Is It Safe To Do Housework During Pregnancy?

As women, we are instinctively driven to keep our surroundings clean. We like to get done with chores as soon as we can, in order to avoid piling up of work.

If you are a housewife or a working woman who does household chores, then you must be cautious when you plan to continue doing so during your pregnancy. Women during the later phases of the pregnancy, go into a full cleaning mode,  this is their hormones making them prepare the house for the arrival of their little one and is known as nesting. But nonetheless, work only as much as your body allows you to.

Housework that you can do:

1. Cooking: If you cook at home, you can resume your normal cooking in the first and second trimester. Some women find it difficult during the third trimester because of the long-standing involved. Things that you need to keep in mind if you do continue cooking during your pregnancy include:

  • Keep a chair nearby to sit when needed
  • Drink water if you are in the kitchen for an hour or so (avoid staying there so long)
  • Try to see that you micro-manage your time in the kitchen. You can cut vegetables in the hall or balcony while sitting, likewise, you can sit and wait for rice/curry to get cooked in the pressure cooker or ask your husband or family member to check once put on the stove

2. Minor cleaning: Things like arranging your things, medicines, and toiletries can be done.

Housework that you need to avoid:

It should be kept in mind, housework should only be done as much as your body permits you to. Certain things should be avoided, in some cases, you can work your way through it, these include:

  1. Mopping and sweeping: This is a definite no-no if you have to use strong disinfectants (if they contain glycol ethers, they are harmful during your pregnancy). As much as we advise you against it if, for some reason you are too, you can mop on alternate days and use a hand-held mop (no bending at any cost) and use a mild and pregnancy-safe disinfectant. Sweeping can also be done if you cover for nose and mouth against the dust.
  2. Lifting weight: Lifting weight of any kind is a definite no-no. if you are in a position where you have to lift something if it is lightweight, you can lift it provided you lower your body slowly and squat, never bend and lift. Lifting heavyweight causes harm to your back and also cause unexpected bleeding, premature labor, and rupture of the amniotic sac.
  3. Work that involves climbing or stretching: If you have to climb a ladder or stretch your self to access some places to clean, avoid it at all costs. If you climb and stretch while doing chores, you may put yourself at risk of falling down, as your center of gravity shits because of your growing belly along with that your body may not allow you to work (fatigue, restlessness etc).
  4. Removing the household waste or animal litter: Try to avoid having to clear your trash as it may make you nauseous. If there are pets at home, do not pick up their litter as they might carry diseases (e.g., cats may spread toxoplasmosis).


If you experience the following stop housework at once and consult your doctor:

It would be best to speak to your doctor and then assess what household chores can be done during this time and what had to be avoided. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, your doctor may deem it best to not do any housework and get adequate rest, so follow the advise given.

We commend you if you choose to continue doing housework during your pregnancy. We just ask you to think twice before taking up any task. Also, speak to your husband or family and try to get help during this time.



Dr. Aishwarya Rajeev has completed her MDS degree and is currently pursuing her PhD. She is an avid reader and loves to teach and write!

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