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House renovations/ redecorating and pregnancy (fumes etc..)

(5 Posts)
LDNmummy Tue 02-Aug-11 23:34:05

Hello everyone, just wanted to ask others who may be more informed on this.

I am currently in the middle of renovating my house before my LO arrives and am worried about the effect of fumes or possible contact with chemicals.

Today for instance, we have been stripping wallpaper. My DH and I mixed detergent (lenor or ariel) with water to create a stripping solution for easier removal of the wallpaper that has been stuck to the wall for over 40 years as it just would not budge otherwise.

Everything was fine and we ventilated the room by having all the windows open. I did not however notice how strong the fumes had gradually gotten till I left the room to go to another part of the house. Now I am wondering how harmful this could be.

I have done some other DIY things while pregnant but with a whole house renovation starting today, I really would love some opinions on how to avoid doing something that may affect my LO.

I am 31 weeks and I know some people would say I should not even be doing things like stripping wallpaper, but I am very fit and healthy and want to do it (I do take my time and don't put myself needlessly at risk by standing on ladders or anything, and wear gloves to avoid chemicals touching my skin).

My DH is now quite upset with me as he told me he did not want me doing anything so I am hoping you guys can tell me it is ok and I can reassure him. I honestly did not realise how strong the fumes had gotten shock

Any general tips on house renovating while pregnant would be great!

KateeTheBump Wed 03-Aug-11 08:36:46

We did the nursery when I was about 20-25 weeks, and I think so long as you are sensible you should be ok. We live in an old house, with lead paint, so we sealed the room off as best as possible when any dust had to be created and when DP had to sand some of the plaster I just vacated the house for a bit to be on the safe side. We went for low voc paint (so less fumey) and kept the windows open at all times. You could go for something like a clay paint, which would have even fewer fumes? Have fun! smile

KikiRC Wed 03-Aug-11 09:39:20

I'm intending on doing quite a bit of DIY work (including stripping & sanding the stairs with a hand sander and heat gun) in autumn/ winter. I'll be 5-7 months, by then.

Anything with strong chemicals/ fumes I think you'd be advised whether you're pregnant or not to buy one of those carbon filter masks which cost about £25 and cover your whole face. I bought one recently, and they do make an enormous difference. Also don't do too much at once, and make sure you air the house as much as you can. I found when I was working on the ground floor the fumes were rising upstairs to the second floor, and it was really whiffy up there- I had to make sure I opened all the windows.

I think working in short bursts is important, rather than ploughing on for too long- and also use a cushion or something to rest your knees on. Don't stay in an awkward position for too long, and make sure you drink plenty of water.

LDNmummy Wed 03-Aug-11 12:04:21

Thanks Ladies!

I am off to buy one of those industrial fans to help push the fumes out of the house and provide some cooling while the work goes on. I will also hit the DIY store and grab one of those masks and will invest in some low VOC paint wherever possible.

Short bursts are definitely the way to go (woke up feeling a bit sore today) and I feel much more reassured now.


KateeTheBump Wed 03-Aug-11 13:46:43

I could do with one of those industrial fans for my desk - sooo hot!

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