What is mold?
Can mold make me sick?
I am pregnant and there is mold in my home. Is my baby at risk?
What if there is mold in my home while I’m breastfeeding?
How can I keep mold out of my home?
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Exposure to Mold
Information for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women
This sheet talks about the risks that exposure to mold can have during
pregnancy. With each pregnancy, all women have a 3% to 5% chance of having a baby
with a birth defect. This information should not take the place of medical care and
advice from your health care provider.
Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. They tend to grow in
warm, damp places. Molds spread by making spores that are able to live almost
anywhere. The damp conditions after a water leak or a flood can cause mold to grow
Mold can be many different colors. Mold can also have a musty, earthy smell. The
four most common molds that grow in homes are Cladosporium, Penicillium,
Alternaria, and Aspergillus.
Some molds produce substances that can make people sick. Symptoms from mold
exposure include stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, rashes, wheezing, and sometimes
fever and shortness of breath. Not everyone who is exposed to mold will have these
symptoms. People who have asthma and other chronic breathing problems can be
more sensitive to mold. People who have a weak immune system are at higher risk
for getting a mold infection in their lungs. If you have been exposed to mold and
have any of these symptoms, talk to a health care provider right away.
There are no human studies that look at exposure to mold during pregnancy. Studies
have shown that the substances that molds produce may raise the risk of birth
defects in animals. These studies may not apply to humans because the animals
were exposed to these substances in a very different way than a human might
If you are pregnant and there is mold in your home, it should be removed quickly.
If you have any of t