Pregnancy is the time when you plan to welcome a twinkling star in your growing family and this is the time when you take extra care and protection. You avoid eating seafood, smoking cigarette and even consuming alcohol. You also take prenatal vitamins, following a healthy diet, and even paying regular visits to your Gynaecology. All of these are necessary for a healthy pregnancy, but what about the air you breathe? Researchers have studied how air pollution can adversely affect pregnant women as well as their babies, and the prediction looks more serious with every finding.
Effects of Polluted Air on Pregnant Women
According to the WHO, poor air quality can cause the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases. Poor air quality can have an adverse effect on pregnancy as well. Exposure to air pollution for a pregnant woman and her baby can lead to long-term consequences. In this concern, studies have stated that exposure to high levels of air pollution can adversely affect the brain development and IQ levels in children. In addition to this, a recent study has also underlined that when a pregnant woman breathes polluted air, the invisible particulate matter present in the air makes it through the placenta and reaches the fetus. This exposure to polluted air is the ultimate reason for infant mortality, premature birth, and even childhood respiratory problems.
Also read: Diseases caused due to air pollution
Tips To Stay Safe From Air Pollution During Pregnancy
Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy can be a serious concern. It can not only affect the mother but, the foetus as well. No doubt it is impossible to avoid every potential threat of air pollution, but there are few tips that you can follow to decrease the air pollution affects during pregnancy. Some of the tips are mentioned below.
- Study the Air Quality Index (AQI) – According to a report of World Health Organization, 92% of the world’s population live in regions where the air quality is unsafe. Even though the air looks clear, it might be contaminated, so, make it a habit of reading the air quality index report each day. This will tell you about the particulate pollution levels.
- Wear A Mask – Wearing a mask is one of the easier steps that you can follow to ensure that you stay safe from air pollution.
- Invest in an Air Purifier – It is not the outdoor air pollution that you should only worry about, indoor air pollution is also much more harmful compared to outdoor. A study reveals that the indoor air is two to five times higher than outdoors. You can easily solve this problem by purchasing an air purifier for your home. The appliance can remove everything from smoke to allergens, mold, and germs from your air thereby helping you and your baby grow in a healthier environment.
- Get Air-Purifying Plants – Plants can naturally filter air and even help you and your growing baby breathe healthier air. There are plants like spider and snake plants that can remove volatile organic compounds from the air and replace carbon dioxide with fresh/clean oxygen.
The Bottom Line:
Pregnancy is the time when you need to have a delicate balance in your life. There are many things that can influence the health of you and your baby and air pollution is something that you should learn to avoid. Follow the above tips to keep your new-born and loved ones safe from air pollution.