Being pregnant is a huge part of anyone’s life and you want to do all you can to ensure your baby is born happy and healthy.
That is why it is natural to have many questions when you are pregnant.
Now, can you ride a lawn mower while pregnant, might not be the first question that springs to mind, but if you love maintaining your garden and lawn then it is very important to know of any risks involved with using your riding mower.
We delve into the subject in our blog today and find out how safe it is.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
Can You Ride A Lawn Mower While Pregnant?
The vast majority of expectant mothers continue to use their riding mowers during pregnancy without any problems, but always consult your doctor first if you do have any specific concerns. When mowing take it slow and steady, avoid the sun in the hottest part of the day and drink plenty of water. Above everything else listen to your own body and if you start to feel unwell, stop immediately.
Using a Riding Mower During Pregnancy: The (Rough) Statistics
Now there is no point trying to hide it, I am a man.
And as a man, I have never been pregnant.
Nor am I a doctor, so I am not qualified to offer a medical opinion either!
Now before you all stop reading and look for the answer to the question on another website, I have done something far more valuable.
I have researched this question on numerous pregnancy-based forums to get genuine, first-hand accounts from expectant mothers of their experiences and also to find what they have been told by their doctors and nurses.
As a very broad statement, I would say that after an hour or two of reading through forums, somewhere around 95% of women said they had used a riding mower during their pregnancy without any problems whatsoever.
Of the remaining 5%, there was not one account of using a riding mower causing any serious issues, but more they had been advised not to use it by their doctor due to their own personal circumstances.
So I think that answers the main question of…
Is it Safe to Use a Riding Mower During Pregnancy?
I think the main comparison to use here is the fact you probably wouldn’t think twice about continuing to drive a car during pregnancy.
Yes, it might offer a bit more protection and better suspension, but you will use it to go down some bumpy roads and a car goes much faster than a riding mower! Even a minor prang in a car could have big consequences.
And if you are still having sex that is also way more bumpy and invasive than using a riding lawn mower!
Generally, it is advised to keep up whatever level of physical activity you were doing prior to getting pregnant and to ensure you stay somewhat active.
And mowing is good exercise, it increases the blood flow, gets you out in the fresh air and as long as you feel fine doing it, is perfectly safe.
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What You Need to Be Aware Of
I’d say four main risks were identified when using a riding mower during pregnancy. These are risks that apply to anyone at any time, but are particularly relevant during pregnancy.
Risk #1: The Heat
Depending upon where you live, be aware of the heat.
If you do live somewhere that has high summer temperatures then mow your lawn first thing in the morning or later in the day when the sun is not at its hottest.
Drink lots of water, take plenty of breaks and if you do start to feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable then stop.
Risk #2: The Fumes
Thankfully many newer riding mowers are very environmentally friendly and have all kinds of measures in place that limit the potentially harmful emissions they put out.
But it is still something you should be aware of, especially if your riding mower is on the older side.
To be on the safe side you might want to wear a facemask (seeing as we all have several of these hanging around nowadays!) whilst using it.
That might help with pollen and allergies too.
Risk #3: The Sound
Riding mowers are naturally quite loud, but remember your baby’s hearing is muffled, similar to how we hear underwater, as it is protected by amniotic fluid.
Also mowing your lawn is a fairly irregular event in the grander scheme of things, and think how loud other objects like the vacuum cleaner are.
As long as you aren’t spending hours on your lawn mower every week your baby will be fine.
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Risk #4: The Vibrations
Probably the main concern I found when researching this subject was around the vibrations and whether they could cause contractions or jar the placenta loose.
This would be something of a judgemental call, as everyone’s lawns are different, but it would have to be particularly bumpy to be damaging to your unborn baby.
In fact, I read one post on a forum from a user who was worried because when some of her colleagues found out she was still using a riding mower to cut the lawn they told her the vibrations could jar the placenta loose.
All of the comments told her not to worry, and that they had never had any issues, but one in particular caught my eye, it said:
“My husband is a nurse, he is freaking out right now. He says “Do you know how bad the vibrations would have to be to jar a PLACENTA lose?” He’s claiming shenanigans on your co-workers part.”
Personal Accounts From Pregnant Women
Ok so I said I did a lot of research on this before putting together the article, so I think it is only fair I prove that by sharing some of the feedback I found on the subject of mowing the lawn whilst pregnant.
“I was mowing right up to the very end of my last pregnancy, it definitely didn’t cause any problems. I would just make sure I slowed down when it got too bumpy.”
“I mow the lawn in our family and always have done. We have a riding mower and I mowed the lawn through both my previous pregnancies without any problems.”
“I am 34 weeks pregnant and still riding our mower. I just take it slowly and also use a neoprene belt for noise retention and belly stability.”
“I mowed my lawn today and I am 38 weeks, and I used a push mower as our ride-on is being repaired and our yard is about an acre!”
“I lived on my riding mower the summer I was pregnant with my first baby. I loved it and it was great as I felt like I was helping get stuff done and I wasn’t getting too wiped out doing it.”
There were also numerous posts from mothers to be recounting the advice they had been given by their doctor or nurse, etc.
“I got the ok from my doctor to continue riding horses, so I am pretty certain a riding mower would be ok!”
“When I asked my doctor, he said it was completely fine as long as there aren’t lots of bumps.”
“When I asked my OB-GYN, she said it was fine. She just recommended that I listen to my body, take regular breaks and drink plenty of water.”
“My doctor told me just to listen to my body and to decide whether I felt like I could handle it.”
In the interests of fairness, I should also include the other side of the argument, but genuinely these were the only three ‘negative’ (and they aren’t even really that negative), posts I found in all my research:
“My midwife said it was fine, but to limit my mowing to 30 minutes maximum as the vibrations could cause contractions.”
“ I enjoy cutting the lawn so asked my doctor if it was ok. He said there is too much vibration, so I should avoid it.”
“My doctor banned me from using our riding mower. They said the vibrations are too intense.”
But I just want to reiterate these were the only three slightly negative takes I could find, there were many, many more posters saying they had used riding mowers without any issues, but I could include all of those comments in my blog!
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Can You Use a Push Mower While Pregnant?
When I was researching the main question of whether you can use a riding lawn mower while pregnant I also stumbled upon the question of how safe using a push mower while pregnant is.
The general consensus again was that it is fine and is a good way to keep active during pregnancy.
There were only a couple of exceptions to that:
- As with using a riding mower, if it is very hot then avoid it. It is far more strenuous using a push mower in the heat than a riding mower.
- If you have a particular hilly lawn it should be avoided as the slip/fall risk is too great.
I think the main takeaway here is that it is fine to use a riding mower while pregnant, but if you have any concerns always consult your doctor before you do so.
The likelihood is he will say it is fine, but if he has any concerns specific to you he will tell you.
Then, if you do use it, just take it slow and steady and take plenty of breaks and drink plenty of water.
Listen to your body and if you start to feel unwell stop immediately.
Be aware of the heat and any fumes, and just generally be more careful than you might be otherwise.
Above everything else good luck with the pregnancy and congratulations in advance!