Is It Safe To Climb Stairs While You Are Pregnant?

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If you are staying on the first floor or a floor above, you usually take the staircase. But when you are pregnant, your elders must have suggested you not to climb the stairs. Should you really not do that? Momjunction tells you if climbing stairs is safe during pregnancy , when you should stop doing it, and the care you need to take.

Is Climbing Stairs Safe During Pregnancy?

It is safe to climb the staircase during early pregnancy when your body is still balanced.

One of the biggest fears is falling or tripping from the stairs. In the later months of pregnancy, a shift in the center of gravity of your body increases the risk of falls. At this stage, a fall from the stairs, especially on the abdomen, can lead to early labor (1).

In the 37th week of gestation, your baby drops into your pelvis making it easier for you to breathe. However, the added weight of the full-term baby makes it difficult for you to climb the stairs. If you have to climb, take one step at a time, move slowly by holding the railing for support and breathe at a normal rate.

But the best option is to avoid climbing the staircase in the advanced stage of pregnancy. Read on to know why.

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Why Should You Not Climb Stairs In The Later Stages Of Pregnancy?

Here are some of the reasons why women are told to avoid taking a flight of stairs during pregnancy.

  1. Breathlessness: You could feel breathless while climbing a staircase. This can have a negative impact on the fetus as there is reduced oxygen supply.
  1. Slipping:  A fall or slip while climbing stairs is one of the biggest concerns during pregnancy. This can have a serious impact on you and your baby.

[ Read: Falling During Pregnancy ]

  1. Pressure on the back: As your pregnancy progresses, you start feeling the pressure of weight on your back. This makes you feel giddy or pulls you down as you start climbing the stairs.
  1. Lose balance: During pregnancy, you may sometimes begin to lose balance, increasing the risk of falls. So, it is best to avoid climbing in the later stage of pregnancy.
  1. Swollen feet: If you have swollen feet, then climbing stairs will put more pressure on them.

The above reasons pertain to the later stages of pregnancy. Climbing stairs in the first trimester is, generally safe, but is unsafe in certain circumstances.

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[ Read: Balance Disorders During Pregnancy ]

When To Avoid Climbing Stairs In Early Pregnancy?

It is safe to climb stairs during the first trimester unless your doctor advises you against it. You must look for a few signs that discourage you from climbing. They include:

  • Bleeding
  • Cramps or decreasing hormonal levels
  • Diabetes or any autoimmune disease during pregnancy
  • A miscarriage in the past
  • Severe dizziness
  • Carrying twins or multiples
  • High/ low blood pressure
  • If the doctor advised bed rest

If you do not have any of the above problems, you may continue to climb stairs.

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How Is Climbing Stairs Good During Pregnancy?

Climbing stairs is a physical activity, which keeps your body active. Research shows that it is as good as walking or exercising.

  1. Low risk of preeclampsia: According to a study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension, pregnant women who climb stairs have a reduced risk for preeclampsia (a condition wherein women have high blood pressure).

The study has found that pregnant women, who are inactive, can reduce the risk of preeclampsia by 29% by climbing one to four flights of stairs (2).

[ Read: Postpartum Preeclampsia ]

  1. Reduces the chances of gestational diabetes: According to a study by the American Diabetes Association, climbing stairs in early pregnancy reduces the chances of getting gestational diabetes mellitus – one of the common complications in pregnancy (3).

You may climb the stairs by following some safety measures.

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Basic Safety Tips For Climbing Stairs During Pregnancy

Here are some of the important precautions you should take:

  • While climbing up or coming down the stairs, make use of the handrail. If you are holding anything in one hand, then keep the other free to hold the handrail.
  • Ensure that the staircase is well lit to see the steps clearly. Avoid climbing the staircase in darkness.
  • If you have a carpeted staircase, make sure it is tightly fixed to the floor and is not loose.
  • Walk slowly and avoid any rush while climbing.
  • The stairs should not be wet or greased.
  • When you are wearing an overflowing dress, do not take the stairs as you have a high chance of tripping over it.
  • Contact your doctor if you slipped or tripped on the stairs.

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Climbing the staircase is safe during pregnancy as long as you are careful and comfortable. Never climb up or down without holding the handrail. Also, do not force yourself if your body is unable to take the exertion of climbing. Take a break if you are panting.

What precautions did you take while climbing the stairs? Let us know in the comment section below.

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shreeja pillai

Postgraduate in Chemistry and content writer. She has worked as a research analyst with a leading multinational pharmaceutical company and also holds a diploma in pharmaceutical regulatory affairs. Her interest in the field of medical research has developed her passion for writing research-based articles. She is a writer for MomJunction and aims at providing informative articles based on health and wellness. Apart from writing, she takes a great interest in music and traveling.
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