You are in the 6th month of your pregnancy, and your excitement about bringing a new life in your life knows no bounds. And during this period, besides getting the attention of your friends, family members, and relatives, there is something else from which you will get an equal amount of attention. It’s the MOSQUITOES!
Research has supported that, during pregnancy, the expectant mother tends to breathe in more frequently and breathe out 21% more air, thus releasing the extra amount of carbon dioxide, and moisture, which the mosquitoes are attracted to.
But this attraction can turn out to be dangerous at times, both for you and your unborn baby. And, it’s not unnatural for you to suffer from mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses, while you’re expecting. In fact, there are high chances that the babies exposed to mosquito-borne illness while still in the developmental stage in your womb, might be born with birth defects like microcephaly. And babies born with this kind of birth defects babies are born with their heads small.
Therefore, to keep yourself and your baby safe from mosquito-borne diseases, using mosquito repellents is necessitated.
What are Mosquito Repellents?
After all, mosquito repellents are mosquito sprays or essential oils; which when kept in your room, during your pregnancy can safeguard you and your growing baby inside your womb against mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases.
Which Mosquito Repellents Are Considered Safe?
And, as far as mosquito repellents are concerned, choosing repellents that are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is believed to be safe.
With N, N-diethyl-benzamide (DEB), and N-diethyl-3-methyl benzamide (DEET), are considered to be safe during pregnancy. Since these repellents have been used for ages, information on the harmful effects of these chemicals on a pregnant mother or her growing baby has not been found yet. However, it advised not to use it more than it is required. As the concentration of DEET is associated with the length of the time you are staying protected against mosquito bites (resulting in mosquito-borne diseases) – 10% DEET-based repellents can keep you protected for 2 hours, while 20% DEET can keep you safe for 4 hours.
Science has neither confirmed nor refuted the idea of repelling mosquitoes naturally. But as a home remedy, putting cloves in lime or putting cloves in citrus fruits has been useful. Alternately, essential oils, incense, or candles – for instance, lemongrass, neem, cedar, lavender, etc can be safe if applied in the right manner. However, studies claim that natural repellents are not as effective as chemical ones and they are also not medically recommended in mosquito-prone areas.
However, if your family is using pesticides to get rid of mosquitoes and other pests in and around your house, ensure that you stay away from it at that point in time. As exposure to pesticides may give rise to miscarriage, premature delivery, and birth defects in your baby. Using boric acid instead would be effective. It is available in tablet form, liquid form, powdered form, and in the form of traps, with elements like boron, oxygen, and hydrogen in it. This is considered to be a safer method to repel mosquitoes during pregnancy.
What Are The Safe Ways to Use Mosquito Repellents During Pregnancy?
Having said all of that, if you are planning to travel anywhere outside, don’t forget to carry the repellent which contains DEET and picaridin in it. If you carry a spray, instead of applying it on your skin, apply it on your clothes, and try not to miss a single spot of your clothes. Applying it to your skin might develop rashes. In fact, stay in resorts and hotels, which have mosquito control programs.
What Are The Non-Mosquito Repellents During Pregnancy?
Otherwise, while you’re indoors, try to keep the doors and windows closed, with no space for insects or mosquitoes to enter your house. Moreover, use mosquito nets, when it’s time for you to go to bed and wear clothes with long sleeves.
Keep spraying or let the repellent be switched on, especially during dawn and dusk – a time when mosquitoes are expected to be high.