Painting Baby’s Nursery When Pregnant: safety precautions you should take
Research shows that exposure to paint during pregnancy can cause a wide range of complications for the mother and the developing fetus. You may experience headaches, nausea, and loss of appetite by inhaling the fumes or dust while painting your baby’s nursery.
A pregnant woman may also experience allergic reactions, stomach irritation, eyes’ itchiness, vomiting, and other digestive problems. Most of these reactions are caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the paint. Today, we have organic paints available on the market that do not contain VOCs.
There are quite a few precautions you can take when painting baby’s nursery.
Choose Non-VOC Paints
It is crucial to choose safe paint for your baby’s nursery. While shopping for the paint, consider water-based products because they do not contain VOCs. There are now paints on the market that contain zero VOCs, such as the Harmony brand of paint by Sherwin Williams.
Although you may find a wide range of paint options at the local store, choose a product that does not require a primer to mitigate the effects of chemicals. You could also look into choosing a paint that comes with antimicrobial properties. This type of paint works to keep microbes, mold, and mildew at bay. Do your research and look for safer options before purchasing the paint.
Cover Your Skin
Experts recommend wearing protective gear while painting your baby’s nursery. For instance, you must wear long pants, long sleeves, and protective gloves to avoid the paint contacting your skin. If your skin gets the paint, make sure you wash that area with soap and water.
Cover Your Face
Wear a mask to cover your face. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a pregnant woman should use an FDA-approved mask or respirator to protect her body against paint fumes.
Although water-based paints are safe, some studies show that they can still produce fumes that can cause respiratory conditions like asthma and even lung cancer. Similarly, fumes can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
Paint in a Ventilated Area
Open doors and windows in the room to eliminate toxic fumes. Make sure you put a box fan in your room’s window to direct fumes outdoors. Likewise, keep the fan “ON” during the paint job and for about 24-48 hours afterward. If you don’t have a window in the room, you can use a fan or exhaust airway to eliminate fumes.
Don’t Eat While Painting
The U.S Environmental Agency strictly prohibits eating and drinking while painting. The reason is that if you accidentally ingest paint, it will cause significant harm to your body.
If you want to avoid food contamination, make sure you don’t eat in the room where you do the painting. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating food, and make sure you consume food or drink water in another room.
Maintain Your Balance
Research shows that pregnant women are highly prone to balance loss and falls. It is crucial to avoid climbing the ladder to paint the higher areas. You can seek help from your partner or a friend to avoid the risk of falls. Once you finish painting the nursery, wash your hands with soap and water. You must also take a shower to get rid of chemicals on your skin.
Although painting the baby’s nursery is an exciting task for an expectant mother, it can risk her health and harm the developing fetus. Oil-based and acrylic paints contain higher levels of VOCs and other toxic chemicals, meaning you should avoid them at all costs.
On the other hand, you can use water-based paints with zero VOCs for your baby’s nursery. Don’t stand for a prolonged period. Take frequent breaks, wear a mask and gloves, and cover your body to protect your skin against stains and fumes.