Which Chemicals to Avoid and What Is Safe to Use and Do During Pregnancy

For pregnant women, pregnancy should be a pleasant experience. The best way to do this is to take care of yourself and focus on maintaining your health throughout pregnancy. There are many things you can do to change your lifestyle for the better.

This is why we decided to explore more about the harmful chemicals and then to give you a safe solution about two things that are always present in the upcoming season – the ever-annoying bugs and the overexposure to the Sun!

What to Avoid During Pregnancy

It’s known that some harmful chemicals during pregnancy can pose a threat to human health. Pregnant women are not only susceptible to substances that can affect their sense of taste and smell, but also the health of the baby in the womb.

Especially chemicals like mercury, paints, pesticides, and herbicides can be harmful and cause pregnancy complications, not only that; it can also lead to potential health problems with the baby in the womb and increase the risk of miscarriage.

That is why being aware of which chemicals are the most toxic is important. So, let’s raise awareness.

1. Mercury

mercury in cosmetics

Mercury can cause complications not only for pregnant women, but It is also believed that high levels of mercury can damage the nervous system of a developing child.

It was also indirectly related to other congenital disabilities and conditions. Some fish that contain high levels of mercury include swordfish;

It is best to follow FDA recommendations for low-mercury fish, such as tuna, salmon, and crustaceans.

2. Phthalates


It was discovered that certain substances in cosmetics and cosmetics, such as those in soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, and deodorants cause complications of pregnancy.

Among them are also phthalates, which are chemicals used to prolong the life of fragrances and chemically alter the balance of hormones that can mimic hormones that can contribute to infertility.

3. Lead

lead in cosmetics

Exposure to this strong neurotoxic metal can enduringly damage the nervous system disorders and brain. In pregnant women, it can slow the baby’s growth, both in the womb and after birth.

Pregnant mothers can take the lead by drink water from a lead-free tap, which is washed from old or inadequately maintained water pipes. They can inhale dust-stained lead from old paint and scatter

4. Toluene

toluene in cosmetics

Nail polish is known for its toxic chemicals and harmful ingredients. Toluene is one of the most poisonous substances found in this cosmetic product.

This chemical is part of the “toxic oxide” refers to the three most dangerous ingredients found in many types of nail polish products, Eminent level of toluene during pregnancy can delay mental growth and growth in an unborn baby

5. Formaldehyde

FORMALDEHYDE in cosmetics

Formaldehyde is widely used to suppress the olfactory receptors of the central nervous system, so as not to feel unpleasant odors.

It is used in most air fresheners. In addition to causing cancer, it interferes with the menstrual cycle, causing infertility, miscarriage, and congenital disabilities, so it should be avoided by all pregnant women.

How to Avoid These Chemicals

The question that arises is: If all these chemicals are to be avoided how can we do that?

Should we go from a product to a product and check the ingredients? Isn’t that too much?

1. Avoid Reconstituted Anything

Read the labels. If you notice that corn syrup and fruit juice dissolve, any ingredient will return the product to the shelf. “Reproduction” means that they have taken raw ingredients that have somehow altered them and used what remains to make this product.

During pregnancy, purchasing products using whole ingredients such as fresh fruit juices without additives is safer. Also, avoid drinking alcohol, unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses as they increase the risk of miscarriage.

2. Avoid Seafood

Seafood can cause some women to be alert, but, like meat, if cooked properly, they are safe.

Avoid raw or underwater fish, such as sushi. Also avoid local fish caught during pollution warnings. Fish cans are good. Large fish such as swordfish and sharks may contain mercury, so it is better to choose another type during pregnancy.

3. Clean With Natural Remedies

Cleaning with vinegar is one of the oldest cleaning methods. Vinegar is a powerful cleaning agent that can be used in a wide range at home. Vinegar is environmentally friendly and uses harsh chemicals.

4. Alternatives to Chemical Air Freshener

Even if your favorite odors reduce natural odors, the chemicals used in making them are not even close to real smells.

Instead of aromas from spray cans or aerosols, you can achieve equally enjoyable results with natural wax candles, essential oil dispensers, or even newly picked flowers.

5. Alternatives to Harsh Sanitizers

You may be surprised to find that a large part of the decontamination market uses a component called triclosan because of its antibacterial properties.

However, some experts in fertility and pregnancy begin to believe that this component can affect the metabolism of estrogen during pregnancy, which may potentially damage the development of the fetus.

It is recommended that you adhere to purely alcohol-based varieties, free from triclosan, and avoid the ingredient in everyday hand soaps and toothpaste.

Common Issues in the Forthcoming Season

1. How Sunburn Affects Your Pregnancy?

Tanning while pregnant can be a tricky issue as sunburn and pregnancy is not an ideal match. Getting sunburn while pregnant can be not only highly uncomfortable but can come associated with other health issues too.

If you are concerned about pregnancy safe sunscreen and how to enjoy the sun without any risks, you should keep on reading!

While sun exposure comes with many benefits and spending time outside is highly recommended during pregnancy, excessive sun exposure can cause a lot of trouble for pregnant women.

Portrait of beautiful pregnant woman at beach

Several studies have been conducted to look into the effects of sunburn while pregnant and how it affects the mother and the baby. Recent researches show that the UV radiation can damage the folic acid reserves in the body.

And we all know that folic acid is essential for the development of the baby. This especially in the first trimester of the pregnancy. A folic acid deficit can lead to malformations or insufficient development of the baby at birth. Some doctors recommend taking supplements with folic acid before getting pregnant and during the first trimester. So, it is essential to know that excessive sun exposure can harm folic acid in the body.

The excess of feminine hormones in the body during pregnancy can cause other problems during sun exposure. A pregnancy safe sunscreen is essential if you want to spend some time enjoying the sun. This way, you can avoid the pigmentation spots that can occur as a result of sun exposure.

Some mothers are worried that the sunscreen lotion will harm the body. Choosing a cream that is safe to use while pregnant is essential. However, you should also keep in mind that you can spend time at the beach or out in the sun with your body covered.

This is a suggestion for those future moms who want to avoid the chemical ingredients that can be found in sunscreen. At the same time, it is essential to mention that the organic sunscreen protection with 100% bio ingredients is often not enough.

So, if you are looking for pregnancy-safe sunscreen and you don’t want to take any risks, wearing a soft cotton cover-up at the beach might be the right solution for you.

The specialists all agree that it is ok for future mothers to spend time outdoors and in the sun, but in moderation. Sun exposure of 15-30 minutes each day is enough to get high reserves of vitamin D.

Also, the recommendation is always to spend time in the sun early in the morning or late in the afternoon. For example, you can spend an hour at the beach if you go around 9 or 10 am, and another one in the afternoon if you hit the sand after 4 or 5 pm.

Beautiful pregnant woman on the beach with hat

Avoiding sun exposure at midday is essential for the health and wellbeing of the mother and the sun. More than this, you should also avoid getting outside for shopping or other strenuous jobs when it is scorching.

If the disaster hits and you got a sunburn while pregnant, all you can do is focus on calming the skin and getting relief from the dryness. You can use aloe vera gels that are specially created to alleviate the sunburn effects.

Make sure to choose organic products that are safe for pregnant women. Another solution that can provide short term relief from the discomfort would be to cover the sunburn areas with a damp cotton cloth or towel.

The sun exposure can be great for pregnant women due to the high levels of vitamin D that it brings to the body. However, at the same time, you should know that excessive sun exposure can damage the folic acid reserves in the body. Sun exposure should be done only when using a pregnancy-safe sunscreen and at specified intervals during the day.

2. Bug & Mosquito Repellents: Are They Safe to Be Used in Pregnancy?

Before making your pregnancy safe bug spray at home, you should know that you need enough of it to cover both the skin and the clothes. You shouldn’t apply it on irritated skin or open wounds.

Also, it is better to avoid spraying it on the face. The essential oil won’t be too gentle with your eyes. You can apply it on your hands and then use the hands to apply it on the forehead and cheeks. Make sure to avoid the eyes and lips area.

With summer coming, there are all sorts of insects that will try to get a taste of you, one more dangerous than the other.

Aside from the common bug bites that can trigger rashes and itchiness, different diseases can occur as a result of a bite. For example, mosquito bites can transmit the Zika virus, malaria, Dengue fever, and West Nile fever, to name just a few.

These are all potentially life-threatening conditions that can be contacted after a mosquito bite. So there are more unpleasantries associated with bugs than the constant and nagging buzzing.

Bugs spray can be efficient in protecting yourself from bug bites; however, you might be reluctant to use it if you are pregnant as not to harm the unborn baby. This is why many people turn to pregnancy-safe bug spray nowadays.

pregnant woman

People tend to avoid bug bites instinctually as it causes itchiness and sometimes even pain. At the same time, there is also the more danger of getting a disease that could be potentially mortal, as the ones mentioned above.

Aside from mosquitos, other bugs can cause severe illnesses such as ticks and Lyme diseases, for example. Because nowadays, bug bites can be a real issue with fatal consequences, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) issued specific recommendations to follow when choosing the bug sprays.

While not all bug sprays are efficient in fighting bug bites, some of them can have harmful effects on our bodies.

Only use substances based on DEET (or Picaridin) on the clothes. While the substances can be efficient in keeping the bugs away, they shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin.

There are four chemicals commonly used in bug sprays, and these are Picaridin, IR3535, DEET, and PMD. As research shows, the best choice seems to be DEET as it is less harmful than most people think and is highly efficient.

This when compared to other substances used for the same purpose. When these substances have a concentration of less than 10%, they are active for no more than one or two hours. At higher levels, they ensure better protection. However, a higher concentration can lead to more exposure to dangerous chemical substances.

Many pregnant women or women who breastfeed fear using a bug spray containing the popular chemical substances we mentioned before. While there is not enough data about what happens when using the bug spray in the first trimester of the pregnancy, it seems safe for the second and the third trimester.

This is according to a study conducted in Thailand a few years ago. However, if for you, it is essential to be protected and safe, you can try a pregnancy-safe bug spray.

3. Pregnancy Safe Bug Spray


A natural alternative to the commercial bug spray is the citronella oil. You can use it as a spray or as an oil. Make sure to get a good quality citronella essential oil and dilute a few drops of the essential oil in about 100 ml of jojoba or water.

Another recipe for a pregnancy-safe bug spray is mixing six drops of citronella oil with three drops of eucalyptus oil. Add three drops of mint oil and three drops of lavender oil and 150 ml water. Apply the solution each time you leave the house. Lavender oil is also recommended for its calming and relaxing effects. This means you get even more benefits from your pregnancy safe bug spray.

It is also essential to keep in mind that the mosquitos and other bugs are attracted to our smell. This means that you should always have a shower before applying the pregnancy safe bug spray. Avoid putting on perfumes that could attract the bugs.


Toxic Chemicals to Avoid During Pregnancy – Women Voices

The 10 Most Common Household Toxins To Avoid While Pregnant – Women’s Day

Safe Bug Spray Options for Pregnancy – Parents

How to Safely Protect Yourself From Mosquito Bites During Pregnancy – What To Expect

Avatar photo

About The Author

Elena D. is a passionate advocate for ethical consumer choices and sustainable living. With a deep commitment to clean, organic, and non-toxic products, Elena is on a mission to promote a healthier, planet-friendly lifestyle. Her expertise in non-toxic skincare and eco-conscious alternatives to traditional beauty products reflects her dedication to a more sustainable and compassionate world. Elena's goal is to empower readers to make informed choices that benefit both their well-being and the environment. Join her on the journey towards a cleaner, greener future.