DIY Do’s and Don’ts for Pregnant Women

baby articleMoms-to-be usually find themselves eager to tackle DIY projects. Whether it is painting the new arrival’s bedroom or installing some handy shelves for nappies, baby lotions and potions; there is often lots of DIY to be done before the 9 months are up.

If you’re pregnant and you’ve been bitten by the nesting bug, there are some DIY tasks that you can tackle yourself. However, with a baby on board, there are quite a few hazards to take into consideration to keep both you and baby safe:

Painting Pains

A new lick of paint is one of the best ways to revamp a room. Before you pick your favourite pastel and pick up the paintbrush, there are some important things you need to know:

  • If your home was built prior to the 80s, there is a chance that the old paint is lead-based. When removing lead-based paints, toxic levels of lead are released into the air which can be highly detrimental to unborn babies. If you are unsure about the lead content of your home’s paint, ask a professional assessor to determine if you have a problem and, if you do,  what you can do about it.
  • If you’re keen to do the painting work yourself, opt for water-based paints that do not contain lead or mercury. Simply ask for advice from a consultant at your local paint shop to make sure that you’re buying pregnancy-friendly paint. Don’t forget to cover up using gloves and protective clothing. Even if you are using water-based paint, it is important to keep the area well-ventilated at all times.

Side note: In a lot of cases, latex-based paints are the most pregnancy-friendly.

  • If oil-based paint is being used, make sure that the work is done when you are not around, and only return once all of the fumes have dissipated.

A Sticky Situation

It’s important for you to avoid any glues or solvents when pregnant as these products contain harmful chemicals. If you’re installing things in the nursery, it’s best to stick to good old nuts and bolts. If any gluing is necessary, let someone else do it and, as with the paint, allow for all fumes to dissipate before entering the room again. Remember that wallpaper and certain mural stickers use glues, so it is best that these decorative items are installed by someone else.


Working with electricity is always risky business. The stakes are even higher when you are pregnant. Although, as adults, we can handle a minor shock, unborn babies’ hearts are not as strong as ours. Any electrical projects should be strictly avoided when you are expecting.

If you’re pregnant and longing to quieten down your enthusiastic nesting hormones with some DIY, it is important to bear all the above-mentioned points in mind. In addition to all of these, remember that your sense of gravity is off so you will be more prone to tripping or going off balance – particularly when standing on a ladder or steps. Remember the rule ‘if it smells bad, run away’ – even if you are simply using a household cleaner or have stepped into a newly painted room that was ventilated overnight. If all else fails, you can always sit back and delegate all of your grandiose nursery plans and DIY to the daddy-to-be.

Head down to your nearest Jack’s Paint & Hardware store and find water-based paint and any other painting supplies and hardware necessary for your baby projects. Contact us for advice on 011 616 8709.