Is It Safe for Expectant Mothers to Be Exposed to Pesticides

No, exposure to pesticides is harmful for children, adults and particularly for an expectant mother. Chemicals used in pesticides affect the central nervous system of the baby. So, it is better to avoid, particularly during the first trimester as this is the period for rapid growth of central nervous system.

Effects of pesticides on you and your baby:

  • Pregnancy Exposure to PesticidesExposure to indoor pesticides leads to the development of leukemia in children.
  • Pesticide exposure causes the development of gestational diabetes during pregnancy and affects glucose metabolism and insulin resistance.
  • Living within one mile radius to an agricultural area that utilized pesticides increases the risk of having stillbirth.
  • Develops congenital defects if you are exposed during the month before conception through the first trimester.
  • Leads to develop learning disabilities in your baby’s later life.
  • Causes poor communication skills, motor skills and visual acuity.
  • Children may have delayed neurobehavioral development.
  • Increases risk for oral clefts, heart defects, limb defects and neural tube defects.

Not only you need to avoid the exposure to pesticides, but also you need to eat as much organic foods as possible in order to reduce the exposure to pesticides. Non organic, traditional fruits and vegetables contain greater amounts of pesticides.

Some of the foods that should be purchased in the organic variety include: apples, pears, spinach, cherries, strawberries, potatoes, celery, bell peppers, peaches, red raspberries, nectarines and imported grapes.

Tips related to pesticide or insecticide use during pregnancy:

  • Avoid the usage of pesticides and insecticides in your home, on your pets or in the garden.
  • Avoid the usage of pesticides particularly during the first trimester when your baby’s central nervous system and neural tube are developing.
  • Allow some one else to apply the pesticides.
  • Before using the pesticides or insecticides, remove the food and utensils from that area.
  • Wear gloves while gardening to prevent contact with the plants on which pesticides are applied.
  • Read all the warning labels on all insecticide and pesticide packages before using.


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