How Air Pollution Impacts Pregnancy and Tips on How to Stay Safe

Pregnancy opens the doors of a whole new world for you. This marks the beginning of a new
life for you and you can’t stop imagining how you will be preparing for it. You may be instructed
to do a lot of things and the not-do- list is also equally long.

But as you toil hard to stick to them and secure a better and safe future for you and your baby,
have you ever given a thought about the air that you breathe?

Several cities from all over the globe are striving to solve the growing issue of air pollution that
is having far-reaching consequences on the lives of the citizens. Nitrogen dioxide, suspended
particulate matters, building emissions, vehicular exhaust, dust and chemicals as well as
second-hand smoke all contribute to the high level of pollution leading to various health issues
like wheezing, coughing, fatigue, sinus and eye irritation and even cancer.

Pollution also impacts pregnancy in a great way. Especially, in the first and second trimesters of
pregnancy, pollution enhances several risks to both the mother and the baby. Here are some of
the most common impacts of pollution on pregnancy.

Fertility Issues – Pollution is responsible for reducing the rate of fertility in both men
and women. Several studies have proved it. Miscarriages are also reported in several
cases because of pollution.

Premature Birth – Research has revealed that over three million preterm births occur
because of air pollution. Particulate matter pollution has been linked to almost 18
percent of all premature babies born in a year. Physical disabilities and neurological
disorders are seen more in preterm babies.

Autism – There is a higher tendency of giving birth to an autistic child for a women who
is exposed to higher level of pollution during the third trimester. The study also brought
to light that women who were exposed to similar levels of pollution earlier on their
pregnancy did not face the same risk.

Low Birth Weight – This one also reveals shocking data and pollution is directly
responsible for lower birth weight.

Asthma – Pollution triggers the onset of asthma that in turn leads to Preeclampsia
leading to higher blood pressure and reduced functioning of the liver and kidney. Your
child can also develop this condition later in life as a result of this.

Tips to Reduce Health Risks of Your Kid Arising from Pollution
It is a must to keep your baby and yourself safe and away from the risks mentioned above.
Since pollution is the main perpetrator in this case, you should take apt measures to steer clear
and keep it at bay as much as possible. Here are some tips to do so. Just read on.

Keep the Cleaning Products and Paint Fumes at Bay – It is vital to stay away from toxic
products of cleaning and paint fumes even when you are not pregnant. At the time of
pregnancy let your family and friends do the cleaning.

Know the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Your Area – Air Quality Index is a must to be
checked before you venture out. This is because even a clear looking air can contain
particulate matters that can cause harm to you and your baby.

Purchase Air-Purifying Plants – Spider plants, peace lily, snake plants are some of the
air-purifying plants that act as natural air filters. It will be beneficial for every pregnant
woman to purchase such plants.

Invest in Buying an Air Purifier – Pollution does not just exist outside your house. It is
present within your house, too. In fact, you will find two to five times more pollutants
inside your home as compared to the ones present outside. An air purifier helps to solve
this issue to a great extent. It removes smoke, moulds, allergens, germs from the air.

The above steps should be taken just after you have detected your pregnancy with a quality
pregnancy test kit and are sure about it. This way you can keep the pollution away and lead a
stress-free life and secure a healthy future for your child.

Dr. Vikram Venkateswaran

Management Thinker, Marketer, Healthcare Professional Communicator and Ideation exponent

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