Your partner does all sorts of things to help your pregnancy along -- he rubs your city-tired feet, he gets redressed at 12 a.m. in order to hunt down Phish Food, he sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star straight into your belly button. But how often does he clean the kitchen? Sweet as the guy is, it's likely that during your pregnancy it's you who's wincing at dirty countertops, staring down clogged drains and casting an evil eye at sticky oven stains. Unfortunately, if you're tackling the mess with conventional cleaning products, you're likely exposing yourself -- and your fetus -- to hazardous chemicals that may pose both acute and long-term health problems.
Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to the negative effects of the unregulated chemical ingredients that appear -- and don't appear (trade secrets!!) -- on the labels of cleaners. Gals with baby bumps are more likely to experience eye and lung irritation, are prone to uncomfortable skin reactions, and are more apt to swoon with nausea at the smells of those chartreuse liquids.
On a more worrisome note (and in keeping with the not-so-secret Poison/Danger/Harmful if Swallowed warnings), those same chemicals can have ill effects on a developing fetus. Solvents in many products are known to be harmful to a fetus's growing lungs, regular exposure to aerosol cleaning products can cause brain damage in an unborn child, and certain heavy-duty cleaners contain chemicals linked to birth defects. Not to mention the effects of the combos of many chemicals.
But take solace ladies! There are some very simple, effective and inexpensive ways to clean your kitchen that involve just a few ingredients and some spray bottles (no hubbies required). Not the DIY type? Well, heck, neither was I -- until I realized how easy and awesome these concoctions are. And once your baby is born, there will be every reason to continue DIY-ing.
Here are four DIY recipes you'll keep going back to: