Keep these tips in mind if you are lifting children or other objects during your pregnancy.

Q. Can I still pick up my 2-year-old now that I'm pregnant?

A. Lifting anything up to 35 pounds should be fine, even if it's a squirming preschooler. To avoid straining your back, always practice good lifting techniques. Bend at the knees, not at the waist, to lower yourself. Use your leg muscles when lifting and hold the object (or child) as close to your body as possible to put most of the strain on your arm muscles, not your back. Keep your back straight as you lift and carry. Switch your load from one side to the other every 10 minutes or so to avoid overusing one side of your back.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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