I want to paint the nursery and get the house in shape before I deliver my baby. But could some of the chemicals I use harm my baby?
During pregnancy, try to steer clear of certain household chemicals, such as some paints, paint thinners, oven cleaners, varnish removers, and carpet cleaners. These may be harmful, especially in high doses.
However, although chemicals like ammonia and chlorine might make you nauseated because of the smell, they're not toxic. Do not mix ammonia and chlorine products since the fumes can be dangerous even for non-pregnant people.
To help keep household chemicals in perspective during your pregnancy:
- Talk to your doctor about any chemicals you may use at home or at work.
- Read product labels. If it's unsafe to use during pregnancy, the label should say that it's toxic. If the label doesn't specify, contact the manufacturer.
- Open windows and doors, and use rubber gloves and a mask when cleaning with or using any chemical.
- Wash your hands and arms, even if you wore gloves, after using chemicals.
- Opt for natural products like baking soda, borax, and vinegar for cleaning.
- Have someone else paint the baby's nursery and remove any paint (especially if your home was built before 1978 and may contain lead-based paint). You can always take over the decorating duties after the painting's done!
Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: October 2012
|Maternal and Child Health Bureau This U.S. government agency is charged with promoting and improving the health of mothers and children.|
|American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) This site offers information on numerous health issues. The women's health section includes readings on pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum care, breast health, menopause, contraception, and more.|
|Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) The EPA is the government agency that works to protect human health and safeguard the natural environment.|
|Pregnancy Precautions: FAQs Questions regarding what you can and can't do during pregnancy abound. Knowing what could truly be harmful to your baby versus what's no real cause for concern is key to keeping your sanity throughout the 40 weeks.|
|Staying Healthy During Pregnancy During your pregnancy, you'll probably get advice from everyone. But staying healthy depends on you - read about the many ways to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible.|
|Lead Poisoning Long-term exposure to lead can cause serious health problems, particularly in young kids, so it's important to find out whether your child might be at risk for lead exposure.|
|Pregnancy & Newborn Center Advice and information for expectant and new parents.|
|Can Lead Affect My Unborn Baby? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Can I Use Bug Killers and Repellents During Pregnancy? Find out what the experts have to say.|
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2014 KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com