DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post. I did not receive a body double for this post. I tried. It didn’t work out.
Many of you asked me how I do the whole DIY-while-pregnant thing. I understand why this is one of the most frequently asked questions I get. First…we are interested in the health of ourselves and our kids (even in utero). Secondly…we are all interested in saving a buck or seven hundred and doing it ourselves does exactly that…to the penny 🙂 So when we find ourselves knocked up, are we to stop all forward progress on projects? are we to throw in the towel or beam it at our baby daddy’s head, expecting him to do it all? are we to throw caution to the wind and potentially walk that line with birth defects or even worse? Fist pump with me while I chant NO! NO! NO!
In the name of pregnant girl empowerment, I say no. There is stuff you can still do, swollen feet and all. There is safety equipment available for us growing little ones and tackling projects while kicking butt and taking names. There is still strength in us! We are women! Hear us roar! And that is why today I am sharing some tips when it comes to keeping that bun in the oven safe while you DIY.
So here’s some of my best tips:
- SPRAYPAINTING – Spray paint is predominately oil based and should not be used by a pregnant woman unless she is wearing a mask specifically developed to resist oils. The masks that are best for this project are called respirators and you should use them in a well ventilated area (like OUTSIDE!) so that you get minimum exposure to VOCs. I like reusable respirators that I can interchange the filters (those round things on the sides) so that I can get max protection no matter what I tackle. The filters have different ratings of how many particles they allow through and when dealing with oil based spray paints and fumes, the protection of a paper filter mask is not enough. When possible I like to use water based spray paints (you still need a mask!) and when unprepared or in doubt of your protection…hand off the task of spraypainting to someone else and you assume the role of upper management 🙂 Also, try elevating the spray paint project to a higher level (a board laid on two sawhorses draped with a drop cloth works great!) so that you eliminate the bent-over-blood-to-the-head posture. Since pregnant girls are more likely to get dizzy, this can help you not pass out or see stars.
- PAINTING – First of all, don’t use oil based paints inside. Second of all, steer clear of all paints that don’t boast a No-VOC label. VOC (volatile organic compounds) exposure can cause miscarriage, low birth weight, birth defects, a higher risk of childhood cancer and developmental disabilities. Ask about no-VOC paints and if the tint also has a no-VOC formula. Do not use paint strippers or thinners or deglosser while pregnant. READ THE LABELS. Increase the ventilation of the space that you are painting with fans, open windows and doors and refrain from getting on ladders if you have issues with balance or dizziness.
- TILING & GROUTING – Most tasks in tiling or grouting are ok for us to tackle while pregnant. I would definitely not mix my own grout or thinset without wearing a mask for dust particles. Remember also that cutting tile can produce dust. Remember to wear plastic gloves while grouting for protection.
- LANDSCAPING – There has been some studies that show a connection to exposure to herbicides or pesticides while pregnant and childhood cancers. The great news is…you can burn extra calories by picking those weeds the old-school style. Wear gloves for extra protection. Most landscaping is safe for pregnant women as long as they do no exert themselves past a comfortable level and wear supportive shoes (us preggos tend to have some issues with balance so good shoes are absolutely a necessity!)
- SCRAPING & SANDING – First check if all the paint is lead-free. Most testers are simple and inexpensive and any home that was built before 1978 could have lead paint inside and out…and even homes that were built later could have had lead paint used if the homeowner or builder was cutting corners and using old paint. Better safe than sorry – just check first! I also check all painted furniture that I got from Goodwill, thrift stores and yard sales because you can not get the finish info. Paint removers and strippers contain toxic chemicals and that task should be handed off to someone else. Green-seal labels identify any products that are deemed ‘safe’ for use by pregnant women but should be used with all precautions. Sanding can be safely tackled but remember to wear a mask, work in a well ventilated area, and wash your hands and clean up the area to be dust-free before removing the mask.
- WOODWORKING – Most woodworking projects are safe for pregnant women. When using glues, or tackling any project that produces dust, please use the precautions outlined in the scraping & sanding section. Most times, a cotton mask is enough to protect against dust particles but read all labels to ensure that your mask is task-appropriate. It is also very helpful to wear gloves to protect hands and fingers from screws, nails and other sharp objects. Since pregnancy can increase the blood and swollenness of our extremities, a nail could slip from our hands easily and gloves will help.
The great news is that there are a number of awesome safety pieces out there that are perfect if you find yourself ready to take on your home while cooking your little bun. 3M has all levels of respirators and filters, ear protection, gloves, lead testers, and other safety equipment available which is really music to my pregnant ears. Visit them on facebook. Be safe my sisters and DIY on!
One doozy of a disclaimer: ALL women should check with their physician before taking on any DIY project. Consulting your health care professional and taking all precautions is absolutely necessary. When in doubt of your personal safety and health and the safety and health of your child, please do not attempt any DIY projects or exert yourself physically past a comfortable level. Bower Power is not responsible for any loss, injury or pregnancy issues, etc. and these tips are not all encompassing instructions for maximum protection.