Is It Possible to Continue Woodworking While Pregnant?

If you’ve been woodworking for a while, you might be wondering if you have to stop once you become pregnant. This is a legitimate concern. It’s a good idea to make sure you understand the risks before doing anything that could potentially harm you or your unborn baby.

Let’s take a look at woodworking while pregnant and see whether you can keep it up.

Is Woodworking Safe?

In most cases, it’s safe to continue woodworking while you’re pregnant. Woodworking itself is not harmful to your pregnancy or your unborn baby.

In order to keep your unborn baby safe, there are a few changes that may need to be made to your usual routine.

You should make yourself aware of any potential risks that may arise. Plus, you should take all of the necessary precautions to keep your unborn baby safe. You may want to talk to your doctor.

What Precautions Should Be Taken?

A couple of easy precautions that you can take that will help protect you and your baby include:

1) Try to find wood that is natural so that the dust is less toxic. You should also wear a mask and work in a well-ventilated area. Cleaning the air in your shop is one of the most important buy often overlooked safety precautions among woodworkers. I began using a budget friendly air filtration system in my shop and have seen excellent results. Here’s the link to my complete review.

2) Some power tools may be too loud for your unborn baby’s developing hearing. That will be discussed in more detail later on.

As always, you should follow your doctor’s recommendations to be 100% certain of any decisions you choose to make. This is in the best interest of both your unborn baby and yourself too. Depending on the pregnancy and your own personal health, your doctor may set additional guidelines and restrictions.

Should You Woodwork Less While Pregnant?

If you can limit the amount of time you spend woodworking while pregnant, this may be beneficial to your pregnancy. You should consider the following factors when making this decision:

  • The materials and ingredients that you’re using
  • The sound level of the power tools that you’re using
  • The number of hours that you’re spending on your feet working
  • The amount of stress that you are under—physically or emotionally

It’s not necessary to cut back on your woodworking time, especially if it’s a good way for you to release stress or make some extra cash. You should evaluate the situation and make sure you’re doing what makes the most sense for you and your unborn child.

Is It Okay to Sand While Pregnant?

Yes, it’s safe to sand while you’re pregnant. If possible, you should use natural wood. As mentioned before, the dust that comes from natural wood is less toxic than other types of wood.

Be aware of the noise level of power tools too. Some of these loud power tools can be harmful to your unborn baby’s hearing.

To be safe, wear a mask while you sand. This can prevent some of the effects that the wood dust may have on your unborn baby. Masks can be found on Amazon for a very reasonable price. Here’s a link to a set my wife uses with numerous color options available to suit your personality!

Is It Okay to Stain While Pregnant?

It is okay to stain while pregnant, but you should be cautious with the materials you are using. Some stains contain toxic ingredients and chemicals that can be harmful to your unborn baby’s health.

Be sure to follow the general guidelines of using protective gear, such as gloves and a mask.

You should be sure to stain in ventilated areas. Liquid stains are usually safer to use than aerosol spray stains.

Is It Okay to Paint While Pregnant?

It’s okay to paint during pregnancy, but it’s important to be aware of what’s in the paint you’re using. Many paints contain potentially dangerous chemicals that could be harmful to you and your unborn baby.

Chalk paints are usually a safe bet because they’re nontoxic. Aside from that, you should try to stick to water-based paints.

Make sure your body is covered. Wear long sleeves and gloves. You may also wear a mask and goggles to be extra safe. Work in a well-ventilated area to ensure that you’re not breathing in too many fumes.

Some pregnant women choose to use a respirator. Check with your doctor in advance.

Potential Risks of Paints and Stains While Pregnant

Many stains and paints contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful to the health of your developing unborn baby. By making yourself aware of these chemicals, you will be able to protect your unborn baby from unnecessary health risks.

If you use paints and stains with toxins, your unborn baby’s organs may be affected. The toxins can slow the development of the unborn baby’s organs in the first trimester. After the organs have been developed, they can be damaged later in the pregnancy.

Here are some guidelines for using paints, stains, and chemicals:

  • Use water-based paints, such as acrylic paint.
  • Avoid oil-based paints and led-based paints.
  • If you happen to get your hands on paints from 1990 or earlier, don’t use it.
  • Avoid using spray paint that contains M-butyl ketone, which can lead to neurological damage in your unborn baby.
  • Avoid using turpentine.
  • Look for paints and stains that have reduced VOCs.

It may take some extra effort to find the paints that meet these requirements, but it will be worth it when your unborn child stays safe and healthy.

Risks of Using Power Tools While Pregnant

Often, people are concerned about the chemicals involved in DIY projects. This is definitely a necessary concern, but power tools another factor that should be considered.

The noise level of power tools can be very damaging to an unborn baby’s hearing. Consider how loud the tools sometimes sound to you. You have ways to protect your ears from these loud noises, but your unborn baby doesn’t. The amniotic fluid can help slightly, but, aside from that, your unborn baby has no way to protect their hearing.

When you’re around 26 weeks along, your unborn baby can hear about 40 sound decibels (dB). This continues to increase as your unborn baby continues to grow.

Loud noises can cause hearing loss in your unborn baby. Other potential issues include premature births.

It’s best to use power tools for short durations of time. Most power tools aren’t too loud, but you should still be cautious. In order to keep your unborn baby safe, you should only use loud power tools for a couple of hours each day.

Circular saws reach 100 dB so you should greatly limit the use of those tools.

Alternatives to Woodworking While Pregnant

If you’re concerned about the risks associated with woodworking, sanding, staining, and painting while pregnant, it’s a good idea to ask for help. Perhaps your partner can help you out and take over the woodworking for a little while.

You can also work on collecting the supplies and coming up with projects during pregnancy. Then, once the baby is born, you can go back to doing what you love without worrying about harming your little one.

You could spend less time woodworking while pregnant so that your body is exposed to less potentially toxic ingredients. The same is true for staining and painting.

If you want to continue painting and staining while you’re pregnant, be sure to look for the most chemical-free products to keep yourself and your baby safe. In addition to this, follow the guidelines listed previously.

Chemical Exposures While Woodworking?

If you aren’t doing the woodworking, painting, or staining on your own, you should still be aware of the risks. If you’re in the same room as someone who is working on a project, you should still follow the safety guidelines of wearing a mask and other protective gear.

You should also avoid eating or drinking while you or someone else is woodworking, painting, or staining. If you’re eating or drinking, you may be unknowingly ingesting these chemicals and putting yourself and your unborn baby at risk.

This is less of a concern but should still be considered. If your partner comes in from working with toxic chemicals, you still may be exposed to the toxins that are on their clothing or hands. Be aware of this and explain the risks. Maybe they could shower and change before you come into contact with them.

Additional Info About Woodworking During Pregnancy?

Your doctor is a great resource to use, as they will be able to provide you with a good, personal answer. Another good way to learn more is by calling the Pregnancy Environmental Hotline (1-800-322-5014).


As you continue woodworking while you’re pregnant, the health and safety of you and your unborn baby are most important.

Be sure to reach out to your doctor if you have any additional questions or concerns. If you begin to feel sick while working with any potentially dangerous substances, you should take a break and monitor your health closely. It can be a good idea to go to the doctor immediately to avoid any issues.

Try to follow the safety guidelines in order to keep your unborn baby healthy if you choose to continue woodworking while pregnant.