Cleaning while pregnant requires some extra care. Find out how to keep you and your developing baby safe with our six must-know essentials.
Everything in this slideshow
Learn to Read Labels
Sounds obvious, but always check product warning labels, even if it's stuff you've used all your life. Some (like paint thinners or degreasers) will advise pregnant women not to use because the chemicals are harmful to your developing baby and may raise your risk of miscarriage.
Get Some Air!
Leaving your windows open helps ventilate your whole home. And if you're cleaning a windowless bathroom, for example, keeping the door ajar helps dissipate fumes (even if they're not toxic, they might not play so well with your heightened sense of smell).
Don Rubber Gloves
They're a little bulky, but they prevent chemicals from being absorbed into your skin. And it sorta goes without saying, but always give your hands a thorough post-cleaning scrub with hot water and lots of soap. Lather up and rub for at least 15 to 20 seconds.
Hunt Down the Dust Bunnies
If you've never exactly been Suzy Homemaker, the one thing you should spend more time doing is dusting and vacuuming. Both are harmless (noxious chemical-wise) and will help zap those allergy-triggering compounds that can be especially irritating now (because your nose is extra sensitive during pregnancy).
No More Litter Duty
Delegate the cat litter cleaning. Your feline friend may be hosting dangerous bacteria that can harm your baby (since his super-sensitive immune system isn't strong enough to fend off infection). Kitty himself isn't dangerous, but best to let someone else keep the box clean.
Let Someone Else Paint the Nursery
If you're tempted to paint the nursery a sunny yellow shade, you'll be happier to leave it to painters (or Dad). Although it's not linked to any known health risks, paint may contain traces of lead and solvents, both of which are bad for Baby. Play it safe and avoid.
Copyright © 2007 Meredith Corporation.
Updated May 2010