Women's  Healthcare Topics is a website about pregnancy and your newborn baby.

Household Cleaning During Pregnancy

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

Safety Precautions when Cleaning in Pregnancy

Learn about the dangers with house cleaning products in pregnancy.

Keeping your house neat and tidy can be a struggle in the first trimester, as morning sickness and fatigue can make it difficult for you to perform ordinary tasks and activities. When you start to feel better in the second trimester, you'll have the energy to do some spring cleaning (if you're so inclined).

When cleaning your dirty house or apartment, you will want to keep certain precautions in mind. Many household cleaning products aren't safe for pregnant women. (Remember that any chemical or toxin that you inhale or touch has the possibility of entering your bloodstream and crossing the placenta to your developing baby.)

All household cleaners use a combination of chemicals or toxins that fight dirt and grease. Some cleaners contain more toxic chemicals than others. To protect yourself and your little bundle of joy, you should read all product labels very carefully. Don't use any cleaning products that are labeled "toxic."

Anytime that you're cleaning during pregnancy, you should wear rubber gloves, long sleeves, pants, and socks. This will minimize the risk of any harmful ingredients in the cleaning products touching your skin. While your skin is a protective barrier against many substances, chemicals that touch your skin can still be absorbed into your bloodstream in trace amounts. You will want to avoid any possibility of these toxic chemicals reaching your baby.

You should also ensure that the area or space where you're cleaning has good ventilation. Avoid cleaning in closed, tight spaces. You don't want to accidentally inhale any harmful fumes. (Fumes can be dangerous to your pregnancy, and they may also make you nauseous.) When you're cleaning during pregnancy, you should keep all windows and doors open.

If it's possible, try to get your significant other to clean the oven. Commercial oven cleaners can create toxic fumes, which can harm your developing baby's health. In addition, the tight space of the oven doesn't have good ventilation. If you can't convince your husband or partner to scrub the oven clean, you should wait until after your baby is born to attempt the task.

Natural Products Can Be Effective, Too

During pregnancy, it's a good idea to use natural products and simple alternatives to clean. Did you know that you can use baking soda to safely clean greasy bathtubs, ovens pots and pans, and other greasy areas? For your bathroom or kitchen countertops, try mixing together water and distilled vinegar. This is a natural homemade cleaner that's pretty effective. You can also keep things clean with lemon juice. (Lemon juice is acidic, which makes it useful for household cleaning.)

Use common sense when you're cleaning anything. If you can afford it, consider hiring a professional housecleaner to keep your home clean and tidy.

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