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Things to Avoid in Early Pregnancy: Products to Steer Clear Of

    Things to Avoid in Early Pregnancy: Products to Steer Clear Of

    Pregnant women need to be careful about a lot of things. Aside from watching the food they eat, as well as their activities, there are certain products and things to avoid in early pregnancy.

    Being wary of what things to avoid in early pregnancy can help lower the risk of birth defects, preterm birth, and other problems.

    Things to Avoid in Early Pregnancy

    We used cosmetics, skincare, cleaning products, medication, and other similar products on a daily basis without even minding what chemicals are contained in the products that we use. This is mostly because we trust that the chemicals in these things won’t cause us any harm.

    But for pregnant women, there are a lot of considerations that need to be made. This is because exposure to certain chemicals, while not harmful to the pregnant mother, can be harmful to their baby.

    It is especially important to be wary of the things to avoid during early pregnancy, because the first trimester is a very important time in the baby’s development. So in order to ensure a healthy baby, and a worry-free pregnancy, be sure to avoid these things:

    Phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine

    Phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine are commonly found in cold medication. These act as decongestants and can be found in stronger types of cold medicine.

    These are chemicals you need to avoid in early pregnancy because these can decrease blood flow to the uterus. This can potentially cause a miscarriage and harm to your unborn child.

    Be sure to check the labels of any decongestant you’re planning on using. If you’re not sure, consult your doctor about it.


    Another chemical to avoid in early pregnancy is DEET. You can usually find DEET in products like insect repellent or mosquito repellent sprays and lotions.

    While some mosquito repellents these days don’t contain DEET, some popular products in the market still do. So a good idea would be to check the labels of the products you’re buying. Make sure that it says DEET free, or there’s no chemical called N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide found in the ingredients.

    Solvent-Based Paints

    If you’re having your house renovated or getting a room ready for your newborn baby, it’s important to choose the right kind of paint. As much as possible, try to avoid using solvent-based paints. These might still contain traces of lead, which are harmful to your baby. While it is true that some new formulations of solvent-based paints don’t use any lead, the fumes are not particularly safe to inhale.

    So as much as possible, try to use water-based paints as these don’t have any fumes that can harm you or your baby.

    Nail Polish

    When it comes to the things to avoid in early pregnancy, nail polish is usually the last thing people think of. However, some types of nail polish and nail cleaning products might contain formaldehyde.

    This chemical can be harmful, and it’s possible that it can be absorbed into your skin if you use it on your nails. As much as possible, try to avoid products that contain formaldehyde, or if there are no ingredients on the label, just avoid it entirely.


    Retinoids are a type of chemical compound related to vitamin A. These compounds are used in products that help with skin aging, as well as products that treat acne. While it is effective for skin concerns, it can cause miscarriage, birth defects, and other problems for the developing embryo.

    If you have skin problems, which are common during pregnancy, be sure to check the label. If possible, consult your doctor on which products would be safe to use.

    Key Takeaways

    It is important for pregnant moms to be aware of what things to avoid in early pregnancy. The best and easiest way to go about this would be to talk to your doctor, and ask them about which products they recommend. This can make buying products easier, and also give you peace of mind that you’re not harming your baby.

    Learn more about Being Pregnant here.


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    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


    Safety of skin care products during pregnancy, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3114665/, Accessed February 23, 2021

    Cosmetics & Pregnancy | FDA, https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/resources-consumers-cosmetics/cosmetics-pregnancy, Accessed February 23, 2021

    Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2699641/, Accessed February 23, 2021

    Toxic household products to avoid during pregnancy | Pregnancy Birth and Baby, https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/toxic-household-products-to-avoid-during-pregnancy, Accessed February 23, 2021

    Medicines During Pregnancy | HealthLink BC, https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/uf9707, Accessed February 23, 2021

    Hair Treatment During Pregnancy :: American Pregnancy Association, https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/is-it-safe/hair-treatments-during-pregnancy-1181/, Accessed February 23, 2021

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    Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Oct 19, 2021
    Fact Checked by Vincent Sales
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