Pregnancy is the most beautiful time of a women’s life. Although for some, quite painful and exhausting too, but the thought of a life growing inside your body, takes away all these pains. While women are pregnant they tend to be more cautious about their and eventually their babies health. Their diet, sleeping patterns, health checks are all improved to a certain level, in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy. This is all done keeping in mind the health of the baby and mother. However, there are a few common risk factors that we unintentionally ignore because they are a part of our day to day life style.
Disclosure: For informational purposes only. If you have any questions about the chemicals in your home, contact the local poison control center or your health care provider.
Ever wondered, the environment, the air we breathe in both indoors and outdoors what threats do they pose to a pregnant women and her unborn child? Specifically if a women spends more time at home, thinking she is safe and can take better health precautions while at home; how certain is she that her home is the health sanctuary she believes it to be? According to a research, your house is 5 times more polluted than the outdoors. That being said, there are many health concerns lurking in the general environment we live in. While it is impossible to change the environment or atmosphere for expecting mothers, some precautionary measures can at least minimize the effects and threats they pose.
Toxins and Other Harmful Agents in the Air
“A medical research study conducted by the University of California San Francisco shows that contact to toxins or chemicals during pregnancy can result in serious health problems for unborn babies. These health effects include: low birth weight, birth defects, and premature births. “A recent medical research study conducted by the University of California San Francisco found that exposure to chemicals during pregnancy can have adverse health effects on unborn babies, including low birth weight, birth defects, and premature births.”
What we are usually concerned about when it comes to maintaining a healthy environment at home for women is: no smoking, avoid using pesticides, and cleaning products. But what we don’t realize is there are thousands of other extremely harmful chemicals that might have even adverse effects as compared to them. But the problem lies in the fact that they are not considered a health problem or even a problem despite their harmful nature. Volatile Organic Compounds found in formaldehyde, evaporating in air through various sources like paints or fossil fuel becoming a part of their air inside, gasoline, they are also found in scents and odors. The VOCs, if they don’t leave any serious health hazards can leave long term effects which may keep affecting the body. In pregnant women the threat is maximized because the air they inhale directly influences the baby.
Carbon Mono Oxide is another commonly found hazardous agent which can affect the health of mother and the baby. People living in areas where their exposure to carbon mono oxide is high, should take precautionary measures to keep a healthy environment for their children and family. Recent studies have also proved expecting mothers exposed to high air pollution during their late pregnancies have more chances of giving birth to autist children. Fine particulate air pollution which is a combination of dust, hazardous smoke and other such components, if inhaled during the third trimester, increase the risk of autism among the children born.
In order to create a healthy and prosperous environment at home for the mother and baby it is very important to take some precautionary measures. These preventive actions may not completely curb the threats but will minimize the harm and will help maintain better air quality.
- Adopt healthy and organic options, like planting certain plants which result in better and clean oxygen production.
- Avoid using equipment which burns any type of fuel to operate.
- Check your furnace and insulators to ensure no harmful gas leakage.
- Avoid using aerosols, scents, perfumes, air fresheners so as to minimize the mixing of VOCs in air.
- Use air purifiers and filters, like HEPA to ensure some air cleaning is done despite the pollution. Filters and purifiers will help decrease the number of allergens, dust, dust mites, air borne germs etc.
The most weak and defenseless of life stages is the time between the conception and delivery, for both mother and baby. It is very important for an expecting mother to breath in an environment that does not leave any bad influence on her and the baby’s health. Reports have proved that babies born after high exposures to environmental pollution are far more likely to have risks of digestive, mental and respiratory problems in their infancy and sometimes their entire life.
Photo Credit: Free Digital Photos