Lifting Restrictions During Pregnancy

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Lifting things during pregnancy can be safe when little strain is put on the back. Bend at the knees to lift small things off the ground with helpful information from a certified nurse-midwife in this free video on pregnancy.

Part of the Video Series: Pregnancy Information
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Video Transcript

So you're wondering about lifting while you are pregnant. This is Mavis Schorn, nurse midwife and professor at Vanderbilt School of Nursing and I'm going to talk a little bit about different issues you may be faced with regarding lifting. Now lifting in pregnancy really is more about taking care of yourself. Know that your baby is very well protected and whatever you do and however you lift, it's not going to harm your baby, it's more about just like I said, taking care of yourself. If you need to lift something and pick something up off the floor, what you need to do is remember not to do what we all have very bad habits of doing which is lifting over just bending at your hips and straight over, this really puts a lot of strain on your back. What you want to do is what we all should do all the time, but for pregnancy, very important, is to bend your knees. So you're going to bend down, pick it up and if you need to put your hand on something to give you some support, grab hold of it and then push up with your legs so then it doesn't put that strain on your back. Another thing that comes up is if you have a toddler at home and you're used to picking up that child all the time and want to know about that. I can tell you the best thing to start doing while you're pregnant is to sit down and have your toddler come and get into your lap. And then if you need to carry them, that's something else, but if you can get them used to coming and sitting in your lap rather than you picking them up and then coming to you, then that will help you for after you have the baby. And so you need to afterwards you really will have some weight restrictions and it'll be good to have them used to doing that ahead of time. Now if you work someplace where you do a lot of lifting, if you're a waitress or you work someplace else where you're doing a lot of heavy carrying, your provider may have, your midwife or physical may have some particular guidelines, there's not a really good research about how much is too much and we generally say 20 pounds, some people say 50 pounds, just a reasonable amount. If you're a carrying bags of cement, that's probably pretty heavy for you to do while you're pregnant. If you regularly lift weights and you have going into pregnancy and you want to know can you continue to do that, it really is OK. What the recommendations are typically is to rather than continuing to go up on the size of the weights, the quantity of weights, rather than that is to just continue the, to increase the number of repetitions that you do rather than increasing the amount of weight.

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