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Pollution Effects on Pregnant Women and Babies

Combating pollution effects for those who are susceptible to the effects of it can’t be ignored. Not only do the respiratory patients or the aged people but even pregnant women and babies are significantly impacted by it. 

Polluted air has particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, vehicle exhaust, building emissions, smoke and other dust particles which makes it quite a toxic combination. The harsh impact of pollution is seen at the time of conception too. It can adversely affect the development of foetus. Pollution can lead to premature birth, birth defects of brain and spine, low birth weight, increasing incidents of illnesses in babies, respiratory illness in children as well as irritation in lungs, eyes and throat. 

There is evidence that pregnant women’s exposure to every mild increase in pollution could result in a 4gm decline in the baby’s birth weight. Air pollution also increases the risk of miscarriages. Also the risk is as bad as the risk from smoking for pregnant women. This air pollution risk causes loss of pregnancy by 16%. It was also noticed that 18% of the annual pre-term births are linked to the pollution effects. 

Research also links the rise in asthma due to air pollution leading to preeclampsia.

Given such a bleak scenario, what do you expect can be the solution? 

While the major impact is outside of the home, it will take a very long time to make changes so what can pregnant women and new mothers do? Here are a few solutions –

  1. Take flu vaccination with the input from your doctor. Rise in pollution is notably seen in months of October and November and this should be kept in mind.
  2. Limit outdoor activities especially during rush hour
  3. Never forget to wear masks
  4. Practice hygiene by washing hands, eyes and face
  5. Fluids are good to flush and replenish the inner system and keep skin healthy
  6. Immunity booster foods and supplements can be had (in consultation with the doctor)
  7. Get air purifier installed in your home
  8.  Don’t stress much but also ensure that you keep your home well ventilated too. Lack of air flow also has other effects on health.

If you keep these points in mind it is easy to combat the effect of pollution at home and keep yourself healthy.

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