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Experts Say Picking Up Your Toddler While Pregnant Is Fine If You Don't Bend & Snap

When you became pregnant with your second child, you might have thought through how you'd slip in naps for extra energy, or how you'd explain to your 2-year-old why you were suddenly barfing. But you may not have considered how you were going to cart that 2-year-old around, which is why I want to share some expert-approved tips for how to pick up a toddler when pregnant.

When you're heavily pregnant, lifting heavy objects/humans can give one pause. I remember once when I was pregnant, I was in the airport and very nervous about hauling a heavy suitcase up a flight of stairs. Sensing my hesitation, one of the Delta workers offered to carry it up for me, which I gratefully accepted. But I remember as I was huffing my way up behind him, another pregnant woman came streaking past me, hoisting her own suitcase herself. When she got to the top, she actually turned to smile at me smugly, and announced, " I'm six months pregnant!" Then sauntered off.

At the time, I remember I felt embarrassed. But now, when I think back on it, I wish I'd shouted after her that I didn't realize pregnancy was a competition, and thanks for shaming my choices!

Anyway. My point being, that while there are guidelines from the CDC and doctor recommendations for what is safe for a pregnant woman to lift, much of it can come down to the individual — how strong they are, what kind of pregnancy you're having, and of course, what they personally feel comfortable with. Some women (superhumans from space) do cross-fit throughout their pregnancy, whereas others let the Delta crew grab their carryon. Either way — no judgments! You're trying to do what's best for you and your child, and that is A-ok.


But if you are wondering if there is in fact some special technique for how to hoist up a kid when pregnant, there is some advice. Doula and childbirth educator Deena Blumenfield tells Romper the safest way to pick up a toddler is pretty much the same way you should lift anything, pregnant or not: "Lift with your legs, not your back. Squat down, wrap your arms around the toddler and stand back up."

So yeah — none of the 'ol grab-the-kid-under-the-armpits-dead lift. Or the 'ol scoop and hoist. You have to actually stop and think about how to lift your child, which, really, may be one of the most challenging aspects of it. Moms often are so used to doing 10 different things at once that actually stopping and focusing (especially on something you've done hundreds of times before) may take a bit of effort and awareness.

In terms of gauging how much you should be lifting, Blumenfield says whatever you could lift pre-pregnancy is pretty much what you can handle during the pregnancy. "Unless she has a complication and her doctor or midwife has specifically told her to limit what she can lift, she can pick up children, or other items, as needed."


Deena Blumenfield, ERYT, RPYT, LCCE, FACCE, Owner, Principle Educator, and Doula Madame of Shining Light Prenatal Education