Home Improvements When You're Pregnant

If you're a home improvement maven, you may cringe at the thought of hiring contractors for simple projects. However, there are certain things that you shouldn't do if you find out that you're pregnant. Unfortunately, since buying a home and having a baby often happen around the same time in a young couple's lives, many women find themselves with child when they'd like to be swinging a hammer. Talk to your doctor to get a full list of what you can and cannot do, but here's a guide to get started with learning about DIY projects and pregnancy.


Paint fumes aren't good no matter what your age, but when a child is developing, they can be especially harmful. Some paints contain very harmful chemicals, and studies have shown that they can cause birth defects in newborns. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that you get out of painting completely, because it depends on the type of paint you use.

No matter what, you should avoid painting or being in the room that's being painted if there isn't proper ventilation. While someone who isn't pregnant may be fine just walking out to get some fresh air every so often, this isn't healthy for your baby. That said, if the area is well ventilated, you're typically safe to pain with latex or acrylic paints. These paints don't contain solvents and can be cleaned with soap and water. Usually there aren't many fumes.

Oil-based paints, on the other hand, can be damaging. These types of paints have been linked to miscarriage, learning problems, and a whole host of other medical conditions for both you and your baby. Once the paint dries, the risk declines, and after a day or two with ventilation, the painted room should be fume-free and safe. Stay away from the painting process, though. In addition, if the house was built in the 1970s or before, it is a good idea to test for lead paint. This type of paint should be removed, and you should not be part of the sanding or scraping process, even with a dust mask.


Installing new floors can really improve the look of a home—but is it safe to get involved with this process while you're pregnant? In your first two trimesters, and even into the third for many women, yes. Your doctor will likely tell you to remain active and get exercise unless there's a complication, and the mild bending and lifting you'll do to install new tile, carpeting, or hardwood floors can help you stay healthy. Of course, you don't want to left anything too heavy, and be prepared to tire more quickly than everyone else, but there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to help with some of the tasks.

One process that you want to stay away from, however, is carpet cleaning. If there will be a new baby in the house, you may want to get the carpets cleaned. The chemicals used in this process, however, have been linked to Kawasaki Disease. This is a very, very rare infection that attacks children, and while studies have not been 100 percent conclusive, there's no reason to take any unnecessary risks. Stay out of the area for at least 24 hours, and keep any children you already have out of that area as well.

Keep in mind that new hardwood and tile can be slippery, especially on stairs. Install no-slip treads and cover high-traffic areas with rugs that have been taped down. This will prevent falls, which could hurt your baby.


It is probably not a good idea for you to take part in the demolition process. While you might feel excited to swing a sledgehammer at a wall, with older homes especially, you'll never sure of what you'll find. Mold, mildew, pests, asbestos, and other problems could become apparent after the first swing, and you don't want to be in the area if any of those problems are uncovered.

This is also the point where people are most prone to injuries, and even minor injuries could become major problems if you're pregnant. For example, rusty old nails will be sticking out of boards that you carry to the dumpster, and a scratch from one of them could lead to infection. Normally, it would clear on it's own, but infection can lead to fever, and fevers are very dangerous to babies. The cuts and scraps you'll likely get in the demo process could be dangerous, so spend your time looking at samples doing other planning steps while your husband takes care of removing the old to make way for the new.

Lastly, when you're working on a DIY home improvement project, from the demo stages to the moment you're arranging baby books on newly-built shelves, use some common sense. Drink more water than normal, and take breaks as you start to feel tired. If you're over-exerted, so is your baby, so it isn't a sign of weakness to not want to push yourself too hard. Before you start any project, make sure you ask your doctor if it is healthy for your baby to participate.

Posted by: aundidta
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