The Dos And Don’ts Of Cleaning While You’re Pregnant

Photo by: Zepfanman (Flickr)
Photo by: Zepfanman (Flickr)

Avoid common household cleaning supplies while you are pregnant.

The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning While You’re Pregnant

There are so many things to take into consideration when you are pregnant, and while you are well aware of the foods and drink you should avoid during these special nine months, you might not be thinking about other dangers, such as the hidden risks when housekeeping. I learned early on in my cleaning business that pregnancy and certain cleaning tasks and supplies do not get along, and I had to consider those whenever a member of my cleaning staff became pregnant. I quickly learned what can and cannot be done during pregnancy, and I have a firm grasp on safe cleaning products, which I believe in using regardless of whether one is pregnant. I want to take a moment to share my knowledge with you, as there is nothing more important than you giving birth to a healthy and happy baby, and there is no sense in putting your child or you at risk by doing something you shouldn’t be doing while pregnant.

Don’t Try This at Home

Safe and unsafe cleaning products aside, there are numerous things you should absolutely avoid when cleaning your home during your pregnancy. These no-nos are dangerous for a variety of reasons, but the bottom line is no matter the cause of the risk, it’s not worth putting you or your unborn baby in harm’s way by performing the tasks; it’s time to assign these chores to somebody else. While you are pregnant, don’t:

  • clean out or change the cat litter, as cat fecal matter might contain the Toxoplasma gondii parasite known to cause toxoplasmosis;
  • clean up any mold growing in your home or on your foods, as the actual mold itself may be toxic to your and/or your unborn baby;
  • operate a heavy vacuum or attempt to move furniture and vacuum underneath it, as this can cause undue stress on you and your baby, particularly closer to birthing time;
  • perform cleaning chores that require excessive bending, squatting, lifting, and/or stretching.

Your doctor has no doubt coached you on what you should and should not do during each phase of your pregnancy. Of course it’s tempting to quickly wash your floor-to-ceiling windows before your mom comes to visit and help, but you’re not your usual self, and the repetitive bending and stretching might make you surprisingly dizzy and faint; not good for you or the baby, particularly if you fall down.

The bottom line is this: Assign the toxic, tough, and heavy-duty stuff to somebody else in your household and enjoy the break. Strenuous cleaning to ensure that your home is spotless is not worth the risk to you or your baby.

Cleaning Products You Should Avoid

Alongside the chores you should avoid, there are also cleaning products currently sold on the market that are dangerous to you and your unborn baby. During your pregnancy, you are going to find that you are more sensitive to things that normally would not bother you, and this might include the chemicals and fumes in the cleaning supplies that you regularly use. Even if you find that the products aren’t causing you undue discomfort, you should avoid them anyway, because inhaling the chemicals contained in these cleaners is harmful. While pregnant, do not clean with any product that is labeled:

  • Corrosive
  • Danger
  • Poison
  • Toxic

You’ll find this labeling on any product containing bleach, oven cleaners, drain openers, anything containing ammonia, and many other common household products, including laundry detergents and fabric softeners. You might decide to avoid these cleaning products even when you aren’t pregnant because they can be harmful to you and your household, as well as to the environment.

Safe Replacement Products

So, what can you use? Don’t fret; it’s not that hard to find replacement cleaners that are safe and eco-friendly. You can even make your own, which is oftentimes the best approach, because then you know exactly what is in your household cleaners. If you are looking for safe household cleaners to use during your pregnancy, try:

  • Dr. Bronner’s Organic Pure Liquid Castile Soaps
  • Earth Friendly Steel Cleaner and Polish
  • Earth Friendly Stone Countertop Cleaner
  • Ecover Ecological Automatic Dishwasher Tablets
  • Ecover Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • GrabGreen Degreaser Cleaner
  • Method Tub Plus Natural Bathroom Tile Cleaner
  • Seventh Generation Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner
  • Seventh Generation Dishwashing Liquid

If you prefer to make your own pregnancy (and environmentally) safe cleaners follow these simple recipes:

  • All Purpose Cleaner: Take equal parts white vinegar and filtered water and mix in an all-purpose spray bottle.
  • Tile Cleanser: Saturate the tiled area with white vinegar, sprinkle baking soda on the tile, and scrub with a sponge or cloth soaked in white vinegar.
  • Bleach Alternative: Use a hydrogen peroxide/water solution instead of bleach when doing your laundry, cleaning, and even washing your vegetables.

I recommend using these alternatives even when you aren’t pregnant, as they are safe and effective. If you do desire to go back to your traditional cleaning products after your baby is born, however, it is important to stick to a safer and healthier regimen while you are pregnant and in the first years of your baby’s delicate life. Yes, you want to have a clean home, but no amount of scrubbing with harsh chemicals is worth it if you harm your baby or yourself, so when you’re pregnant, keep it simple and keep it safe. Besides, the eco-friendly cleaners disinfect just as effectively!


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