Painting while pregnant can be safe, as long as you take the right precautions, avoid certain types of paint, and don’t over-do it.
One of the most fun parts of being pregnant (aside from delivering your beautiful, healthy baby and nuzzling those sweet little cheeks for the first time) is planning the nursery. Do you go with the traditional gender-specific colors or something neutral? Should you stick to baby pastels or opt for something a little more off the beaten path? Paint a mural or just use pictures? These are all important considerations, as you’ll want your new baby’s room to be a haven for both your and your bundle of joy. One of the most important questions that you should be asking yourself, however, is this: is painting while pregnant really safe for your baby?
The answer to that question is both yes and no. Theoretically, painting while pregnant is fairly safe if you take the right precautions. On the other hand, it can be dangerous if you use the wrong type of paint or don’t follow safety guidelines. If possible, let someone else do the painting, just to stay on the safe side. If that isn’t a feasible option, follow these tips to keep yourself and your baby from harm. While studies have found no connection between painting while pregnant and birth defects or other issues, it is always best to err on the side of caution.
Painting While Pregnant Do’s and Don’t
- Don’t remove the paint from rooms in older houses, as much of the paint used before the 1970s contained lead. In fact, don’t remove old paint yourself at all. Let someone else do it. Scraping the paint sends tiny flecks into the air, which you can inhale.
- Don’t use oil-based paints, and limit your exposure to latex-based paints containing ethylene glycol ethers or biocides.
- Do keep the windows and doors open, and run a fan to increase ventilation if necessary.
- Do take many breaks throughout the project. Not only does this get you out of the room and into fresh air, but it also helps prevent you from over-exerting yourself.
- Don’t eat or drink in the room that you are painting. While it’s probably safe to keep a bottle of water with the cap on nearby, eat your lunch in another room and don’t keep open cups or containers near the paint.
- Don’t climb ladders or stand on chairs to reach the ceiling. If you have to, hire someone else to do those parts.
- Do talk to your doctor before starting the project to find out if there are any extra precautions you should take.
As long as you take precautions and use common sense, painting while pregnant can be relatively safe. Just don’t over-do it and ask for help whenever you can. It is better for your baby, and a lot more fun, to stand on the sidelines dictating orders to others while they paint.