Heavy Farm Work Harmful During Pregnancy?

Alexandra Powell Allred's picture

QUESTION

Dear Fitness Expert,
Hi. I work on an organic farm and am about 4 weeks pregnant. I do a lot of heavy lifting throughout the day. When should I begin watching the amount of weight that I lift and what is too much. This is my second season farming so I'm fairly accustomed to heavy lifting, bending, etc.Thanks!

ANSWER

In recent years there have been a significant amount of studies on pregnancy and heavy lifting. Actually, I was part of one such study.Fortunately for you, you've hit upon the key ingredient for success -- acclimation. Your body is used to the regiment and should respond nicely -- this does not factor in heat and dehydration. Assuming that you are drinking plenty of water and are not overheating (please see more information regarding inner core temperature while pregnant, as in this article), you must first see your doctor. Talk to your OB/GYN about your schedule, what and when you are lifting. It is vital that you give an good estimation of the amount of weight you carry during the day. But rest assured, women can carry heavy weight (WITH PHYSICIANS PERMISSION) safely in the first two trimesters.

You may find that you feel strong and healthy in the third trimester but this is when the joint and ligaments in your body are shifting, preparing for birth. It is best to lay off the heavy weights in that last trimester to avoid injury.

Organic farm? Sounds wonderful. Good for you and good luck!

-- Alex