Mosquitoes and other insects are a nuisance during the spring and summer. Their high-pitched buzzing is a huge distraction, and the bites they leave can be itchy and infected. On top of that, mosquito bites can be dangerous. These insects can transmit a number of potentially life-threatening illnesses.
When you’re pregnant, you have to protect both yourself and your growing baby. But you don’t want to use insect repellents with ingredients strong enough to harm your developing child. So how do you protect yourself during pregnancy?
We’ve put together a guide on how to choose the right insect repellents, how to protect yourself, and a few recommendations for repellents you might choose. Everything Pregnant Women Should Know About Mosquitoes.
Best Mosquito Repellent When Pregnant
|#1. Captain Blankenship|
Our Best Pick
|Oil of lemon eucalyptus||4 ounces|
|Catnip, citronella||4 ounces|
|#3. Zoe Organics|
|Lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, clove essential oils||2.7 ounces|
You might feel like ever since you became pregnant, you’ve become a homing beacon for mosquitoes. They might constantly be landing on your body, and you may find yourself contending with more bites than usual. You aren’t making it up. Research has shown that mosquitoes are twice as attracted to pregnant women as non-pregnant women.
The reasoning behind this isn’t yet clear. One theory is that it’s because mosquitoes find their prey by detecting carbon dioxide. Pregnant women tend to breathe more frequently, exhaling larger pockets of carbon dioxide. Another factor could be the elevated body temperature of expecting mothers. Mosquitoes are heat-seeking creatures.
Mosquito bites can sometimes be more dangerous during pregnancy. If a disease is transmitted to your body, it could have devastating consequences. The Zika virus can lead to microcephaly in unborn babies, which can cause developmental delays. Because of this, it’s recommended that pregnant women in the United States not travel to regions that are affected by the Zika virus.
If you’re pregnant, you’re probably concerned about the chemicals you’re introducing to your body. Is it better to risk being bitten than to use insect repellent?
No. You should always use insect repellent. Multiple studies have shown that it is safe to use insect repellents and bug sprays while you’re pregnant, provided you follow the instructions. Any mosquito spray you choose should be officially registered with the EPA.
Oil of lemon eucalyptus is a natural ingredient that’s considered safe for pregnant women. If you’re looking for natural formulas, this is the main ingredient you should look for.
DEET and Picaridin have also been approved for use in pregnant women. DEET is the most effective mosquito repellent on the market, while Picaridin is almost as effective. DEET can damage and stain synthetic materials, while Picaridin can’t.
#1. Captain Blankenship Organic Sail Away Spray
Captain Blankenship has created this bug spray to offer a natural alternative to the majority of the products on the market. The CDC has only approved one natural ingredient to repel mosquitoes and prevent disease as well as DEET. That’s oil of lemon eucalyptus. In addition to using this ingredient as the main component of the spray, the formula also uses a variety of other essential oils.
The lemon eucalyptus oil works as an alternative to DEET that can repel both ticks and mosquitoes. Rather than relying on OLE alone, though, the formula also uses rose geranium, peppermint, lemongrass, lavender, and wildharvested cedarwood essential oils.
Each of the oils serves a slightly different purpose. They all work together to create a blend of scents and effects that protect you from insects. The peppermint and rose geranium oils help to prevent ticks from detecting you or latching on. All of the other oils are good for confusing the senses of a variety of different biting insects.
During your pregnancy, you’re probably going to try to avoid using a lot of synthetic chemicals or potentially toxic substances. This formula is a natural bug spray alternative that uses exclusively wild-harvested and organic ingredients.
There are four ounces of spray in each bottle.
#2. Erbaviva Buzz Spray
Erbaviva is a company that specializes in formulating organic skincare products. They’re an ideal choice when you’re trying to limit the number of synthetic or potentially harmful chemicals that come in contact with your body. At the same time, the formula of their “buzz spray” is effective enough to protect you against disease-transmitting mosquitoes.
The insect repellent uses a blend of biodynamic and organic essential oils. It’s comprised entirely of all-natural ingredients. Biodynamic farming is a process that applies holistic philosophies and work principles to organic farming. As such, the formula is designed to be environmentally-friendly and healthy for humans to use.
There are a number of active ingredients blended together in this spray. Like the previous option on the list, the formula incorporates oil of lemon eucalyptus to help repel mosquitoes. On top of that, the formula includes lemongrass, citronella, cedarwood, and catnip. The combination gives off a warm and citrusy scent that many people find pleasant.
Each bottle comes with four fluid ounces. Applying the spray is easy. You can either squirt it onto your exposed skin or spray it into your hands and rub it onto your arms, legs, and face.
The citronella in the formula acts as a natural mosquito repellent. Citronella oil is available in a wide range of different products, and it can even be burned as mosquito repellent. It’s safe for use around the entire family, and it should be safe for pregnant women to use.
Lemongrass oil is another natural insect repellent with proven research behind it. The plant from which it is derived has been used as an insect repellent for hundreds of years.
The rosemary extract is added to the formula as an organic antioxidant. It extends the bottle’s shelf life and preserves freshness so you get a longer usage without harmful chemicals near you or you baby.
#3. Zoe Organics Insect Repellent
Zoe Organics is another company that works to create organic products to enhance your home life and self-care. They have formulated this insect repellent to provide a natural alternative to chemical-laden sprays on the market. It should be safe to use for pregnant women.
The formula is crafted completely from botanical oils. It uses a blend of different ingredients to create a barrier of protection against a number of different insects. The base is created from non-GMO castor and soybean oils, which are nourishing and soothing against the skin. The pleasant-smelling essential oils add power.
According to the manufacturer, this insect repellent will only provide complete protection for a few hours, so you need to make sure that you reapply the formula. Just spray the liquid onto your hands and rub it against your skin. It’s recommended that you apply a new coat every two hours or when you start noticing bugs near you again.
You should be especially conscious of when you’ve been sweating or swimming. Every time you engage in physical activity or get wet, apply a new coat. As an oil-based formula, the spray comes out in a stream of liquid instead of a mist. You can apply it like a body oil if you want.
The gentle formula is made up mostly of soybean oil. The concentrations of the essential oils, while effective, are so diluted that they won’t cause toxic effects or reactions for sensitive skin. If you’ve experienced adverse reactions to too-strong insect repellents in the past, you might want to give this one a try.
Before you choose any insect repellent, you should talk to your doctor about what options are safest for you. Not every product with all-natural ingredients will be safe for fetal health. Similarly, some products with synthetic chemicals may pose no risk at all.
If you want an insect repellent that uses active ingredients approved by the CDC, the Captain Blankenship spray is the best option on the list. It uses oil of lemon eucalyptus, which is the only natural ingredient that the CDC has approved to prevent the transmission of disease. All the ingredients are wild harvested and organic.
Another option for an insect repellent is the Erbaviva spray. This concentration makes use of citronella and catnip. Both of these ingredients are well-known for being natural mosquito repellents. They can confuse a mosquito’s senses until your scent isn’t detectable.
If you want an insect repellent that blends many essential oils into a powerful formula, Zoe Organics has an offering that might please you. Each of the oils in the formula is chosen based on its ability to repel different insects. In the end, you’re protected against not only mosquitoes, but also ticks and a variety of other potentially harmful insects.