Is it safe to garden when pregnant?

Featured photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

The answer is yes and no. Gardening can be a good exercise that will keep pregnant women healthy physically and mentally. However, it also entails risks that must be anticipated and prevented. If you’re pregnant, avoid working under the scorching sun, make sure to drink enough water to keep hydrated, and wear a hat as needed when gardening for you and your baby’s safety. 


Gardening during pregnancy

Potential concerns that expectant mothers must be aware of include chemical exposure and toxoplasmosis, an infection often acquired through cat feces, especially from stray cats that kill and eat rats. If such cats defecate in garden soil, there’s also a chance that they discharge toxoplasmosis organisms. This disease causes flu-like symptoms in mothers and can cause intellectual disabilities and blindness to babies. When gardening, there’s a great risk of exposure to toxoplasmosis hence, preventive measures must be implemented. Hazardous chemicals like insecticides also pose threats to the development of an unborn child. 


Safety precautions

Although gardening can be a beneficial prenatal activity, mothers must be aware of the garden hazards in order to prevent them. Make sure to stay indoors when the chemical application in the garden is on-going and to close your doors or windows to avoid inhaling its mists. Wait for the chemicals to dry first before visiting the garden. When these sprays are necessary, always use the least toxic. Otherwise, do not use chemicals and practice natural methods in managing garden pests and diseases to avoid any health issues for your family. 


To prevent toxoplasmosis, ward off cats in your garden by using repellents such as coffee grounds, cayenne pepper, and citrus peels. Wear gloves, long sleeved shirts, and long pants while gardening to avoid exposure to chemicals and polluted soil. Do not touch your face, eyes, and mouth as much as possible. Thoroughly wash the produce from the garden before consuming them. Most importantly, do not lift heavy items or spray chemicals that can harm you and your baby’s health.  


During pregnancy, security is of utmost importance. One gardener doesn’t need to stop gardening when she’s pregnant. But it is crucial to set limitations in their garden activities and to assign their usual heavy tasks to others temporarily. 


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Vina Medenilla
Vina Medenilla is a content producer for Agriculture Monthly magazine. She is a graduate from Miriam College with a bachelor’s degree in Communication. Fashion, photography, and travel are some of the things she loves. For her, connection with nature is essential to one’s life.

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