Are you worried about mosquitoes biting you during your pregnancy, and harming your baby? Are you searching for a safe way to protect you both?
It’s only natural to be concerned considering all the negative media about pregnancy and mosquitoes!
By finding the best pregnancy-safe mosquito repellent, you can protect yourself and your unborn baby. A mosquito repellent can give you that extra peace of mind when you step outside.
Let’s look at the safety of using repellents when you’re pregnant and why you might want to consider adding one to your arsenal.
What Does a Mosquito Repellent Do?
A mosquito repellent uses a variety of different ingredients to create a substance that wards off insects and mosquitoes. One popular and effective ingredient you’ve likely heard of is DEET, also known as N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide.
A mosquito repellent does not kill mosquitoes, it simply discourages them from biting the skin.
Mosquito repellents work by confusing the olfactory system of the mosquitoes, i.e. their sense of smell. This confusion stops them from zoning in on a human target.
There have been other studies conducted theorizing the smells emitted from an insect repellent are repulsive to mosquitoes and this further discourages them from biting (1).
Dangers of Mosquito Bites During Pregnancy
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined mosquito bites can sometimes be much more harmful to pregnant women. While most times the only side effect associated with a mosquito bite is an inflamed and itchy bump, the real threat is possible disease.
The main risk associated with being pregnant and mosquitoes is the potential of contracting the Zika virus.
The Zika virus can cause birth defects in your baby. The main defect is microcephaly, which is a smaller than normal head, but it can also cause babies to have developmental delays.
Risks Associated With Mosquito Repellents
There are some mosquito repellents that shouldn’t be used when pregnant, but most are safe if used as directed.
Two mosquito repellents that have been registered by the EPA and have studies to back their safety for pregnancy and breastfeeding are:
- DEET: DEET repellents are believed to be effective and safe.
- Picaridin: This is an alternative insect repellent that’s also believed to be safe during pregnancy.
There are other alternatives on the market that are safe, but the two above offer the most effective protection.
Stay Away From
How to Use a Mosquito Repellent
You should always pay close attention to the directions given with mosquito repellents.
Some repellents may not have active ingredients and may not be as effective as others.
It’s also important to apply a proper amount of the repellent, but you don’t need to go overboard by applying too much.
mosquitoes can find a spot on your skin as small as a dime, if it isn’t covered in repellent. So, it’s important to cover all bare skin. You may find that some forms like lotion work better for you than sprays.
You can always spray your clothing for added protection and wear long sleeves or jeans. If you’re still worried, you can purchase a screened-in tent or another device to sit in when outside, or you might decide to avoid going outside during mosquito peak times, dawn and dusk.
Mosquito repellents wear off after a while, so you should look at the directions to determine how often you need to reapply.
Why Do mosquitoes Love Me Now That I’m Pregnant?
If you never seemed to be bothered by mosquitoes before becoming pregnant, that doesn’t mean you’re safe now.
Scientists have found that pregnant women attract twice as many mosquitoes as those who aren’t pregnant.
This reasoning could be because pregnant women take more breaths and mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, or it’s because mosquitoes are sensitive to body temperature and pregnant women tend to have higher temps (2).
What Product Options Are There?
Mosquito repellents come in a variety of different forms. Some can be purchased as aerosols, creams, sticks, liquids, bracelets, stickers, or pump sprays. They’re all to be used by applying to bare skin or worn (3).
If you’re leery about applying something to your skin when pregnant, wearing a repellent bracelet or stickers may be a great option for you. These aren’t as effective as sprays or lotions, but they’re better than nothing.
There are some repellents that are combined with sunscreen, but it’s best if you stay away from these. These tend to deplete the effectiveness of both and you’re better off using sunscreen and then applying a separate repellent.
How Much Should You Buy?
Typically one bottle of repellent will last you a while, but if you plan on being outdoors a lot you may want to invest in more.
Some users prefer to purchase a variety of different kinds like a lotion or spray so that have versatility.
It’s always best to be prepared, so it may be in your best interest to purchase more than one. You can always use citronella candles as an additional layer of protection!
The Best Pregnancy Mosquito Repellents of 2020
There’s a lot to be cautious about when you’re pregnant and expecting your little one, but sometimes the biggest threats come in the smallest packages.
Here are the top 5 pregnancy safe mosquito repellents:
1. Sawyer Insect Repellent
This pump spray is a great way to control your insect repellent application. You can pump it into your hands and apply on all exposed areas.
This contains 20 percent of the highly-effective ingredient Picaridin, so it’ll help you combat those pesky mosquitoes and other insects.
Each application is effective for up to 12 hours, and you’ll get 14 hours for the lotion. It’s safe to use on the whole family and won’t damage clothing, fishing line, or firearm finishes.
This repellent should provide you with enough peace of mind that you’ll feel confident venturing out during all hours of the day.
- It can easily be applied.
- Made with 20 percent Picaridin.
- Protects against the Zika virus.
- Variety of different sizes.
- It cannot be used on clothing.
- Some users said this product caused them to develop a rash.
2. Loaded Edge Mosquito Repellent Bracelet
This mosquito repellent bracelet is an option if you’re wanting extra protection, but don’t want to cover yourself if a spray or lotion. This is ideal for moms who aren’t comfortable putting products on their bodies while pregnant.
A bracelet is also a great option for short term use because you can simply slide it on and off of your wrist. You don’t have to worry about rinsing the spray off your entire body once you go back inside.
There are multiple colored bracelets available, and they’re individually packaged to allow you maximum wear time once opened of up to 250 hours.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy (not to mention relatively odorless) mosquito solution, this just might be it.
- You won’t need a shower after wearing one of these like you would with a spray.
- Comfortable to wear.
- Not as strong as products that contain DEET.
- May irritate sensitive skin.
3. OFF! Deep Woods Repellent
This brand has been a go-to mosquito repellent for years for many people. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use formulation that’s comfortable on your skin, this is the one for you.
It’s a spray, so it can be easily applied and contains 25 percent DEET, which is arguably the best insect repellent.
The other ingredients are safe for both adults and children, and many doctors recommend OFF! as the go-to brand for pregnant women.
There are varying sizes available so you have the option to choose one that best fits your needs. If you want one to simply fit in your purse or meet the TSA regulations, there are sizes for you.
- Repels mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting insects.
- Comfortable on the skin.
- Goes on dry and not greasy.
- It contains DEET, a powerful repellent.
- Some users said it left a white residue.
- Has quite a strong smell, which isn’t always welcome during pregnancy.
4. Cutter Skinsations Insect Repellent
This pump spray is great for people who want protection from insects, but don’t want to actually feel like they’re wearing an insect repellent.
The spray provides great comfort with its non-greasy formulation, but it also includes vitamin E and aloe to help keep your skin feeling great and moisturized.
Some pump sprays tend to be difficult because you can’t spray them in every angle that you prefer, but this one can still spray no matter the direction — even if held upside down. This is a great benefit when pregnant so you don’t have to try and maneuver a specific hold in a hard-to-reach area.
- Repels mosquitoes.
- A fresh scent that isn’t greasy or oily.
- EPA registered.
- It can be used on clothes.
- Some users weren’t pleased with its effectiveness.
- Does not repel ticks.
5. Greenerways Organic Insect Repellent
This impressive product is organic and all natural, being made of citronella, lemongrass, and cedarwood oils. Many mothers are skeptical of introducing foreign products onto their bodies when pregnant, but this one might ease their minds a bit because of the natural ingredients.
It’s easy to apply and has been lab-tested and proven to repel mosquitoes and 55 other insects.
If you’re looking for a safe way to protect yourself from insects, this is a great option. However, the ingredients used are all natural, so the product does need to be applied more regularly.
If you’d gladly sacrifice a long-lasting product for one that is 100 percent organic, this is the pick for you.
- Repels mosquitoes, ticks, flies, and chiggers.
- It can be used on clothing.
- Safe for pets too.
- Not as effective as products with DEET.
- Not as long-lasting as other products.
The Bottom Line
Our top pick for the best pregnancy-safe mosquito repellent is the Sawyer insect repellent. This spray is super effective, and it comes in many different sizes and a lotion option for real versatility.
The long-lasting power and strong active ingredients make it a great choice to combat mosquitoes and other insects. The easy application is another reason this pick comes out on the top of our list.
The best feature of this product is that it’s not only safe for use during pregnancy, but great for the whole family.
It’s always important to protect yourself from mosquitoes, especially when pregnant. What are your go-to insect repellents? We’d love to hear your comments!