Pregnancy is a vulnerable time for any expectant mother. Doctors advise her of what she can and cannot eat, as well as other things to avoid such as cigarette smoke, alcoholic beverages, and certain common medications. Such precautions are quite understandable, as they protect the physical condition of the child she is carrying. Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is a fungus that creates mycotoxins. These can be harmful to a person’s health and may put an expectant mother and the fetus in the path of danger. If there is a possibility that this type of mold is present in a house or building, there are some things a pregnant woman has to know to protect herself and her unborn child.
Black mold does not just multiply in basements or crawl spaces; mold can grow in bathrooms because of the amount of moisture present. The spores of black mold can be airborne and infested air ducts can easily blow the spores out into the environment. These possibilities hint that routine cleaning and inspection of ducts, though not by the pregnant woman, should be done. It also means not to assume or take anything for granted. Any room in a house that has a relative humidity of over fifty-five percent is suspect for black mold generation. Fortunately, that condition can be corrected easily with a thermostat.
Available evidence suggests that exposure to black mold may be dangerous for pregnant women. Studies indicate that a number of cases of both miscarriage and birth defects were suffered by women who had regular exposure to toxic mold spores. It is possible that exposure to this fungus may encourage asthma within the uterus, creating a lifelong condition for the child. Exposure to the toxins associated with this fungus within the womb may also be a cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). While this still needs to be researched, it is possible that a newborn exposed to mycotoxins may develop respiratory problems, which can result in SIDS. Additional medical research is still needed to fully substantiate the health risks of exposure to black mold.
Despite the miscarriages and birth defects mentioned above, the Center for Disease Control has no record of studies directly conducted on pregnant women to substantiate the full effect of their exposure to mold. Nevertheless, the toxins inherent in black mold are sufficient reason to take fast action if an infestation has been identified. The mother herself may develop health problems due to extended periods of exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum. The mold has to be removed, but by no means should an expectant mother try to clean up this fungus. In fact, it may make good sense to remove the pregnant woman from the building until the mold has been completely removed and the infestation danger has passed.
It is pretty obvious that by using preventive measures, any danger from black mold can be stopped. A woman carrying a fetus to healthy term has to be as cognizant of her living and working space as she is about what to eat and drink. Pregnancy does have certain risks, but these can be substantially reduced with care and caution. While exposure to mycotoxins carries risks, this potential danger can be removed effectively, leaving the mother and child safe and sound.