The air a pregnant woman breathes affects both her and her baby’s health.
You don’t have to be an expert to know that the quality of air in towns and cities is not the best, and there are environmental exposure you should avoid as a pregnant woman.
Air pollution exposure during pregnancy
Pregnanct women should avoid air pollution at all cost. Cars, lorries, and industrial facilities all emit poisonous carbon monoxide into the atmosphere.
And even if you’re a nonsmoker, but have close contact with smokers and inhale a lot of smoke from cigarettes or cigars as a passive smoker, then you also inhale carbon monoxide.
Therefore, protect your pregnancy from air pollution by avoiding the inhaling of smoky air, and harmful substances such as pesticides, repellants, and choky cleaning agents.
Why is polluted air dangerous?
Air pollution can increase the risks of pregnancy complications, and many women have asked us if poor air quality can cause miscarriage or birth defects.
Harmful substances in the air can enter the body through the respiratory tract, and when absorbed into the bloodstream, it can be poisonous and affect your health and that of your baby, especially in the first and second trimester.
The gases in polluted air is relatively harmful and the prolonged exposure to it can disrupt baby’s development during pregnancy.
Prolonged exposure to air pollution can cause underdevelopment of fetus, affect size and weight and lead to premature baby.
Pregnant women and the fetus are affected by air pollution the most and polluted air can significantly elevates the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure).
Since the immune system of the developing baby is also affected, the baby also has risk of complications after birth.
How to stay safe as a pregnant woman
Smoky air is bad for pregnancy, and studies have shown that prolonged exposure to bushfire for example can lead to low weight of babies when delivered, which is one of the risks of baby’s dealth.
- For your safety, you should try to stay away from smoking areas, rooms with a lot of smoke or polluted air once you’re pregnant.
- As a pregnant woman, you should ensure your window is covered by net, close it when the air flowing in has smoke, dust and others.
- Stay indoors more often when you’re pregnant
- Avoid or limit certain home chores like washing clothes with bleach.
- Limit the use of cleaning agents in bathrooms and toilet, and stop inhaling chemicals.
- Use a N95 face mask when you’ve have to interact with chemicals or when in the crowd or exposures to machines and smoke.
- Use air filters and purifiers at home and in office.
Midwives and pedeatricians always advise pregnant women to live in greener areas of towns and cities or even moving out to the countryside during pregnancy.
But if you don’t have such an opportunity, then try to at least spend the weekend in the countryside.