Neptune Mold Solutions

What If I’m Exposed To Mold While Pregnant?

Mold Exposure During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of great anticipation and care for both the mother and the unborn child. However, amidst the excitement, many mothers in the Houston area are concerned about mold and the potential threat it can bring to them and their unborn or newborns. 

Neptune Mold Solutions are experts on mold and how it impacts health. We know that Mold is a type of fungus that can thrive in various environments, both indoors and outdoors. It flourishes particularly well in warm, damp, and humid conditions, often colonizing areas that have experienced water damage. As a result, mold is everywhere.

Many pregnant women who have unknown mold growth in their homes might not even be affected by it. However, because some mold like black mold produces mycotoxins, it can create allergic reactions, other symptoms, and sicknesses that can affect your health, especially when you’re going through pregnancy. We’re going to dive into why mold can be dangerous, the symptoms of mold and how pregnant mothers and babies can be protected.

A 9-month pregnant woman with a baby on the left and mold spores on the right with a question in the middle that ask, "can mold be dangerous for pregnant for pregnant women?

What Makes Mold Dangerous?

Like it was mentioned above, certain types of common mold in homes can produce toxic substances known as mycotoxins, which can pose health risks to humans and animals when they are ingested or inhaled. Mycotoxins are chemical compounds produced by the molds as secondary metabolites. These molds produce mycotoxins as a defense mechanism against other organisms and environmental stresses.

This is great protection for mold but not for pregnant women. Pregnant women undergo significant physiological changes, including alterations in hormonal levels and immune function, to support the developing fetus.

 These changes may affect how the body responds to mycotoxin exposure, potentially increasing the susceptibility of pregnant women to the adverse effects of these toxins. Mycotoxins can further weaken the maternal immune response, increasing the risk of infections or other health complications for both the mother and the baby.

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Mold Sicknesses That Affect Pregnant Women

Pregnant women are susceptible to several illnesses caused by mold exposure. These include Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis, Keratitis, and other allergic reactions and symptoms. These conditions can not only affect the mother’s health but also impact the development of the unborn child.

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS):

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is when people get sick in a building without a clear reason. Symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, nausea, tiredness, breathing problems, and irritation in the eyes, nose, or throat.

In the case of SBS, mold spores and mycotoxins produced by molds can contribute to poor indoor air quality, leading to symptoms above (headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and irritation of the eyes, nose, or throat). Inhalation of mold spores can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, aggravating symptoms associated with SBS.

Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABA):

For individuals with ABPA, exposure to mold, particularly the fungus Aspergillus, can worsen respiratory symptoms and trigger allergic reactions. Aspergillus spores can colonize the respiratory tract, leading to inflammation and bad immune system reactions. Inhalation of Aspergillus spores can also exacerbate asthma symptoms and increase the risk of respiratory infections in pregnant women with underlying respiratory conditions.

Keratitis:

Keratitis, inflammation of the cornea, can be cause by exposure to mold spores, dust, and other airborne allergens. Irritants released by molds can trigger allergic reactions in the eyes, leading to symptoms such as eye pain, redness, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light. Prolonged exposure to mold and other environmental allergens can increase the risk of developing keratitis and other eye-related conditions in pregnant women.

Other allergic reactions and symptoms:

In general, mold exposure can worsen symptoms of allergic reactions and respiratory conditions, making it essential for pregnant women to minimize exposure to mold-infested environments. Below are some of the common symptoms you will find.

  • Increased asthma attacks
  • Mold Can Cause Eye Irritations
  • Allergic reactions
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing

Can Mold Prevent a Woman From Getting Pregnant?

Mold itself doesn’t stop a woman from getting pregnant, it can contribute to health issues that might affect fertility. Breathing in mold spores can lead to respiratory issues, allergies, and stress, which might disrupt hormones and menstrual cycles.

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Having Mold Symptoms But Don’t See Any Mold

Mold problems are quite often hidden behind walls and other obstructions that prevent us from noticing right away. People usually notice health symptoms before they see visible mold.

From our experience, people can take months with allergic symptoms from mold without even contacting a mold professional, which can be very bad for a pregnant mother who’s on a 9-month journey. This usually happens because they don’t understand mold.

The best thing to do is to get a mold inspection by a licensed inspector. This inspection can identify the source of moisture within the walls, and finding that source of moisture can help us, mold inspectors to create plans for your mold removals.

A mold inspector from Neptune Mold Solutions, a mold inspection company in Houston, Texas, doing a mold inspection

How Can Pregnant Women Protect Themselves From Mold?

Here are some steps you can take to reduce your exposure to mold:

  1. Getting a mold inspection and air quality test in Houston is by far one of the most important things, this will help you know if there’s mold or other contaminants.
  2. Keep moisture levels in your home low, ideally below 50%.
  3. Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier, especially during humid months.
  4. Install exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to remove excess moisture.
  5. When cleaning bathrooms, use products designed to kill mold. Wear non-porous gloves and eye protection, and ensure good ventilation.

Conclusion

Mold releases toxins that can cause allergies, breathing problems, and other health issues. Pregnant women are especially at risk because of changes in their bodies during pregnancy.

To stay safe, pregnant women should keep their homes dry and use air conditioners or dehumidifiers. They should also use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens, clean with mold-killing products, and avoid carpets in damp areas. Getting professional inspections can help find hidden mold problems early.

Contact us today if you feel mold-like symptoms and mold-related issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can breathing in black mold during pregnancy cause birth defects?

Breathing in black mold while pregnant can potentially cause health issues for both the mother and the unborn baby. While there’s limited direct evidence linking pregnancy mold exposure to birth defects, inhaling mold spores can lead to respiratory problems and allergies for pregnant women, which could indirectly impact fetal health.

Is it safe to clean mold when pregnant?

It’s generally recommended to avoid cleaning mold while pregnant, especially if it involves significant exposure to mold spores or harsh chemicals. Cleaning mold can release spores into the air, increasing the risk of inhalation. Pregnant women should prioritize their health and the health of their unborn babies by delegating mold cleaning tasks to others or seeking professional inspectors’ help.

What are the symptoms of mold sickness in babies?

The symptoms of mold sickness in babies can include frequent sneezing, a stuffy nose, watery or itchy eyes, coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath. If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to address the potential presence of mold in the environment.

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