Like many pregnant women, you may be concerned about the possible effects of different products on your developing baby. These may include household cleaners, insecticides, hair dyes and solutions, fingernail polish, self-tanners, tooth whiteners, paint and paint fumes.
Follow these precautions:
- Check with your healthcare provider before using chemical products. When in doubt, be cautious and don’t use the substance or item during pregnancy.
- Read product labels to find out if a product is unsafe to use during pregnancy. If the label doesn’t tell you, contact the manufacturer.
- Make sure rooms are well-ventilated while you clean, and use gloves and a mask. Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
- Swap out conventional cleaning products with naturally nontoxic alternatives, such as baking soda and vinegar.
- If your home was built before 1978, it could contain lead-based paint or pipes. Consider having a professional test your water and home for lead.
- Stay away from bug sprays (insecticides and pesticides) and weed killers (herbicides). They’re toxic.
- The risks of insect repellants that contain DEET are unclear. Try to avoid using them; cover up with clothing, or wear gloves and apply repellant to clothing (socks and outerwear) instead of on your skin.
For more information about chemicals and physical agents that may be harmful to an unborn child, check these sources:
- MotherToBaby California: (866) 626-6847
- National Lead Information Center: (800) 424-LEAD (5323)
- National Pesticide Information Center: (800) 858-7378