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Q&A: Is it safe to paint while pregnant

I’ve heard that pregnant women shouldn't paint. Is this true? Is there anything else I need to know while I’m working on the nursery?

Re: I’ve heard that pregnant women shouldn't paint. Is this true? Is there anything else I need to know while I’m working on the nursery?

The Bump Expert

The exact dangers of painting aren’t known, but it’s safest to let someone else handle this job. Every type of paint has chemicals, and though it’s tough to measure how much is actually absorbed while painting (and the resulting effects), some exposure is inevitable. There is some evidence linking high solvent exposure with birth defects and miscarriage. Any exposure while painting will be much less significant, but again, it’s best to let your partner take care of it. If you’ve already had exposure, though, don’t worry too much. Chances are, baby will be fine. If for some reason you absolutely must paint, limit the time you spend around chemicals, keep the windows open, wear long pants and sleeves, gloves, and a screen or mask, don’t eat or drink while working, and use water-based paints (which have less solvents than oil-based paints).

Take special caution if your house was built or decorated before lead paint was banned in 1978. If you have even the slightest suspicion that lead paint was used, let a professional do the scraping and removing, and leave the house while they work. Inhaling the dust can be harmful to both you and baby.   

Also, start working on the nursery as soon as possible. Climbing ladders, carrying linens and setting up furniture will be much easier and safer right now, when your balance, flexibility and energy levels are still (relatively) high.

watch: paint safety during pregnancy

Paula Kashtan

re: Q: Safe to paint nursery?

Use paints that contain low or zero volatile organic compounds (VOC's). There are plenty of well-known brands out there. Lowe's sells Olympic Premium which contains zero VOC's. Hint: unless the can says specifically that it has no VOC's, then stay away :)

heatouel85 |

re: Q: Safe to paint nursery?

I did most of it in ONE WEEKEND! I started cleaning and emptying the room decided to be the nursery, then with the money we've saved up we went shopping. The very first thing I bought was the crib bedding, I went from there to start buying the rest of the decoration matching the theme and furniture to match my crib...and so, choose a color for the walls. I also bought hangers and baskets for the closet and organizer shelves...It was easier than I thought

mrsgal |

re: Q: Safe to paint nursery?

I read in a book about pregnancy do's and dont's that women who come in contact with paint occupationally are fine but women who regularly inhale paint to get high have babies with problems similar to babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome. I think it's like everything else, it depends on what you read and who you talk to.

ash138 |

Q&A: Is it safe to paint while pregnant

I helped my husband paint today and we had the fan on and the windows open. We used Ralph Lauren paint, one coat. I hope everything's ok!! :(

paislee30 |

Q&A: Is it safe to paint while pregnant

I am almost 28 weeks pregnant & have painted alot of things throughout my pregnancy...helping my mom paint, painting my sons room, & just different little things...I havent had any noticable problems..

ChantelEden |

Q&A: Is it safe to paint while pregnant

My brother-in-lar told is to mix paint with about a tablespoon of vanilla extract so the paint won't smell as strong. It won't affect the color at all. Just pour, mix and paint. We did that when we painted one of rooms this weekend. However, you still need to be safe around paint and wear a mask. If you feel like you can't handle it, then move away from it.

jtatyvaldez |

Q&A: Is it safe to paint while pregnant

They now have paint that is safe to use.

sarabride2be |

Q&A: Is it safe to paint while pregnant

I have been a painter for 15 years the only thing i use or im around is water base this is my second pregnancy while being prego..my daughter is fine and all you really need to be worried about is not sanding without dust mask and absolutly no oil based products ..just be careful to the things you use ..by the way my dr. said it was ok no heavy lifting and open windows so you arent smothered in the fumes ..have fun i love it

barmstrong36 |

Q&A: Is it safe to paint while pregnant

I am 10 weeks and in the middle of building a house, we need to have the whole interior painted in 48hrs. hoping its safe any suggesstions?

petra91185 |

Q&A: Is it safe to paint while pregnant

I am 11w4d and just asked my dr this today. She said as long as it is well ventilated it is 100% safe.

CocoBrynne |

Q&A: Is it safe to paint while pregnant

My friend is a painter and said that if I must paint, to use only VOC-free paint (which can be found at Lowe's - FYI even though Home Depot's paint is VOC-free, the colorants are not so make sure all painting products are 100% VOC-free!). Pre-pregnancy, I painted my entire house to save $$$. Now with baby on the way and all the upcoming expenses, I'd rather DIY on things that I know I can do. So my plan for the nursery is to use VOC-free paint, start early in the morning (for longer ventilation and more rest breaks because I'm sure I'll need them), open all the windows & wear long pants/sleeves & a mask. If all goes as planned, the nursery will be painted in a day and we'll have a bit of extra cash to spend on furniture and decoration :)

Brook15 |

Q&A: Is it safe to paint while pregnant

Painting isn't harmful to your baby if you use some chemical free products.Whn I was two months pregnant I've renovated my house and I painted the walls but I used some eco-friendly products which smell very good.I've also bought some chemical free termite products for my bathroom and after everything was ready my house looked great.

AidaRoRo |

Q&A: Is it safe to paint while pregnant

I have just renovated my bathroom. Found a great place to buy some discount bathroom vanities and I want now to pain it as well, but I am not sure weather or not that will affect me. However, I know that there are some specific green paints, chemical free, that would not affect pregnancy at all.

ada360 |

Q&A: Is it safe to paint while pregnant

I am 17 weeks and painting/moving into our new home. Doctor said it was okay to paint but suggested I keep the room well ventilated to prevent feeling light-headed. I let my husband carry the crib inside to be assembled and any furniture that needs scooted I move with a bent knee and my thigh to prevent lifting/pushing..the real heavy beds and dressers I leave to the others to move! Listen to your body..rest if you need to!

Namaste14 |

Q&A: Is it safe to paint while pregnant

I knew from my doctor that it is safe to paint if using zero VOC interior paints so I decided to paint the nursery after I bought beautiful antique bed frames. Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application and no VOC paints are durable, cost-effective and less harmful to human and environmental health.

amyabel68 |

Q&A: Is it safe to paint while pregnant

Painting with zero VOC paint is not harmful for you or the fetus, my husband bought a special no VOC paint from a specialized store that did not have any smell and I used it to paint the bedroom. I found out from my niece after I bought door handles from Jako.biz that not all the paints that are advertised as "zero VOC paints" are trusty, she bought such a paint and felt sick for two days after she inhaled the vapors.

amyabel68 |