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Painting while pregnant
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Painting while pregnant

I will be 15 weeks preggo on Thursday and DH and I just bought a new house over the weekend.  My questions is, is it safe for me to paint the house?  We are getting our current home ready for sale and will be painting the bathroom tonight.  There seem to be different opinions on this.  I did call my doc yesterday and she said it's ok with open window.  Please advise.
Dolly
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Avatar_n_tn
My ob said just to avoid painting, even though most brands of paints are probably okay.  It depends on the chemical make-up of the paint.  A friend asked her ob, and got the same advice.  I would let dh do the painting, open the window, close the door and put a towel under the door if there is a gap.  Also, I had an allergic reaction to paint fumes at 18 weeks, and ended up having to go to emerg for ventolin.  It's the same brand of paint we always use, and I've never had a reaction before.  So better safe than sorry.  On the other hand, I know plenty of people who've painted with latex paint in well ventilated rooms while pregnant with no problems.  It's a judgement call.
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118074_tn?1228332603
I really want to help dh out and there are many rooms to paint in the new house.  We are using Behr paint from Home Depot, any thoughts?
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125692_tn?1189759435
We stenciled a boarder around our dd's room and i am pg.  I didn't help much because it hurt my back but I was there the whole time.  I realize that stenciling is different than painting a whole room.  My mom was told when she was pg with me that I would be born with a paint brush in my hand.  I turned out just fine and she painted my uncle and aunts whole house with them.  Maybe try a mask.  If your doc says it's ok then it is probably ok.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had the same concern when my office was doing a "makeover"  and painting.  I was told the same thing, that most paints now are safe and to just make sure it was well ventilated.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi! one of my best friends just had a baby and her and her dh painted there whole house while she was p. and she did not have any problems. her dr told her to just make sure all the windows were up and there was air circulation flowing. I would just do want you feel is best for you and if you try it and still have concerns then you can always stop.good luck...
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Avatar_n_tn
My doctor must have been cautious b/c he said to avoid it and make DH do it.  He said some say with ventilation it is okay but he wouldn't risk it???
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Avatar_n_tn
I just wanted to let everyone know that those masks that you all are talking about are used to keep germs out, fumes can travel through the mask. People in the artificial nail business or some construction businesses use them not keep fumes out but to block material from entering their mouth and nose. Material sucj as powder acrylic and small particles. Just wanted to let you know. I told my dr once with my forst pregnancy that I had purchased some for painting and he laughed.
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Avatar_n_tn
i wanted to paint when i was pregnant as well. i called my dr. and she said (as everyone else..make sure the room is well ventilated). she also said that paints are not made with (whatever ingredient that they used to use, i cannot recall)they no longer use in paints. well, me being a TOTAL worry wart, i went as far as to call the 1-800- # on the paint can and asked the company! they put aside my fears and said the same thing as the dr.they said it was safe and not toxic to inhale. i cannot recall the brand but it may have been martha stewart. gotta love martha! lol.
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118074_tn?1228332603
Do you think it's lead?  I know they don't have lead in paint anymore.
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Avatar_n_tn
you're right about no more lead but that wasnt it. they have improved paints and have come so far these days and have made them a LOT less harmful to breathe in the fumes. i am confident its the latex paints that are fine as long as it doesnt have ethylene glycol and AVOID oil paints. most household paints are latex anyway. just dont use spray paint or a stain.
do what i did. call the # on the paint can. tell them you are pregnant and concerned about inhaling fumes that could be harmful. another thing the person told me was limit my duration of painting and frequency.  let us know what they say okay?
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There are those little dust masks that cost a couple of bucks for a packet of three, but there are also OSHA-approved masks that are more like respirators, and I think those do more than just keep particulates out of your lungs.  Not that you'd want to walk around in a gas-mask looking affair just because of some latex paint, but if you're in a position where you're near something more toxic, it's worth knowing that all masks are not created equal.  Some are much more protective than others.
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118074_tn?1228332603
I did call the Behr guy and he said it's fine and he can provide some sort of list if my doctor wants to see it.  He just told me to keep the windows open and not to paint any small confined area.  I am more comfortable about painting now.  I will just do a little bit and take frequent breaks!  THANKS YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR COMMENTS.
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118074_tn?1228332603
Reese, haha, I am pretty good in that department, I can always get away with being a little "lazy"!  You are right though, pregnant women should take it easy.  HOWEVER, I have to make sure DH is doing everything "right"
LOL
Dolly
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Actually, not long ago behr got into big trouble because their paint had lead in it. Be cautious, open windows, use fans to blow the fumes out, and if you feel like you are being overwhlemed with fumes, stop and walk away.

Andi
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125692_tn?1189759435
never heard that about the masks...hmmm. the girls at work use them because the fumes in the nail room are sooo bad.  I use them when doing airbrush tanning to keep the particle in the air out of my lungs.  So i guess at my shop they are used for both cases.  I will have to look into that.
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118074_tn?1228332603
Wow, I thought Behr paint is one of the better kind.  I might have to call their toll free and ask.  I think I will help DH tonight but I will keep the bathroom window open and put a fan inside.  I will just help him with the edges.  I feel bad sitting on my ass while he is buzzing his!
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Avatar_n_tn
You aren't sitting on your ass.....your very busy making a baby in your tummy!!:)
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118074_tn?1228332603
I just went to the Behr website and they have a disclosure saying that they have never contain lead in their paint.  Do you think it's another brand?
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93532_tn?1349374050
Nope, I am sure it was behr. Maybe it was a stain or something. It was 2 or 3 years ago there was a huge recall and everything.

Andi
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125692_tn?1189759435
YOUR RIGHT ABOUT THOSE MASKS....I JUST NEVER KNEW THAT.  WELL I GUESS THE SAYING IS TRUE...YOU LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERYDAY.  AT LEAST I WAS USING A MASK FOR AN EFFECTIVE REASON.  HEY WHAT DO I KNOW I AM SURE THE NAIL TECHS ARE AWARE OF IT TOO.
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Avatar_n_tn
There are not that many times in life where you have a get out of work free cards especially now that you are having a baby.  Use it.  If you are worried about it, don't do it, trust your own body, it will know more than anyone else can tell you.
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Avatar_n_tn
from the American Pregnancy Association:

There are basically three categories of paint which pregnant women could be exposed to: latex, oil, and enamel. The degree of toxicity during pregnancy is challenging to predict because there are currently no methods of measuring actual exposure. The likelihood of paint toxicity depends on the chemicals and solvents found in the paint along with the amount of exposure.

What about pregnancy and household paint use?
The most common question related to pregnancy and paint exposure has to do with painting the new baby's nursery or decorating the house before the baby arrives. Unfortunately, there are no studies that document the effects of household painting on pregnancy and the developing baby.

Currently, the assumption is that household painting involves very low levels of exposure. The recommendation is to avoid exposure to oil-based paints, leads and mercury. You should minimize exposure to latex paints that contain ethylene glycol ethers and biocides. Ideally, you should get someone else to do the job for you.

Lead based paint was commonly used prior to the 1970s, so pregnant women should avoid removing old paint because of the risk of lead exposure. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, exposure to lead paint increases the likelihood of lead poisoning and mental retardation. Scraping and sanding old paint should be completely avoided. This puts higher concentrations of solvents and chemicals into the air to be inhaled. The recommendation is to have someone else do this part of the remodeling and ideally, remove yourself from the location until the project is complete.

If you are just too excited and you must paint the nursery, make sure you follow these guidelines to decrease the likelihood of paint exposure:

Protect your skin by wearing protective clothing that includes long pants, long-sleeved shirts and gloves
Be certain that the room and house are well ventilated; open the windows and turn on fans
Limit the time you spend on the project; take breaks and move into the fresh air frequently
Keep your food and drinks away from the area so solvents and chemicals will not accidentally be consumed
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