Using Mosquito Repellent during Pregnancy – How Safe Is It?

A pregnant woman using a mosquito repellent

If mosquitos are causing trouble during your pregnancy, you’ll be glad to know you can get rid of them. Mosquito repellents are generally safe to use during pregnancy and prevent mosquito-borne illnesses from spreading.

How Dangerous Are Mosquito Bites during Pregnancy?

Mosquito bites may cause harm to mothers and their baby by spreading diseases like dengue, zika, and chikungunya. Birth defects like microcephaly, where the baby’s head becomes smaller than the expected size, are typical results when these mosquito-borne illnesses spread and develop.

What Are Mosquito Repellents?

Mosquito repellents are basically sprays that are known to ward off mosquitos. There are two types of mosquito repellent sprays safe for pregnant women – DEET and picaridin. Lemon eucalyptus mosquito spray is considered unsafe during pregnancy. However, you can always consult your doctor to confirm.

Is Using a Mosquito Spray Safe While Pregnant?

Yes, using a mosquito spray is safe during pregnancy. Any sort of spray that has DEET or picaridin in it is considered safe for use as a mosquito repellent. Clinical trials have demonstrated that there are no adverse neurological, physiological, or gastrointestinal side effects of using mosquito sprays during pregnancy, even for one year after the birth of infants. Use registered mosquito repellents as a rule of thumb and use lower dosage DEET sprays so that you can spray often.

Tips to Use Mosquito Repellents during Pregnancy

Here are some old school (but practical) tips for using a pregnancy safe mosquito repellent:

  • While travelling outdoors, carry anti-malaria drugs and an insect repellent with DEET and picaridin and spray it on your skin for an added layer of protection.
  • You don’t have to spray the repellent on your skin if you’re already wearing clothes. Just spray it on your clothes and don’t miss any spots.
  • Apply mosquito repellents whenever you sweat or after exercising.
  • Make sure to spray the repellent all over your skin and do not leave any empty spots on your body since those critters can bite.
  • Think about the percentage of DEET formulation the repellent has. The concentration of DEET is directly proportional to how long you stay protected against mosquito-attacks. 10% DEET-based sprays last for 2 hours while 20% DEET sprays last 4 hours.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible and in air-conditioned rooms.
  • Avoid travelling to places that have a mosquito-disease-based outbreak. Major metropolitan areas are red flags for Zika and dengue outbreaks in different parts of America and Asia.
  • Stay at resorts with well-established mosquito control programs to minimize the exposure.
  • Use a bed net when sleeping to protect yourself (and your baby). Insecticide-treated bed nets are the premium choice and highly recommended.

At the end of the day, you have to play it safe to keep your baby and yourself protected. Keep spraying, stay indoors and take caution and you won’t have to worry too much about it.

Also Read: Viral Infections during Pregnancy