember is that you should carry your child while being seated in a comfortable position when you do carry him. A great way to help you carry your child is to do so when sitting with them and reading them a story. Be sure that you carry him for short periods of time and around the same time everyday though, as this can become a routine and will help him understand that he won’t be carried all the time. Carrying a toddler for short periods of time, even when seated, will help preserve your energy and keep your baby safe.

2. Engage Your Baby in Other Activities

Carrying your child is an intimate and important part of their development. It is proven that kids will be more psychologically stable when they have a lot of physical contact with both parents from an early age. Due to the pregnancy, however, it is essential that you engage your baby in other activities that compensate for you not carrying him often. Some of these activities include incorporating music into their day to day interactions with you, talking to them or engaging them in private quality time with you. Talk to a child psychologist to find out what baby activities can help you engage with your child and keep them occupied without you carrying him while pregnant.

Engage Your Baby in Other Activities

3. Use Other Ways to Show Affection to the Older Child

Carrying your child is often a sign of affection to them and you. It is intimate and important. This isn’t the only way to show hi, affection, however. There are numerous ways to show him, affection and build an intimate and caring connection with him. You can kiss him on the forehead or cheeks, hug him while sitting down, feed him, play with them, listen to music with him or read him a story. Showing your baby affection at an early age is extremely important for him to grow and develop in a way that is healthy for their mental health. Showing your baby affection in many ways will also help him recognise affection from other people and help him build healthy and good emotional connections. If you feel like he isn’t getting attention unless you carry him, it is possibly your insecurity more than his requirements. Consult a child psychologist ro know what techniques can be used to show him affection.

4. Understand That It is Okay Not to Lift Him Sometimes

One of the most important aspects of early childhood development is to understand that there are very few times when you actually should carry your child. Most other times, it is a placebo that helps parents assume they are comforting the child. Remember that it is okay not to carry your child and don’t guilt yourself into carrying him often, especially when you are pregnant.

Remember, when you are pregnant and you also have a young baby, you have three lives to care for. This is why you should take every precaution possible to ensure their health as well as yours. Talk to your partner and other caregivers and ask them to help as much as possible. Consult your doctors, keep up with the tests you require and don’t strain yourself by constantly carrying your little one when it isn’t necessary.

Also Read: Weight Lifting While Being Pregnant

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