Chemicals to Avoid During Pregnancy

Pollutants, pesticides and pregnancy hazards to watch out for

With environmental pollution, work hazards and household toxins all around, it may seem like there's no safe space when you're pregnant. Unfortunately, many things that you ignored or passed off as harmless before you conceived are now real threats to your safety and the health of your growing baby. This is the time to assess your living and working environments, making adjustments if needed. Find out what elements are safe for you and your baby and what kind of products and substances to avoid at all costs until you deliver. Once you know which pollutants to avoid in pregnancy and how to avoid them, you'll have one less thing to worry about in the months ahead.

Toxic Pollution Affects Pregnancy

Many people worry about how air pollution affects their daily lives, and although breathing dirty air is disconcerting, take comfort in the fact that it probably won't have any harmful effect on your unborn baby. On the other hand, it makes good sense to do what you can to breathe clean and fresh air as much as possible, so take some preventative measures within and outside your home.

Stay away from smoke, excessive car exhaust and smoggy environments. Have your car air filter and exhaust checked to make sure no fumes are leaking in, and heed the weather warnings by staying inside an air-conditioned building on days with particularly bad air quality. If you want to boost the general air quality in your living space, add some house plants, which can absorb toxic fumes and emit more oxygen for a healthier home and a healthier pregnancy.

Hazardous Chemicals to Avoid during Pregnancy

Cleaning products, pesticides and paint are probably the most worrisome household teratogens during pregnancy. In many cases, these won't do any harm when you use them sparingly and cautiously, but it's a good idea to choose your products wisely to minimize the risk.

One sign of a potentially hazardous chemical is a strong, pungent odor, so it's a good idea to trust your nose when deciding which product to use. Although these chemicals are probably alright to use in a well-ventilated area, it's best to avoid them while you're carrying your baby. Cleaning products and pregnancy can be a dangerous combination, so check labels for warnings about toxicity (and avoid anything with a long list of warnings), never mix ammonia and chlorine products and always wear rubber gloves when you're cleaning.

The outside of your home will need maintenance as well, and the products you typically use in your yard can be more harmful than those used inside. The relationship between pesticides and pregnancy is not fully understood, but one thing is for sure: some chemicals found in some insecticides and weed killers have been linked to birth defects. The hazard is in the fumes, so if neighbors insist on spraying, stay out of the area as much as possible for two to three days, which should give the fumes enough time to dissipate. When it comes to yard maintenance, go green and pull out weeds by hand and eradicate bugs with gentle and natural techniques wherever possible.