Pregnancy and Renovations

There is an unwritten rule in the Chinese community about carrying out renovations works. You simply do not do it if a member of the occupant is pregnant.


It is so ingrained in we simply accept it without question. There are also enough horror stories about the consequences of breaking this rule to keep the taboo alive.

But why should we not renovate when an occupant is pregnant?

There are a number of good reasons. Here is what I think.

A house is not a safe place to be during renovation works. The chances of an accident happening is high. For a pregnant person, the centre of gravity is shifted and it is easier to fall. In addition, the ligaments are soft and joints are less stable, increasing the risk of injury.

The pregnant woman make inadvertently get involving in moving items about. Some research indicates that there is a higher risk of miscarriage in women who do strenuous labour.

It is well known that smoking by pregnant mother may result in foetal injury, premature birth or low birth weight. I am not sure if the dusty unhealthy environment created during renovation works will have the same effect but it is certainly something worth avoiding.

There is increasing evidence that babies in the womb are aware of external noise. Particularly loud noises have been shown to stimulate the foetus directly, causing changes in heart rate. In addition to direct noise, the foetus is also not fully protected from its mother’s response to stress, caused by noise and the physical changes she experiences may be transmitted to the foetus resulting in a threat to proper foetal development.

It may interest you to know that a Japanese study of over 1,000 births produced evidence of a high proportion of low-weight babies in noisy areas!

So what if you must renovate?

The solution is to ask the pregnant occupant to move to another location (e.f. friend’s of sibling’s house) for the duration of the renovation. That’s it.

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