Making your home and environment baby-safe when the newborn comes is crucial for their proper and safe growth. Here are some things you can do to make sure everything around you is baby-friendly.
I’m sure some of these you are aware of, staying away from alcohol, cigarettes, and any drugs and unhealthy lifestyle, but there are several other things that maybe haven’t crossed your mind. Check them out here:
Changing your kitty’s litter
For years pregnant women have been told that they can catch a condition called toxoplasmosis from cats. However, new studies show that cats are not the only culprits when it comes to catching this very dangerous disease. It is possible to come in contact with the disease of toxoplasmosis just from eating meat which is undercooked. Pregnant women seem to be most at risk because it is possible to transfer this disease to their unborn fetus, thereby causing an in utero infection which could lead to a variety of birth defects as well as miscarriage. If you are pregnant, you will need to do much more than stay away from the cat litter box in order to avoid possibly being exposed to toxoplasmosis. It is very important that you make sure all meat is cooked well before eating it as well.
Painting the Nursery
While there’s no known risk from exposure to unleaded, water-based indoor (latex) paints, all paints contain chemicals that emit fumes. Since only a few of these chemicals have been studied for their safety in pregnancy, it’s best to let someone else do the job, or if you have to do it on your own, make sure to keep all windows and doors of the room opened, so new air can come in and out.
Cleaning products often contain a substance called glycol ether that is present in oven cleaners and window cleaners. It is dangerous to come in contact with glycol ether, as it can increase your chances of a miscarriage and put you at risk. Mildew removers contain a substance called phenol which can increase the chances of birth defects. In severe cases, it can also cause fetal death.
In order to say safe make a habit out of reading the label carefully and following the instructions. Also, see if it is safe to use the product during pregnancy.
Another area of concern which has been brought to the public’s attention recently is that air fresheners may contain chemicals which are toxic and could damage a developing fetus. Recent studies have tested about 15 different brands of air fresheners and at least 12 of them tested positive for chemicals which have been known to cause reproductive issues, hormonal problems and a variety of other undesirable conditions in unborn fetuses. One of the things that seemed so alarming about this study is that of the 12 brands that tested positive, some of them were labeled all-natural. For this reason, it is a very good idea to avoid the use of any sort of air fresheners in any room and educate yourself on natural, DIY alternatives.
Pesticides on Fruits and Vegetables
Everyone is told to make sure that they wash fruits and vegetables well before eating them. This is because fruits and vegetables can be covered in a variety of pesticides that were used during the growing process. Recent studies have shown that pesticides are even more dangerous in infants and fetuses as their bodies are just not capable of detoxifying themselves from these hazardous chemicals. Pregnant women should try to focus on buying fruits and vegetables that are marked organic or pesticide free. If that choice is not available, it is very important to make sure that you peel all fruits and vegetables before eating them as most of the build-up of chemicals will be on the skin.
Another thing to keep an eye on is the lead exposure in your home. Large amounts of it can affect you and your baby negatively, so to avoid being exposed, you can ask your local health department to check for the presence of lead in your drinking water. And notice if your home has lead paints. You shouldn’t touch areas where the paint has peeled off – be especially careful if your home was built before 1980. Homes like this may have paint that contains lead, which can raise your risk of miscarriage or developmental delays in your infant.
If you’d like more information on the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles, or to have help looking for your next home, please feel free to reach out! I’m happy to help, no obligation.