Cleaning is straightforward, right? Read the label, use as directed and store in a cool, dry place. Simple. But if you’re pregnant, you may want to consider the chemicals that are found in cleaning products and other household items, so you can keep you and your baby safe. Exposure to some chemicals can come with risks. Here is a list of what to avoid during pregnancy and cleaning with chemicals while pregnant.
Cosmetics and cleaning chemicals to avoid during pregnancy
There are many household and cosmetic products with chemicals to avoid during pregnancy, such as:
- Phthalates: these are found in a number of household cleaning products such as detergents, cleaning products, packaging and cosmetics. Opt for fragrance-free products where possible. When washing clothes during pregnancy, check the label for phthalates. It’s best to use kind-on-skin and baby-safe laundry products to clean your and your baby’s clothes, such as Comfort Pure fabric conditioner or Sunlight washing powder.
- Triclosan: this is a harsh chemical found in anti-bacterial soaps that can disrupt hormones, so opt for a gentler alternative to anti-bacterial soaps.
- Glycol ethers: these can be found in degreasers, perfumes, cosmetics and cleaning products.
- Parabens: these can be found in fragrances and cleaning products that can interfere with producing hormones.
- Plastic packaging: can contain chemicals to avoid during pregnancy, such as PVC and BPA.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): this is a foaming agent that can be found in shampoos, washing detergents and shower gels.
- Formaldehyde: this is a chemical that can be used in hair straightening treatments, nail polishes and cleaning sprays.
- Pesticides: opt for organic food and don’t use pesticides for gardening or getting rid of pests in the home.
It may seem as if there is a huge list of things to avoid when pregnant, but it’s unrealistic to try and avoid all of them. Taking a safety-first approach to cleaning products means that there is not a definitive list of safe cleaning products during pregnancy. But you can reduce your exposure to a few or substitute them with pregnancy safe cleaning products, such as baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice.
Above all, it’s important not to worry too much - you don’t want your stress to affect your child!