Are Fireplaces Safe During Pregnancy? (Protect Yourself)

The moment you find out you are pregnant, many things will be off-limits including alcohol, some food, and other things. However, what about a fireplace? Will it affect you during pregnancy? 

The short answer to this is, it depends. The effects of a wood-burning fireplace are not the same as that of a gas or electric fireplace. 

Compared to the other types of fireplaces, a wood-burning fireplace is the one likely to lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. This is not bad just for the pregnant woman but for any other person. 

A study carried out on women living in Pakistan sought to understand if their method of cooking would affect their pregnancies. Well, it was recommended that those who used firewood to cook would bear children with lower birth weight than those who didn’t. 

However, even if that was the case, the presence of proper ventilation left them having the babies at the expected weight. Even for those who had their children with lower weight, it was not too much. 

So, you can see that smoke from the wood is the same as a fireplace. Without proper ventilation, then it is expected that it can affect your health and the baby’s too. 

We can say that there is little effect on your child since other factors can also lead to the child having a slightly lower weight. Also, no one would go around sticking their nose close to the wood-burning fireplace just to end up with smoke in their body.

So long as you feel dizzy or nauseous while seated by a wood-burning fireplace, just move away and get proper ventilation. 

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Fireplaces are not Harmful 

We have just taken a scenario of a wood-burning fireplace above. When you look at the electric and gel fireplaces, they are both good at their job without leaving fumes in the room. For such fireplaces, no need to worry about affecting your unborn child. 

You should also consider giving the fireplaces proper inspection and maintenance. We can consider a gas fireplace. You should check for leaks and other functionalities of the gas fireplace. If there are no leaks, you will be sure of a great fireplace that can soothe your swollen feet during pregnancy. 

What Happens If You Inhale Smoke While Pregnant?

Your health always determines the health of your baby while pregnant. It is why you should not smoke while pregnant. It is not just you smoking a cigarette, but also sitting close to smoke sources such as wood-burning fireplaces. 

So, what will happen if you inhale smoke while pregnant? Here are some of the effects. 

  • There will be low oxygen both for you and the baby
  • There is an increase in the heart rate of the baby
  • The chances of miscarriage increase
  • The baby can be born prematurely and can have a low birth weight 
  • You will increase the chances of your developing respiratory problems 
  • You can increase birth defects

As you can see, there can be quite a number of downsides to smoke exposure while pregnant. So, you should consider using the wood-burning fireplace only if it is well ventilated. 

At What Stage Of Pregnancy Does Smoking Affect The Baby?

The dangers of smoking or being exposed to fireplace smoke can still be bad regardless of the pregnancy stage. It is why more people would always be told to consider quitting smoking as soon as they get confirmation about their pregnancy. Ignoring this message can leave you with a premature baby or sometimes a miscarriage. 

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How to Protect Yourself From Smoke While Pregnant 

Maybe you just love a wood-burning fireplace. It does not mean you cannot enjoy it while pregnant. Here are a few ideas on how to use such as a fireplace while keeping the smoke to a minimum. 

  • You should use a fireplace grate. This will keep the wood away from the floor and generally improve airflow. This means your firewood burns better with not much smoke in the room. 
  • Building your fire towards the back can also help with minimizing smoke coming into your room. Most of it will leave the house through the chimney.
  • You need to burn wood with low moisture content or that is already properly dried. When the wood is wet, you might end up with too much smoke in the room. 
  • Have the chimney inspected and cleaned. This only has to be done once a year and it can save you a lot of trouble. If the chimney is not blocked, then you will experience the best fireplace sessions with no chances of inhaling too much smoke. 
  • Do not start the fireplace when it is too windy. Windy conditions can lead to a backdraft thus forcing the smoke back into the room. This leads to having too much smoke in the room than how you would want. 

Conclusion: Are Fireplaces Safe?

Yes. Fireplaces are safe only that you need to use them as recommended. Like for pregnancy, you are supposed to use the fireplace only when there is enough ventilation. Without proper ventilation, you might end up with health issues that also affect your unborn baby. You can also use electric or gel fireplaces that do not release fumes making them even safer for you. 

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