Waiting for the arrival of your new baby is exciting. As a parent, you will do everything possible to ensure that your baby has a comfortable and nice-looking place in the house. Decorating the baby’s nursery is one of the ways pregnant mothers prepare for their newborn. While painting the nursery may make you feel more connected to the baby, you may be wondering if it is a good idea.
Researchers have kept away from studying the effects of paint on pregnant mothers due to ethical issues; the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers paint fumes a serious air pollutant for newborns and their mothers EPA. (2010). In addition, we could glean some insights from studies done on rats. This article will discuss the potential dangers of painting during pregnancy and discuss ways to protect yourself and your baby.
Is it safe to paint during pregnancy?
Paint comprises a pigment and solvent. Different types of paints use different kinds of solvents, and each solvent behaves differently. Water-based paints, commonly used for interior painting, contain water as the main solvent. Oil-based paints, often used for exterior painting, contain organic solvents. While water-based paints are relatively safe, some of the pigments used to make the color could contain toxic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that make them behave like oil-based paints when inhaled. Lead paints were common before 1980 but were banned due to their harmful effects on people’s health.
Nevertheless, some modern paints also produce negative effects that could harm the mother and the baby. The greatest danger is swallowing or inhaling fumes, but paint can also leave you with skin irritation. Oil-based paints and pigments emit VOCs such as toluene, benzene, acetone, formaldehyde, and xylene into the air. When you breathe these gases, you are likely to experience breathing problems, dizziness, and nausea. These fumes could also affect the development of your child, especially during the early months of pregnancy.
Research has also shown that exposure to fumes six months before conception affects the weight of a baby. Therefore, it is important for mothers who plan to get pregnant or are already pregnant to take precautions when handling paint. These steps will help keep you and your baby safe:
1. Wear protective clothing when painting
Paint irritates your eyes, nose, throat, and skin. You need to ensure that you are fully covered to minimize exposure to the irritants. Wear a mask to protect yourself, especially when doing exterior house painting or using sprays. Gloves and long sleeves will protect your hands, while long pants will protect your feet. In addition, avoid bringing your food and drinks to the room to avoid the accidental swallowing of toxic compounds. If you swallow paint, drink milk immediately and check out for symptoms such as nausea and dizziness. If paint comes into contact with your skin or eyes, wash it off immediately. Since oil-based paint is great for outdoor painting jobs, you can always have experienced painters do the paint job for you as you focus on lighter indoor painting with less toxic paints.
2. Only handle a small paint job at a time
Standing for prolonged periods is not healthy for pregnant women and could cause miscarriages, injuries, or pre-term births. CDC. (2019). This means it is not practical for expectant mothers to handle commercial painting jobs. If you must do house painting, handle only small DIY jobs that take less than a day,` then hire professional house painters to handle big paint jobs. While at it, ensure you take frequent breaks to avoid standing for too long. However, frequent breaks could affect the quality of your work, so it helps to get a helping hand from local painting contractors.
3. Take frequent breaks from the paint fumes
Toxicity levels of paint increase with prolonged exposure. Take frequent breaks from the job site to catch some fresh air and reduce exposure to toxic compounds. In addition, ensure the room is properly ventilated. If there is no window, bring in a box fan to expel the paint fumes. After painting, leave the windows for a couple of days to ensure circulation of fresh air. However, it will definitely take you more time to complete your painting project. A local painting crew will help you finish the job in a timely manner.
Choosing the right type of paint is essential for a safe pregnancy and healthy delivery. The reason is not all paints are the same. The only safe paints are those containing Zero-VOCs. VOCs are mainly found in oil-based pigments and paints, and could adversely affect your health as well as your unborn baby. Their vapors can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, and eye irritation in adults, as well as growth restrictions in fetuses. Water-based paints that contain biocides, ethylene glycol, or ether are also dangerous for pregnant mothers. Also, avoid spray paints as inhaling their mist could put your health at risk. Always read the paint label to see the level of VOCs or consult a local painting company for recommendations.
5. Get assistance with interior painting prep work
You need to prepare the surface before painting. Painting over dirty surfaces affects the quality and longevity of the paint as it will start peeling off and flaking. The prep work for interior painting jobs involves priming and fixing small drywall repairs, removing cobwebs, mold, and stains. Interior painting prep jobs include scraping off any peeling paint, stain removal, cleaning and drying dirty surfaces, and caulking. These tasks can be physically demanding for pregnant mothers. It is even riskier if the prep job includes removing lead paint from the walls, as it has been linked to lead poisoning and mental retardation. If you are painting the entire house, find certified painters in Indianapolis to help you with big exterior painting jobs. In addition, the painting crew can help you with interior painting prep jobs so you can handle lighter duties like applying the topcoat or cabinet painting. Get a locally owned and operated painting business in Central Indiana to help you and save time.
6. Wear loose clothing
Painting involves a lot of movement, bending, and stretching. With the shifting gravity, you need to move freely as you do the painting job. Wearing loose clothing that does not restrict your movement will go a long way to keep you safe from falling and other injuries on the job site. Hiring the services of a painting company in Indianapolis could give you peace of mind regardless of the project size.
7. Subcontract a painting company in Indianapolis for help
There is a limit to how much work you can do while pregnant. It is obvious that you won’t be able to handle some projects. For instance, you cannot handle any commercial painting due to the physical demands it puts on you. In addition, you will have to delegate painting of high surfaces that require climbing to a professional painting company. Search for Indianapolis painters online.
In order to obtain great service, follow the following steps:
- Write down the project details. Do you want a team that can handle house painting or commercial painting? Do they know the right paint types to use to limit exposure to harsh chemicals? Do they know the exterior paints that will outlast the weather?
- Read reviews to see the quality of their work. Clients will always feel obliged to recommend painting contractors who have done an awesome job. If looking for quality Indianapolis painters, get recommendations online.
- Compare quotes from different painting businesses serving Indianapolis. You will definitely find two or three top-notch Indianapolis painters that can handle your project. Request them for a free quote and then make a price comparison.
- Receive services. Once you are satisfied with the cost, quality of work, and timelines, getting the work started.
Looking for a talented painting crew in Indianapolis? Call us today
Painting is about creativity, passion, and customer satisfaction. At Painter Pro, we do not just paint your home; we decorate it and give it a personality. Our small family-owned and operated home painting business seeks to make your home a relaxing place, somewhere you always want to be. Not only do we use quality paints, but we also give your home and business the finish that will last for years. Whether you want help painting exterior walls, cabinets or giving your already painted business in Indianapolis a fresh paint coat, we are the right guys for the job. Our excellent work has won the approval of BBB and Home Advisor, where clients have left praises for our top-notch services. Visit our website for a free estimate or call (765) 315-2273 to schedule your next residential painting, commercial painting, or cabinet painting project in Indianapolis and surrounding areas.
Sam Reuter founded Painter Pro in November 2015. Coming from a well-rounded construction and home improvement background, Sam has always been fascinated by the trades. He first started knocking on doors with his cousin for their lawn care business, then added painting to his repertoire. Soon, painting became the primary source of business for a couple of summers.
Sam is dedicated to helping homeowners and businesses achieve beautiful results with professional painting services. With Painter Pro, he can share his wealth of experience and knowledge with others and make their homes look fantastic too!