During the ups and downs of 2020, many people found solace by taking up gardening and tending indoor plants. Did you know that while pregnant, you must take extra precautions? We go over what you need to know in today’s blog.

Is gardening or plant care a fun hobby for you? If you’ve recently gotten pregnant, you may be looking at your plants and wondering: “Uh oh, are those going to be a problem?”

Gardening can increase your exposure to toxoplasmosis, which is a disease that comes from infection by Toxoplasma gondii parasites. These parasites are common, but while pregnant you are at more risk of getting sick from toxoplasmosis as your immune system is lower. Toxoplasmosis can not only be contracted through gardening but from contaminated and undercooked meat and cat feces.

You also have to be cautious around chemical exposure due to pesticides and insecticides. This may go without saying, but prolonged and repeated exposure to such chemicals can be harmful to both you and your baby. Knowing all this, you may think you cannot tend to your plants. But that’s not true! There are precautions you can take to tend to your garden and plants as safely as possible.

What precautions should I take?

Here are some tips to help protect yourself if you’re an avid gardener or indoor plant lover!

  • Gardening outdoors is a great way to get your body moving and reap some rewards of fresh produce! Just be sure you’re wearing your sunscreen (and sun protection) and drinking plenty of water. Remember you’re not just gardening for one, but now two!
  • Don’t spray chemicals yourself! Have a friend or family member spray your plants for you while you are safely inside. If you have indoor plants, use diluted dish soap or castile soap to spray your plants for cleaning or pest maintenance. Anything more powerful than should be done outside and away from you inhaling the treatment.
  • When you can, use integrated pest management (IPM), which is a process that can resolve pest issues while also minimizing risks to people and the environment. For example, instead of using a chemical treatment for annoying fungus gnats, you could use sticky traps in which the flies get caught on. No insecticides needed.
  • If you have a sick or infested indoor plant and can’t take care of it, you can have a friend treat it at their home for the time being or simply throw the plant away.
  • For your outdoor garden, try to keep cats out. You may consider fencing your garden or moving them into homemade greenhouses. They even make stackable gardens or self-watering gardens that are even easier to access without having to bend down on the ground.
  • Be sure to not touch your face when gardening. Wear long sleeves, gloves, and even a mask when handling soil and such. Don’t do any heavy lifting on your own. Have friends or family help take care of that for you. Also as an added precaution, shower after gardening or tending to your plants.
  • Always wash your vegetables and fruits from your garden thoroughly before consuming them.

Have any more questions or concerns about this subject? Just contact us through any of our three locations and we can help!