How to Keep Your House Clean While Pregnant

Chores and Pregnancy

Pregnant woman folding laundry
Jamie Grill/Getty Images

It would be lovely if all of your chores disappeared when you had a positive pregnancy test, but alas, this is not some fairy tale land. The truth of the matter is that pregnancy does not render one incapable of doing household chores or keeping the house clean in general. Though there are a few new rules to housekeeping that should be followed in pregnancy:

Avoid fumes.

Harsh, abrasive chemicals may need to be nixed if you haven't already.

Try your hand at some green cleaning. This will protect you in pregnancy, but also prepare you for a shift in how you care from your home without harsh chemicals once your baby is born. You would be amazed what you could do with vinegar, baking soda and lemons.

Keep away from the kitty litter.

The one chore that you do need to nix is the kitty litter. The reason being is that cat feces can cause you to contract toxoplasmosis. This can have a negative impact on your pregnancy by causing miscarriage or even prematurity.

Watch your back.

While not a problem at first, your back will start to ache as you progress in your pregnancy. After the fourth month of pregnancy, your center of gravity changes and some of the lifting and carrying that you've been doing will be hard, if you don't use proper back mechanics. Start now, so that it is second nature by the time that point comes. This is also true when reaching to clean things that are high up.

Get extendable handles when possible to clean tall items like tops of cabinets and ceiling fans.


The first and third trimesters are marked by intense periods of exhaustion. Unless you can afford to hire a maid, plan for this to alter how you clean. If you were a once a week cleaner, now you may need to find a way to do a chore a day to get through your list of chores.

I'd recommend doing chores in 15 minutes segments, maybe one in the morning and one later. Truthfully, this will help you reorganize and rethink your house cleaning methods that will need to change once your baby arrives anyway.

Be Careful with the Belly.

It's true, eventually your belly will get in the way. If you're in the market for new laundry baskets, I love the ones that are rounded on the sides, they really make carrying the baskets easier. You may also have to stay out of small spaces, like the guest room shower stall that you barely fit into before pregnancy. So, despite what your nesting instinct says, don't get stuck! 

Another hazard to add to the category of watching your belly, be careful of bumps. You would be amazed at how easy it is to turn the corner and bump into something, including the corner, with your growing belly. While it is highly unlikely to hurt your baby due to the amniotic fluid, you can certainly wound your pride and get a nice bruise. I found this to be particularly true while cleaning and carrying things to put away.

Getty Help

Keeping a clean house while gestating isn't always easy. You have a lot going on and a lot to think about. Many times that thinking is about when your next nap will be. Fatigue in pregnancy is real, as are other symptoms that may keep you from cleaning or feeling like cleaning. One of the best presents I had when pregnant with my twins was that a friend came over and cleaned my house for me. I felt badly at first but when my house was clean - I felt so much better. Consider asking for help, or if you can, get someone to come in and pay them. Some services will do a single cleaning of your home. This also makes a great baby shower gift for the expectant mother and becomes nearly a necessity if you're on bedrest.

Continue Reading