Can I use lawn fertilizer on my yard while I’m pregnant?
Try to avoid using lawn fertilizer, but if you really must, make sure it’s made of 100 percent natural ingredients. It’s important to note that you should be careful when you’re using any kinds of chemicals during pregnancy, especially in the first few months. The first trimester is when fetal organs are developing, so the first 13 weeks are the most sensitive to chemical exposure. Generally we worry about the development of birth defects when normal organ development is disrupted. But you don’t have to hire a maid to clean around your home — you can still use household cleaners, but make sure you open some windows to provide enough ventilation.
Animal studies show developmental risks to mouse embryos that were exposed to common lawn chemicals and pesticides, but the embryos were exposed at doses that are not a problem for adults. But I would avoid any chemical exposure that is not necessary.
If you’re going to use fertilizer, make sure you cover your skin, eyes and mouth: This will help protect you and the fetus from bad effects — sometimes exposure can lead to abnormalities in baby or a miscarriage.
—Suzanne Merrill-Nach, MD, San Diego-based OB/GYN
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