Finding out you’re pregnant can be an overwhelming and exciting experience. If it was planned, you’re ecstatic about sharing the information with loved ones as soon as possible. If it was a surprise, you may need some time to process the news. But no matter the circumstances, there are always common denominators — morning sickness, breast tenderness, having to urinate every five minutes, and food cravings, to name a few. However, there are plenty of magazine articles and website blogs that address those issues. But, what about those aspects you hadn’t thought about before, such as how to protect yourself from mosquito bites during pregnancy?
How to Protect Yourself From Mosquito Bites During Pregnancy
Mosquitos are more than an annoyance. In addition to the discomfort caused by their stings, you also have to worry about any diseases they may spread — such as dengue or Zika. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to reduce exposure.
1. Keep Your Home Sealed
When spending time indoors, keep windows and doors closed. If you’d like to open them for air circulation, make sure you have screens that are in good condition and with holes small enough to prevent entry from bugs.
2. Avoid Being Outdoors During Peak Times
Mosquitos are most active early in the mornings and during evenings. If you’re going to spend time outdoors — weather permitting — try to schedule it from mid-morning to early afternoon.
3. Get Rid of Standing Water
There are plenty of areas around your home that can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes — especially during the summer. These include bird feeds, kiddie pools, water accumulated in drainage or gutters, buckets, or plant pots.
4. Keep Cool
Mosquitoes are attracted to higher temperatures and to carbon dioxide. This means that if you’re vigorously exercising — and breathing hard — they are more likely to be attracted to you. Therefore, exercise outside only during the cooler portions of the day, and stay in the shade and keep a cold beverage at hand for other outdoor activities.
5. Wear Loose-fitting Clothes
Not only are they more comfortable — and keep you cooler —, mosquitoes can bite through form-fitting clothing. Wearing loose items will make it easier for you to establish a layer of protection between you and insects while outdoors.
6. Wear Insect Repellent Spray
While this has been a common practice in the US throughout the years, be mindful of what ingredients you use when you’re pregnant. Non-chemical ingredients — such as citrus, citronella, and chrysanthemum — can provide protection without harming your baby. But, they aren’t the only options.
Is it Safe to Use Mosquito Repellent While You’re Pregnant?
As an expectant mother, you are familiar with the natural instinct to protect your child as much as possible. And, living in our modern world means being aware of the fact that pesticides are poisonous. Specifically, when it comes to pregnancy, some pesticides may be substantially harmful to your unborn baby. These dangers include:
- Preterm labor
- Birth defects
The good news is that yes, it is safe to use mosquito repellent while you’re pregnant. However, it’s not a secret that there are plenty of products that are full of toxins and could cause more long-term harm than the benefits of keeping bugs away. Therefore, you do have to be mindful of the type of spray you buy and their chemical components. To make this process easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of EPA approved mosquito spray, below.
EPA Approved Mosquito Spray
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using insect repellents registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The ingredients that are safe for use in pregnant women include:
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus
- DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide)
- Picaridin (KBR 3023)
- Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
If you have a preference for any of these ingredients — or if you need protection tailored for extended periods of time outdoors — you can use the EPA’s search tool to find the repellent that would work best for you. Once you’ve found a repellant that works for you, be mindful of how much and how often you spray yourself.
If You’re Pregnant, OB-GYN Women’s Center Can Help
At OB-GYN Women’s Center, we aim to make all of our patients feel comfortable. And getting answers to all your questions is the first step in getting the treatment you need.
Contact us to schedule an appointment.