When expecting a baby, mothers could tend to want to nest. In other words, they will want to prepare a space to welcome the new arrival. There will be tidying, reconfiguring, throwing stuff out and buying new things. In some instances, mothers would even want to renovate their homes so as to babyproof their space. While this desire is understandable, is it safe to do renovation work while you are pregnant? And if so, what should you look out for?
Dust in itself isn’t a big concern for pregnant women, but mould, mildew, and other bacteria may cause allergic reactions. These are especially dangerous for your unborn child and can also reduce your immunity while pregnant.
Solvent-based paints can also be toxic. As such, one should always wear protective gear when using them, so you don’t inhale them. The fumes can really make you feel sick. If you decide to work with these paints, make sure you are absolutely isolated from the rest of the family until you wash up thoroughly.
In addition, the use of power tools and chainsaws can be dangerous for pregnant women. Chainsaws can create a lot of dust and are also very loud. It would be advisable to wear earplugs when someone nearby is working with them. Power tools (especially those that are battery-operated) can be a problem since they produce a lot of heat. If you get too close to them, you run the risk of getting burned. In view of this, it is probably best to stay away from power tools if you are pregnant.
If you can’t avoid working with these above hazards, try to minimise your exposure to them. Wear a protective mask, use a wet cloth to clean up the dust, and so on.
Always consult your doctor if you are planning to renovate your home while pregnant. Your doctor will know whether you should stop working because of your pregnancy or not. He or she may tell you that you need to stop when you feel sick, especially if you have morning sickness or if you have already had some complications in the past. He or she may also recommend to you some other things to do so you stay safe while undergoing renovating works.
If you feel exhausted very quickly, try not to overdo it. If your body is telling you that enough is enough – listen to it. Take breaks as often as possible, and do not rush into something if it makes you feel worse.
As a rule of thumb, you should always avoid excessive work during pregnancy. This is especially so in the final trimester. That is why it may not be the best idea to renovate your home during pregnancy. However, if you just really need to do it, make sure you follow some safety precautions.
Try to avoid the following activities:
- Working with toxic paints or solvents;
- Working with power tools or chainsaws;
- Working in dusty places like basements;
- Working on top of ladders and scaffolds;
- Working in hot places where the temperature is above 80 F (26 C);
- Lying on the floor and lifting heavy objects;
- Bending over for long periods of time;
- Walking up and down stairs repeatedly (more than three times per day);
- Exerting yourself physically;
- Exposing yourself to extreme cold or heat.
Most importantly, always consult medical professionals.