Sorry, moms-to-be, being pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t use cleaning products.  (i.e. You can’t use pregnancy as an excuse to hire a maid—unless you just want to)  In years past, cleaning products were much harsher and more dangerous than they are now, but that doesn’t mean that everything is safe or recommended for use while pregnant. Luckily there are lots of options out there to choose from. Here are some helpful tips for knowing what cleaning products are safe to use during pregnancy.

  • Always work in well-ventilated areas, to avoid fume build-up. You might consider a surgical mask, just in case.
  • Straight ammonia or bleach isn’t recommended, and NEVER combine the two, as these two chemicals can become a highly-toxic gas in the right proportions.
  • When possible, opt for all-organic or natural products. These usually avoid harsh chemicals, opting instead for ingredients such as baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, citrus oils, etc.
  • Use gloves, since many pregnant women’s skin is more sensitive than normal.
  • Get your husband or another friend or family member to help! When you’re farther along bending over to scrub a tub or toilet is simply something you should try not to do—what if you can’t get back up! Don’t be a martyr.
  • Check the labels. If the warnings and ingredients list take up more space than the directions, choose another product.
  • Avoid industrial-strength cleaning products and those which are listed as solvents, as these have higher concentrations of harsh chemicals. Although they are highly unlikely to cause any problems other than perhaps triggering nausea (what doesn’t?), it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you are someone who works with these chemicals every day, ask your doctor to recommend a re-assignment of duties if it’s possible. If not, make sure you’re provided with proper protective gear (mask, gloves, goggles) and are given regular fresh-air breaks.

– JB