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Is it too dangerous to paint the nursery myself when pregnant? Will the paint fumes harm my baby?

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As per advice from NHS UK, “It’s highly unlikely that painting or being around paint fumes while you’re pregnant will harm your unborn baby, as the risk from most modern household paints is very low. The risk of harm to your baby may be slightly greater from solvent-based paints and old paintwork, which may contain traces of lead. For this reason, you should avoid using solvent-based paints and stripping old paintwork while you’re pregnant.”


Additional caution can be taken to make them even safer for mums-to-be so they can participate in a fun nursery project without stressing:

  • Don’t paint until at least week 13 of your pregnancy to ensure your baby is grown enough as any possible small risk there is to your baby would be greatest during weeks 0 to 12
  • Use water-based paints instead of solvent-based ones and spray paints
  • Make sure any room you paint in is well ventilated by opening all windows or doors
  • Wear protective clothing like gloves, long trousers, face masks, long-sleeved tops, and goggles
  • Avoid eating or drinking in the room while painting or around paints
  • Wash your hands when you’ve finished painting so you do not accidentally swallow any of the decorating materials

If you take all these precautions, there is no reason for you to worry.

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