Can Pregnant Women Stain Wood

Updated on January 23, 2013
M.N. asks from Appleton, WI
9 answers

My husband and I were outside staining our deck for about 4 hrs. I read the label and it did'nt say anything about not to use if your pregnant. I called my doc. a day later and was told not to do that. I did some research and now I'm freaking out. Does anyone have advice or done something similar?

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answers from Cincinnati on

I wouldnt do it again, I didnt stain while pregnant but I did paint, an entire wall of my bedroom (I didnt know I was pregnant yet) and my son was born healthy

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Relax! You were in a well ventilated surrounding. It's not like you were huffing the can, right? :-)
Did you ever see that email about "how did we all survive" back in the "olden days"? We had lead painted cribs, no car seats, smoking mothers, etc., etc., etc.
Bottom line is to use common sense. The fumes obviously didn't cause you to become sick, weak, dizzy, etc.

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answers from Augusta on

Your concern for Stain in unfounded yet understandable. However the day you finish installing a deck or fence is the day trouble can start. Persistent moisture exposure creates ripe conditions for the growth of mildew, mold, algae and other fungal organisms that feed on wood, eventually spreading across and staining the surface. Termites and other wood boring insects also use wood for a food source, causing ultimate wood rot and decay. Morning dew, rainwater and melting ice or snow are quickly absorbed by unprotected wood, causing it to soften and swell. Direct exposure to the sun's heat causes drying, which makes wood shrink. Continuous cycles of wet and dry, swelling and shrinking, cause wood to warp, split, crack and check - all of which lead to premature wood degradation and expensive repairs. Unprotected wood is also subject to surface graying caused by constant exposure to the sun's ultra-violet rays.
check out for complete info on staining


answers from Dallas on

Don't worry. You were outside and that should help.

My Mother smoked and used bleach and other toxic cleaners pregnant. I painted my kids bedroom will pregnant. Would I do it, I'm smarter now, but my kids are good.



answers from San Francisco on

Many stain and paint products give off chemical fumes. Since you were staining a deck outside, the ventilation was good. I would limit exposure from now on, though, and leave new projects to someone else. (My son wants to do a spray paint project with toxic paint so I have been researching too -- he should really use a spray booth that's properly set up, but can't find any place here that rents time.)



answers from Boise on

I think that if you didn't get it all over you and you were outside where it was well ventilated, you should be fine. I wouldn't do it again, but I wouldn't stress about it either.



answers from Minneapolis on

First relax... It was something you have done and can not retract. So do not freak out right now and cause more stress hormones to be released. STOP looking up things on the internet. This can cause a lot of undue hardship and worries. Using stain is just like painting just a bit stronger.
Even though there is nothing you can do now, let's look at the positive points....
1) We advise women not to paint or be around paint when pregnant. Thanks to our society (except some Jewish cultures); let's face it women do it all of the time getting that "picture perfect" nursery together. Women paint and the babies come out without any null effects. So is it advised.... No, will it harm.... we do not know, can you do it..... women do it all of the time.
2) Even though the fumes from most stains are more toxic than most paints; the good thing is you were outside. The ventilation was better outside. If you were staining wood in the house, I would be a LOT more worried.
3) Many women are exposed to outdoors airborn threats. If your neighbors were staining the deck, you could not have them stop because you are pregnant. If we worried about everything outside at every ladies' 1st OB appointment we would be handing out gas mask. :) <Just want you to laugh a little and lighten up.>
4) Just take a nice warm shower, be sure that there is no stain on parts of your body. Take the warm water and wash out your sinuses and relax and enjoy your deck once it is DRY!!!
Don't participate in an activity like that again, but relax and know it is over.... Congratulations on your little gift.



answers from San Francisco on

I stained wood (indoors too!) during my first pregnancy and my son came out fine. In fact, not only was I staining wood, but we were in the midst of renovating our house (ourselves!) so there was a LOT going on. Your doctor is just being super safe/cautious and what you're finding on the internet is probably worse case scenarios... Like other Mama's have said.. don't stress about it!



answers from Augusta on

being outside just make sure you stayed hydrated.
I stained a whole breakfast table set when I was pregnant with my son, I didn't know I was pregnant, and he is fine.

Relax I wouldn't stress out you were outside, well ventilated.

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