Humans and mold have coexisted since the beginning, but mold has only recently become a major health problem. So many cases of toxic mold poisoning have come to light recently that people can’t help but worry.
Because this concern is so new, we have only just begun to study the effects of black mold and pregnancy. There is not much real evidence, but doctors are very concerned about how exposure to black mold during pregnancy can affect babies.
Black mold and birth defects
There are countless stories of women exposed to mold during pregnancy who have suffered a miscarriage or birth defects. However, there is still no solid scientific evidence that mold exposure directly causes birth defects. Animal studies have shown that there is a definite link between black mold and pregnancy, but animals are different than humans, so the results are inconclusive.
Still, most doctors assume there is some connection and that pregnant women should be careful about exposure.
Asthma and pregnancy
Modern scientific studies say that the causes of chronic lifelong allergies are both genetic and environmental.
There is much evidence that the development of allergies and asthma actually begins in the womb. This is especially the case with asthma. Researchers are discovering that asthma may not be genetic at all. It is caused by triggers in the environment. Studies show that people with asthma develop the condition at some point in their lives due to exposure to toxins, such as mold. It can start in the womb.
SIDS and mold
Some studies have suggested that there may be a link between sudden infant death syndrome and exposure to black mold in the womb. There are also a variety of chronic fatigue diseases that children who have been exposed to mold can suffer from. Still, studies have not been done to show whether this is completely the case or not.
What you can do
If you have just found out that you are pregnant, or if you are just beginning to worry about mold, you should have your home or workplace tested for mold. You can get a home test kit at your hardware store. It’s probably a good idea to start your pregnancy in a mold-free environment. No one knows the exact relationship between mold and birth defects, allergies, and asthma, but prevention is better than cure.
Keeping your home mold-free after birth is also important for your baby’s health. There are no studies showing that mold has an effect on breastfeeding, but mold is definitely not healthy for your baby’s overall health.
One more thing to think about is your workplace. Many women work in the early or middle stages of pregnancy, and it is often harder to find mold in a building where you work than in your home. Ask your boss about mold inspections, especially if you work in an older building. If you can see or smell mold in your workplace, you are definitely in danger.
If your boss or supervisor does nothing about the mold problem, you can seek a legal solution. Laws are in place to protect the health of you and your unborn baby.