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Carrying a toddler during pregnancy is probably okay for most pregnant women, especially in the early months (and sometimes there seems to be no way around it for moms).
If you have pregnancy complications, though, such as bleeding or early contractions, you'll want to talk with your healthcare provider about taking special precautions. Also, if carrying your toddler makes you uncomfortable – for example, it's painful or makes you feel off balance – then don't do it. Listen to your body!
As your belly expands, your center of gravity shifts. This puts lot of pressure on your lower back. And body changes early in pregnancy can make you more prone to feeling lightheaded when you stand up. So if you reach down and lift a toddler straight up, you may feel weak or dizzy for minute or two.
When you do lift your toddler, bend your knees rather than bending over, and try to keep your back as straight as possible. Consider wearing comfortable, flat shoes and using pregnancy back support products to reduce the strain on your lower back as you lift and carry your child.
If you can't pick up your toddler, you'll need to be creative.
Ask for help from family and friends as much as possible – when it's time to carry a sleeping toddler up the stairs or off to bed, for example. (This is a good idea even if you can pick up your toddler when necessary.)
Don't venture too far on foot, because you won't be able to carry your little one back if she gets tired. Use the stroller as often as possible when you're on the go.
Not being able to carry your toddler may be difficult to explain to her. Ease the sting by finding ways to make her feel special. Sit down and have her sit on your lap for hugs throughout the day, for example.
The ability to pick up a toddler may vary from pregnancy to pregnancy, woman to woman, and toddler to toddler. Some toddlers weigh a lot and are very uncomfortable to carry, while others are pretty light and easy to tote. This is not a one-size-fits all approach. If you're at all concerned, talk with your healthcare provider.