Health and safety

My in-laws recently redecorated their bathroom as a “wet room” complete with smooth, tiled floor and walk-in shower. I’ve been fine using it so far but my mother in law has expressed worry that I might fall over on the slippery floor. This got me thinking about our own shower at home, which is in a smooth bath. I have never actually slipped in it before. Maybe the soles of my feet are rougher than most, like a hobbit’s! Anyway, it felt like tempting fate just thinking about slipping over, so I ordered some shower stickers to affix to the bath floor. I went for the most innocuous ones I could find – no duck shapes, as cute as they looked. I figured there will soon enough be plenty of those floating in our bath without having to look at them underwater as well.

The problem is, I keep forgetting to stick them on. They have been sitting in the bathroom for about a month now, staring at me. I know I need to do it soon but there are two conditions that need to be in place before they can be stuck: the bath needs to be completely dry, and the bath needs to be completely clean. The first one doesn’t work because I usually only think about the stickers when I am actually in the shower, therefore making the bath soaking wet. The second one isn’t helpful either as there is usually only a small window between the bath being clean and the bath being used again. Must do better!


This perceived fear of slipping over has since merged into a general anxiety about falling while pregnant. And I am not an accident-prone person – I have never even broken a bone. Unlike my sister, who can fracture her ankle stepping off a kerb sober in flat shoes (true story), I tend to keep upright with both feet on the ground. My fear might be irrational, but I’ve seen the films and Downton Abbey – falls can cause miscarriages, right?

Wrong! Falling is not even mentioned on the NHS page about miscarriage causes – it is much more likely to be down to a problem with the baby in the first trimester or an underlying health condition of the mother in the second trimester. Most miscarriages, of course, appear to happen for no reason at all.

The fact is that the baby is incredibly well padded inside your uterus and abdominal cavity. According to my pregnancy books, it is extremely rare for a fall to affect the baby – it would have to be a pretty shocking accident for that to happen (which is why you’re not supposed to go skiing while pregnant. Careening downhill at however many miles per hour is definitely in the category of high risk).

Nevertheless, while I can still walk confidently along the street, ice permitting, one concern remains: our stairs. Our bathroom is down a flight and a half of stairs from our bedroom, so when I need to use it during the night I have to carefully walk down and back up. I can see where I’m going, but I’m worried I might lose my footing when half-asleep. And a fall down a flight of stairs could certainly qualify as a serious accident! Our spare room is closer to the bathroom, so there is a real possibility we might need to move into there at some point. I’ll wait until I can’t actually see my feet and then we can think about it again. I suppose there is also the chamber pot option – nice…

14/03/12: Publishing this post galvanised me into action and Mr Cath has helpfully stuck the stickers! They are practically invisible but seem to be very effective so far. They’re called Safepore and can be found here.

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