Why pesticides need to be avoided during the course of pregnancy

Pregnancy and pesticides poses several questions and this is for a reason. Exposure to pesticides is a cause of concern for adults, kids and more so for expectant mothers. Flies, ants, cockroaches are some of the main reasons why women spray pesticides across the home. The golden rule of thumb is that avoid pesticides during pregnancy on all counts.

The pesticides are chemicals which attack the nervous system of the insects and cause them to die. During the first few weeks of pregnancy, the nervous system is expanding at a rampant pace in your baby, so you would want to avoid any contact with pesticides at this point of time. Some studies point out to the fact that the greatest exposure to pesticides is during the first 3 to 8 weeks, when the neural tube development happens. If you figure out that you are pregnant and happen to leave in an agricultural area, where pesticides are used, it is better to restrict the exposure of chemicals at this point of time. As a pregnant lady avoid the exposure to pesticides at all points of time.

All toxins which are present in pesticides are natural compounds which present itself naturally in plants. Though they might sound similar the terms organic or natural are not an alternative method of being safe. Any chemicals, when it is natural has the potential to cause harm when it is not handled in a proper manner. Ensure that you go through the contents of the pesticide before you handle it.

How to apply pesticides?

If you are planning to apply pesticide, choose one that is fit for the purpose and has a low toxic rating. You should only use the amount that is indicated on the label and do not overuse it. Breastfeeding and pregnant women should reduce their exposure to pesticides, and when they are at home avoid it on all counts. Take the help of a friend or a relative to spray the pesticide for you.

In case if your partner is exposed to pesticides at their workplace, then it is recommended that they do not bring their work clothes home. If they bring them home, then do not wash them with your regular set of clothes particularly the clothes of kids. Some of the major tips to protect against pesticides are as follows

  • Remove and regularly prevent pilling up of rubbish
  • Food should be stored in containers with tight fitting lids
  • Stagnant and pooling of water should not be allowed
  • The gaps around the doors and pipes should be removed
  • Fly screens should be installed around the house.

It is suggested to avail the services of a licensed pesticide technician, as they can throw light on the type of pesticide that is being used, nature of toxicity and whether you need to leave the house or not. Pregnant women are more comfortable staying away from home when pesticides are applied. Any stress caused by the baby can have harmful impact on the baby.


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