Tips for the pregnant gardener...

vivi(z5 NY)March 8, 2003

I have a nineteen-month old and am about three months pregnant right now...which means I'll be starting to really expand when gardening season kicks in. Does anyone have tips to help me to still get things done in the garden, even though I'll be at limited capacity and increased mass? Thanks in advance!

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Juhii1(z9 N. CA)

Wear gloves, leave the heavy stuff for DH, and try covering your garden area with landscape fabric and just cut holes or a big X at the site for each individual plant. The landscape fabric will help cut down on weeding chores. Garden during the cooler parts of the day never during the heat of the day. Drink lots and lots of water. And most of all go slow. Take it easy and don't try to do everything in one day. Good luck and congradulations. My little one is just 4 months old now.

colleen

    Bookmark   March 9, 2003 at 10:16PM
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ticksmom419(z7 NC)

Hi, Vivi -- congratulations on your second! I have a nearly 2-year old and my second due 8/1, so I'm in much the same boat as you. Emma, my first, is very "helpful" in the garden and really likes to deadhead (good flowers and all), so I know I can count on that support when I really need it. I'm teaching her to weed, too. (I'm tongue-in-cheek about her skills, of course -- she might weed and deadhead me right out of garden entirely.) I'm really thinking that we're going to make the very first part of the day, right after breakfast, our prime gardening time. And, of course, I'm doing everything possible up front so that I won't be planning on moving or planting things later in the summer (kind of necessary in the south anyway). I'm putting soaker hoses in every bed this year, something I've only done in one bed so far, so watering chores will be easier. I hope it'll just be basic maintenance by baby time. Heck -- I'll probably even be getting a little tired of it and welcome the chance to beg off duty and pass it along to my husband! (Fat chance of that.) Good luck to you -- let us know how things are going!

Karen

    Bookmark   March 14, 2003 at 7:27PM
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vivi(z5 NY)

Thank you, ladies! I guess I will have to stoop to asking my totally disinterested hubby for help with bags of soil and mulch!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2003 at 8:48PM
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JeyBird

This post is a little late, but it really hit home! I so remember the frustration of being too large or uncomfortable to garden (babies in august and september)-- I was thinking of it today, in fact, when I was preparing the last unused corner of the garden. Two years ago and pregnant, my garden was 4X4 ft instead of 24X24. So if you get frustrated at all with what you would like to be doing in your garden, remember the most important thing you are growing is inside you! There's always next year! :-)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2003 at 9:16PM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

Vivi, I am due with my second in August -- again August, you'd think I would have learned the first time!! -- the most blistering month here in Missouri! If you end up having to scoot around the yard on your butt, I promise not to laugh because I've been there. Also, if you have no help, don't beat yourself if you at some point have to turn a blind eye to the weeds. My hubby is of little or no use in the garden except as cheap slave labor, so by the end of September our yard was pretty scary. Take care of you and baby first!

Holly

    Bookmark   April 2, 2003 at 4:37PM
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willowtrree(uk)

My babys due in November, so its the tidying at the end of the year that won't get done! I find a hoe very useful as a way to keep weeds down before they take hold, it can reach into those difficult places or those which have suddenly become more difficult lol.
Jackie / UK

    Bookmark   April 6, 2003 at 9:28AM
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weaserbug(z5 IA)

Holly, I think your problem is it gets cold in MO 9 months before Aug. I think you like to snuggle up and get warm. :) At that time you are not thinking about how you will feel in Aug. :)

Congratulations to all of you! Take care of yourselves in the heat of summer. Seek out the shade and drink plenty of water.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2003 at 4:36PM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

LOL @ Weaserbug... I think that must have been the problem too... hubby swears up and down the baby was simply a suprise birthday present for me!

I tried to get out in the garden before it gets hot, so I ended up gardening very early in the a.m. and again later in the afternoon once the shade came back. I always kept a huge cup of water with me and made sure to eat a lot of strawberries... they're loaded with potassium and when you sweat you lose a lot of it. Leg cramps are bad enough when you're not pregnant!

Holly

    Bookmark   April 25, 2003 at 4:31PM
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gardeningfan(z5bMa)

Do you have any freinds who could help you? I had some wonderful freinds come and help me. I went through this last summer. What I did

1) everything on my but sitting indian style.
2) Sat in a lawn chair when I watered. Just stood up and moved it whenever I needed to water somewhere else.
3) Did all the work in the coolest part of the day.
4) Minimal weeding. What I did was with tools that had a long handle so I didn't have to bend much.
5)Ditto on the water. Drank lots.
6)Minimal planting which was so hard when I went to the nurseries. Had to really limit my purchases. Had to tell myself just this year.
7)I did ask my disinterested husband to help. He really surprised me with how helpful he was. He didn't do some things the way I wanted but I was so greatful I didn't complain a bit. I just hugged him and kissed him and thanked him profusely.
8) But my favorite thing I did was start a journal. I wrote down when things bloomed and how I was feeling. Little thoughts about the baby, the excitement the fears (this was my third) It was invaluable to me to look back and remember stuff. I had three catagories that plants went into. 1) About to bloom 2) In full bloom 3)Out of bloom. And I had another section for plans for next year for things that I would have liked to do but couldn't either because of physical difficulties or because of poor timing. A plant which might be in full bloom needing to be moved etc. Just take it easy and don't let youself go overboard. This may be a great time that you can just sit back and make some new plans for your garden, question your old plans. Than next year you will be ready to go full bore. Like I am doing right now and vigorously trying to work off this pregnancy weight. Good luck with this precious new addition and take good care of yourself.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2003 at 10:39PM
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vivi(z5 NY)

On a whim I just checked this post and was happy to see a few more responses! Things are going great so far...feeling well and have the garden off to a good start. The most tiring part isn't being pregnant...it's keeping my toddler from stomping over all my hard work!

Since I'm due September 25, I can't help but wonder what will become of all the fall bulbs I've ordered...what was I thinking?!?!?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2003 at 2:12PM
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bethardern(z5OH)

What a joy to find this thread as I sit here with my blossoming belly. I too am due in September and already huge!!! This is my fourth and everything hurts! Foolishly I made my garden even bigger this year (around 50 x 50) So instead of being out there weeding and watering I'm in here on the computer! Don't you feel rediculous bending over your beds...I too have spent much time on my backside in the pathways. How much physical labor have you girls felt comfortable with? I miss my independence and I know I've pushed a little too hard. The wheelbarrow full of mulch pushed me over the edge. My husband is willing to "help" but there is so much to do. I'm taking your advice about the weeds (can you believe my only hoe broke!) Have a good summer and safe deliveries. Beth

    Bookmark   June 29, 2003 at 9:36AM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

Beth... I don't bend, I squat... good practice for labor LOL. I tend to push the envelope with the physical labor thing (mulching beds and moving pea gravel, hmmmmm, not good acitivities for a preggie) and then I pay for it... either I aggravate my sciatica so badly I can barely walk the next day, or my hubby "let's me have it". I can't figure out which punishment is the easier one. I have been behaving lately, just because I am enormous (2-3 weeks bigger than I should be and I'm due in mid-August) and it's so darned hot outside. Baylee likes to help me water... she usually ends up soaked!

Vivi... if you have room in your fridge, could you put the bulbs in there and then pot them up in very early spring? We have a basement fridge and the veggie bins are loaded with bulbs I was too sick to plant LAST year.

Holly

    Bookmark   July 3, 2003 at 10:37AM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

Okay, hubby has officially put the kybosh on any more "yard gardening" for me... I went for a routine check last week and, while my body is supposedly 34 weeks pregnant I am measuring a whopping 42!

Holly

    Bookmark   July 6, 2003 at 8:15PM
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hannamyluv(5 N.E. OH)

I'm due in Sept. I asked my midwife about slowing down on the gardening and she said "Goodness no! Get out there and work in the yard if that's what you like. I can always tell a couch potato in the delivery room"

She said that as long as I wasn't high risk, that doing my gardening was the best thing for me. The workout you get working in the yard would result in a shorter, less painful delivery as you muscles don't get all flabby. She just cautioned me to drink lots of water and watch my heart rate.

I have only slowed down as I have started getting tired in the 3rd trimester but I still get a little done every day. My hubby bought me a rolling water sprayer and long handled garden tools for mother's day, which have been a great help. I sit on the ground a lot to do my planting and weeding and my son's wagon has become requisitioned for hauling my mulch and compost. All in all, it hasn't been as nearly as bad as thought. I think I would have a nervous breakdown if I could get out in my yard and do my gardening.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2003 at 12:52PM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

Hmmmm... let's see... measuring eight weeks bigger than I should be at this point (and my son will be over 10 lbs. by the time he is born if he goes to his due date), being almost 38 years old, and having to keep an eye on several other physical factors, not to mention the injuries sustained (and the resulting physical therapy) the last time I DIDN'T listen to those who had my best interests at heart...

Now, considering I go up and down the stairs in our house at LEAST 15 times a day, take care of a very high spirited almost-five-year-old, help out both my mother-in-law and my 72-year-old mother at their houses and running errands for them, caring for three porches worth of container plantings, a small deck pond and a fish tank, plus my usual chores of cleaning, washing, etc... I simply don't see flabby couch potato anywhere in my future, unless of course we're talking about my brother in law.

My container plantings all look fantastic and I've gotten many of my art projects finished that would have normally sat and waited until fall.... not to mention that all the time I spent focusing on the garden earlier this year has made it look better than it ever has even considering its recent state of neglect... This has actually been an extremely productive summer.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2003 at 6:21PM
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hannamyluv(5 N.E. OH)

I didn't mean to imply you were couch potato. It doesn't sound like you are a couch potato at all! You have done lots. And I suppose that listening to people with your best intentions at heart is a good thing but around here, if my in-laws had their way, I'd be in a chair sipping lemonade from the day I found out. Not for me.

I think many people underestimate what a preggers lady can do. I get frustrated by the number of people who just about have a canitption every time I go to lift anything over 5 lbs. I think many women get caught by this. They stop doing ANYTHING when they get pregnant b/c they think that's what they are suppose to do and when it comes time, they end up paying for it. But, yes, near the end nature has ways of making sure that you slow down as you need too.

Hang in there, butterbeanbaby, it's almost over. And soon you will have a new little flower that's more precious than any in the garden.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2003 at 8:35AM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

Sorry for the outburst... following up my post with yours, it seemed like it was aimed. Hormones, yeah that's it, everything gets taken seriously and personally... if it rains I get mad because there is *stuff* I simply have to get done... how DARE mother nature impose on me! See how I am?

My MIL gets on me constantly about the things I do... she about popped me one the other day when she caught me picking up Bay (40 lbs.)... she claims she had my hubby a month early because of picking up the laundry basket, but we suspect it was more a case of "first babies often come early" nudge nudge wink wink.

Believe me, if I didn't have my inside projects and containers to keep me busy, I would have gone bonkers a long time ago (I'm already nuts so it's really not far).

C'mon August 12!
Holly

    Bookmark   July 11, 2003 at 8:48AM
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denisew(z8 TX)

My husband bought me a Christmas present which I know would have been wonderful when I was pregnant (any of my 3 pregnancies). It is one of those seats with wheels on the bottom and has storage inside. It would have been a heck of a lot easier getting up and down from that than from on the ground! I know you must be getting uncomfortable by now and suggest that you don't worry about weeding - if they're green, they will just blend in with the rest of the green stuff. Water only when it gets too dry and if it rains you don't have to worry about it. Even better get a sprinkler system installed then all you have to do is push a button to water your landscape. Get some friends or relatives to help with planting those bulbs this fall, then forget it until next spring. Sounds like everyone is giving you lots of good advice. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2003 at 11:56PM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

I now measure 44-1/2 weeks and counting.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2003 at 2:03PM
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provence(SoCal/19)

Just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking good thoughts for you all. I was very pregnant with twins through a sweltering Southern California summer - was I ever glad when they decided to arrive six weeks early!
Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2003 at 1:22AM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

My new little gardener arrived on August 6... Justin Alexander, 9 lbs 8 oz, and his sister is madly in love with him (as are daddy and mommy)! Now if it would just cool off enough to get back into the yard with him in the carrier...

Hope all the other preggies are doing well and taking care.

Holly

    Bookmark   August 22, 2003 at 12:05AM
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Jeger

Post follow ups! =) I just found this thread and was wondering about all you other moms out there =))

My garden helpers are Zoe (5), Nicolas (6) and Kate (7)... Zoe's 31st July, Kate's 22 October... Nicolas was born on 14 February, Valentine's baby (and he's a charmer ;)
The time seems to go so very fast after they're born... I remember a kindergarden class coming to the birth centre right after Kate was born... and thinking that I couldn't imagine her being that BIG someday =) And now my baby Zoe is in kindergarden...weird =))

Enjoy the time with them while they're little... they grow up so very fast. =)

Annie

    Bookmark   August 23, 2003 at 4:59AM
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provence(SoCal/19)

Congratulations Butterbeanbaby. 9 lbs 8oz! - well done!!!

You are so right about them growing up fast Jeger. Our twins just turned the big 10. Each year goes by faster than the previous one (my Mother told me this when I was very young. I didn't believe her then, but guess what? - she was right!!)

Enjoy your little ones,
Provence

    Bookmark   August 25, 2003 at 2:50PM
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ticksmom419(z7 NC)

Vivi, how did you make out? Here's another follow-up. Noah was born 8/8, 7 lbs 4 oz. I totally lost it in the garden last summer and was supremely glad to see the fall come so that my sad efforts would no longer be visible! Now I'm thinking of next summer and how wonderful it will be not to be pregnant. Even working in the yard in the fall was fabulous. I couldn't believe how light and fit and healthy and energetic I felt once the weather cooled down. And I blushed to think of my big pregnant butt sticking out in the street toward the end of the pregnancy with the few attempts I made to weed standing. I figure my neighbors must have been secretly wishing my husband would haul me back into the house so they wouldn't have to worry about me dropping that baby right in the front yard.

Any other updates?

Karen

    Bookmark   January 22, 2004 at 3:24PM
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magz88(5a - Central Ontario)

What a great thread to be reading right now. I am just about 6 months pregnant with my first due on August 15. I am still doing all right in the garden, but I do have to realize that I can't overfill the wheelbarrow any more since my balance isn't quite what it was.

I am hoping to be able to continue right up to the end since we have about 5500 sq feet that we garden to sell at the farmer's market.

We could defnitely use any extra money I can bring in (hubby helps with harvesting and marketing but less so with planting and planning).

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 12:24PM
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