Chemist Husband

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
My husband is a chemist and works in the laboratory. We would like to start trying to get pregnant, but my husband is worried about the fact he works with chemicals and how that might effect his sperm and then the baby. He is especially worried because he has developed some allergic sensitivity to two different compounds he previous worked with and had to move to a different project.

He wears gloves and takes all the necessary (plus some) precautions. Should we be worried about his work and possible defects to a baby?

ANSWER

There should be a place at his place of employment that has Material Safety Data Sheets that specify the possible side effects of each chemical he is working with. He can check them to find out whether he has anything to worry about. Chances are everything is ok, but he would have to check to be sure.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.