Expecting mothers often have many different things to worry about, including the health of their unborn child. While it is understandable to want to keep the home clean and sanitary, there are some methods and products that should not be used while pregnant. One of these methods is inhaling the fumes of cleaning products while pregnant. This blog post will discuss the risks of inhaling cleaning products while pregnant and provide some tips on how to keep both the mother and her unborn child safe. By understanding the risks, women can make informed decisions that are best for their pregnancy and the health of their unborn child. It is important to realize that while cleaning products may help to keep the home clean, they can have serious health risks if not used properly.
Chemicals to avoid when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
Some weed killers and pesticides (which kill bugs) are known to harm growing children and newborn infants. In most cases, pesticides used in homes and by professionals to treat for pests are safe. However, it’s wise to stay away from them as much as you can while you are pregnant. Ask someone else to perform the treatment for you, such as a qualified pest control specialist.
Despite the fact that the majority of cleaning supplies are secure, some household chemicals have been linked to wheezing in young children. Wear gloves and keep your distance from products like oven and tile cleaners if you want to be safe.
Most paint fumes are safe while you’re pregnant, but using solvent-based paints or removing old paint because these may contain traces of lead poses a slight risk. Instead of using a spray can of paint that contains solvents, opt for a water-based paint and a paintbrush or roller. If you plan to paint, make sure the space is properly ventilated or hire someone to do it for you.
In Australia, all insect repellents have undergone testing and are safe to use. However, a small amount of the chemicals DEET or picaridin will enter the skin, and it%E2%80%99s best to take care during the first 3 months of pregnancy Choose a repellent with a low to moderate concentration of the chemical %E2%80%94 between 5% and 20% %E2%80%94 and consider other ways to avoid mosquitos, such as fly screens and long sleeves
High mercury exposure can harm your health and increase the risk of brain damage, hearing and vision issues in a developing baby, as well as other health issues. Some fish, including shark (flake), broadbill, marlin, and swordfish, contain mercury. Pregnant women should limit their consumption of these fish species to no more than once every two weeks to be on the safe side. Speak to your dentist about alternatives that don’t contain mercury if you require a dental filling.
In order to safeguard outdoor wood against termites, dry rot, fungi, and mold, it is frequently treated with copper, chromium, or arsenic. This medication has been connected to diabetes, cancer, miscarriage, and stillbirth. It imparts a greenish tint to the wood that eventually wears off. Avoiding eating on arsenic-treated wood and washing your hands (and your child’s hands) after playing on it will protect you and your infant.
An ingredient in nail polish, some cosmetics, and hair straightening products is formaldehyde. Although there is very little formaldehyde in nail polish and it is quickly broken down by the body, adverse effects on the unborn child cannot be ruled out. Therefore, it is best to use nail polishes without formaldehyde.
The health of children and unborn children may be impacted by high lead levels in the body. Extremely high levels may result in stillbirth, miscarriage, low birth weight babies, or premature babies. It’s crucial to limit your exposure to lead as much as you can.
Avoid removing old paint while you’re pregnant because many Australian homes before 1970 used lead-based paint. A 5-cent piece-sized piece of paint can raise levels in your blood for several weeks, and some of it will stay in your body for the rest of your life. Additionally, it’s crucial to keep young children away from outdated paint.
The use of chemicals to make household furniture less flammable has been linked to children’s learning disabilities. Wash your hands frequently, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, and mop the floor frequently to prevent exposure. Also, avoid coming into contact any foam inside the furniture.
When you’re pregnant, having your clothes dry cleaned is safe. If you work in a dry cleaners, for example, or are frequently around chemicals, you may have a slightly higher risk of miscarriage. Discuss safe working practices with your employer if you are expecting a child.
Asbestos was used in many building materials in Australia and is linked to several lung diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. While there is no evidence that asbestos can affect your pregnancy or result in a congenital disorder, you should avoid contact with asbestos — or suspected sources of asbestos — at any time.
Most plastics contain the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), which can be transferred from a mother to her unborn child during pregnancy. It has been hypothesized that it can lead to cognitive and behavioral issues in some kids. Food Standards Australia New Zealand, however, asserts that BPA used in food packaging poses no health risks to individuals of any age, including infants and those who are not yet born.
Naphthalene, a substance found in mothballs, has been linked to headaches, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting in humans. Because they are more likely to put mothballs in their mouths, small children may also experience serious health issues as a result. Mothballs shouldn’t be used around young children under 3 and should be stored safely.
A service provided by the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS), including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is MotherToBaby. Call MotherToBaby toll-FREE at 866-626-6847 if you have questions about exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding, or text questions to (855) 999-3525 to use MotherToBaby’s new text information service. You can also visit MotherToBaby. Visit MotherToBaby.org to browse a collection of fact sheets on a variety of diseases, viruses, drugs, vaccines, alcohol, and other exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding. You can also connect with all of our resources by downloading the brand-new, free MotherToBaby app, which is accessible on the Android and iOS app stores. Additionally, be sure to download and subscribe to The MotherToBaby Podcast, which is accessible on iTunes, Google Play Music, Spotify, and other podcatchers.
I brought up the prospect of substance ingestion through the skin (topical or dermal exposure). Your skin is a surprisingly effective barrier against the absorption of cleaning products and keeps many substances from entering your blood. There may be a little more absorption if the skin has been soaking for some time or if there is a scrape or open wound. These substances are unlikely to reach the developing baby or breastmilk in any appreciable amount, similar to inhalation. However, working with some cleaning products can cause skin irritation, so it’s a good idea to wear gloves, especially if the task will take a long time. It’s important for you to maintain your comfort.
When determining whether a substance is harmful to humans, the adage “the dose makes the poison” is crucial and very old. In essence, this means that the risk of exposure to anything, including cleaning products, is based on how much of it enters your blood. Chemicals and substances can enter the bloodstream directly through injection, ingestion, inhalation (breathing in), or possibly even skin absorption. In general, inhalation won’t allow for much absorption of these kinds of compounds into your blood, so the actual exposure to your developing baby is likely to be quite low unless you are drinking your household cleaner. When they do enter your bloodstream through inhalation, they frequently do not have a significant impact on the developing baby or your breastmilk.
If you are reading this, you probably want to reduce the likelihood that the baby will experience any issues while you are breastfeeding or pregnant. If you’re pregnant or nursing, you might want to know which cleaning products are safe for you to use or be around. My callers have frequently complained to me about how difficult it is to locate trustworthy information. And that is true, even for the experts. There are some difficulties we must all face.
Now, even with the addition of artificial fragrances like “lemon fresh,” “summer rain,” and “spring flowers,” these products can still have some pretty unpleasant odors. (And there can be such a thing as too much – occasionally when I enter a bathroom where air freshener has been sprayed, I think to myself, “I would rather just smell the poop!”) But getting back to our topic… If a product has an unpleasant smell, you might assume that the baby will find it to be very unpleasant as well. However, your sense of smell does not accurately reflect how much of a chemical the infant is actually exposed to. In actuality, many women experience increased sensitivity to smells while pregnant. This encourages you to move to a more comfortable setting and limit exposure. But when you can’t seem to escape the smell, it can also make you feel uneasy. If you start to feel lightheaded, dizzy, confused, or have breathing problems while around the cleaning product, these symptoms could indicate you had a higher level of exposure—your nose doesn’t always know! Exposure to many of the compounds in common cleaning products is not proven to pose any risks to pregnancy or breastfeeding even in the presence of these symptoms.
How can I limit my exposure to chemicals at home?
Try to ventilate the space when using cleaning products by opening the windows to let in fresh air both during and after cleaning. Make sure the space is well-ventilated and carefully read the instructions if you’re cleaning your oven. Strong chemical fumes are produced by many oven cleaners.
Some products claim to be “natural” or be free of “harmful” chemicals. This does not always mean they are completely safe. If using cleaning products causes you a lot of anxiety, consider switching to all-natural alternatives. A great natural cleaner is white distilled vinegar, which you can flavor with lemon or herbs. Additionally, baking soda is an excellent cleaner, especially for ovens.
It is unlikely that modern paint or exposure to paint fumes will harm your unborn child. This is due to the extremely low risk posed by the majority of modern household paints. However, older paintwork and solvent-based paints may pose a slightly higher risk. These could contain traces of lead. While pregnant, you should stay away from solvent-based paints and paint removal.
However, if you decide to paint while you are expecting, follow these guidelines to minimize any possible risks:
Chemicals can also be found in hair dye. Some women worry about dying their hair during pregnancy. However, there are very few chemicals in hair dye. Permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes do not contain highly toxic colors.
There are some things you can do to further lower any risk if you’re concerned. For instance, many women wait until after the first trimester, or 12 weeks of pregnancy, when there is a lower risk that the chemicals will harm the unborn child. Additionally, it is always advisable to conduct a strand test with the hair dye you intend to use first. If you’re having your hair dyed at a salon, you can also request that your hairdresser perform a patch test. Find out more about dying your hair during pregnancy.
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