Pregnancy Proof Your Home: Safety Precautions for Expectant Momsby Katlyn Joy | September 12, 2012 9:25 AM
When starting a family, we all worry about baby proofing and creating a safe environment for the baby. However, keeping baby safe actually starts before birth in keeping Mom safe especially in her own home.
1. Keep stairways clear. Falls are more likely during pregnancy due to your unwieldy size and loss of balance. Make sure you keep clutter from building up and if you have wood stairs, consider no slip rugs to help keep your feet beneath you.
2. Avoid slips in the tub by taking precautions. Use a grip bar, apply a bath mat or skid proof stick on pads to the bottom of the bath or shower. Have a bath rug to step out onto. If getting in and out of the tub becomes difficult, don't shower or bathe unless someone else is home and nearby to hear if you need some help.
3. Get rid of toxic cleaners. Read labels on your cleaning products and toss anything with a warning not to use if pregnant. Remember never to mix products especially bleach and ammonia based products. Only clean when using rubber gloves, and in well ventilated areas. Skip the oven and let someone else tackle that; there's not enough ventilation for you to do it.
4. Litter duty is no longer yours. Due to the risk of toxoplasmosis pregnant women should avoid cat litter and feces. Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease that affects the brain and muscles and recent studies have found an increased risk of suicide in connection with the parasite.
5. Keep cords out of the way and make sure they are not underfoot. When your belly blocks your view around your feet, you need to be certain you have any obstacles out of your way. Extension cords can be hazardous as you trip or get caught up in them.
6. Ensure you have a secure handrail for any stairs, whether inside or outside. Even if it's only a few stairs, you need a firm place to grip to keep your balance. Make sure it's not wobbly or splintery either.
7. Make certain all areas of your home are well-lit. Yes, we all have those pain in the behind bulbs that we never want to change, maybe in the basement or the garage, but you need to see. If the bulb that needs replacing is high, get someone else to replace it. You do not need to be on a ladder or even a stepstool right now.
8. Avoid swimming in the home pool when you are alone. Even if you are a champion swimmer, while pregnant you are far more vulnerable to fatigue and weakness so never go near the pool alone.
9. Watch the first steps of the morning. If you have a high bed, or a slippery bedroom floor or a water bed, make sure you are steady on your feet. Take a few moments to make sure you aren't lightheaded or apt to become dizzy, as this can occur pretty much anytime during your pregnancy due to hormones wreaking havoc with your equilibrium. If you need a stable piece of furniture to steady you, make sure the aforementioned is actually stable before holding on for dear life.
10. Pet safe your home. Pregnancy can make some dogs or even cats become hostile or even aggressive towards you. Some pets that are ordinarily no threat to you, may pose risks during pregnancy. For instance, reptiles and amphibians can carry salmonella to you and that can be a danger during pregnancy. Seek help from an animal trainer for pets that seem thrown by either your pregnancy. If a pet cannot be controlled by the pregnant owner, then it is likely that you should seek other arrangements for the safety of yourself and your unborn baby.
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