Advanced Ob/GYN Blog

If I am pregnant or breastfeeding, should I use insect repellents?

Yes. Protecting yourself from mosquito bites is the only way to prevent infection with West Nile virus. In addition to wearing protective clothing such as long-sleeve shirts and long pants, use insect repellents. Repellents containing active ingredients which have been registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are considered safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. EPA registration means that EPA does not expect the product to cause adverse effects to human health or the environment when used according to the label. Of the products registered with the EPA, those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.
Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing. Heavy application does not give you better or longer-lasting protection. Do not apply repellents under your clothing. Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants, and apply the repellent to the clothing and small areas of exposed skin. Wash off the repellant once you return indoors.