If you are newly pregnant it is natural to have a plethora of questions regarding home safety. We try to help you clear up any doubts about potential hazards at home.
1) Can I use cleaning products when I am pregnant?
Generally cleaning products are safe to use in pregnancy. Ensure there is good ventilation and do use gloves. Do also try to use products made from natural sources like vinegar and bicarbonate soda instead.
2) Can I paint the house?
It is safest to let someone else do the painting as you will be exposed to many chemicals. If you must paint your home, it is adviced that you avoid doing so in your first trimester. When painting, remember to protect your skin by wearing protective clothing that includes long pants, long-sleeved shirts and gloves. Also make sure that the room and house are well ventilated; open the windows and turn on fans. Do also limit the time you spend painting; take breaks and move into the fresh air frequently.
3) Is it safe to use air freshners and aerosols?
It is best not to use air freshners when pregnant. Aerosols contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and artificial fragrances, which may not be good for you or your baby. Research has indicated that children whose mother used air freshners during pregnancy are more likely to suffer from wheezing. That being said, if you must use them, please leave the window open and wear gloves when ever spraying.
4) Are aromatheraphy oils safe?
This is a contentious subject. Some essential oils are safe and others such as Nutmeg, Rosemary, Basil and Jasmine are not. It is advisable to visit an aromatheraphy specialist/shop to buy pregnancy safe oil instead. Do also try to limit your use during the vital first 3-month period.
5) Can I empty the cat litter?
Changing the cat litter or cleaning up dog poop is really a no-no during pregnancy. It can expose you to dangerous parasites and germs. The biggest risk to your fetus is toxoplasmosis, an infection transmitted by a parasite that lives in cat faeces. If you must clean up after pets, be sure to wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
6) Is it safe to use a computer?
Research has yet to prove that using a computer while pregnant is harmful. However, do ensure that you take regular breaks and adjust your chair and monitor so that your legs are flat and your back is well supported. Do also get up frequently to move around to promote good circulation and take breaks to prevent eyestrain.
Also read: Medications to avoid during pregnancy: Why these pills are not so good