Its probably something you’d never really considered before falling pregnant, but how does the quality of air we live or work in affect our developing baby?
In a study conducted by the University of Florida in 2014, it showed that pregnant women who lived in heavily polluted urban areas were more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and resulting preeclampsia during pregnancy.
In another study in Poland, which studied children from birth until age 5, showed that exposure to high pollution levels during pregnancy and the first years of a child’s life led to a small drop in the child’s IQ.
At the Harvard School of Public Health, researches have recorded links between fine particulate pollution, which comes from Industrial Smoke stacks, fires, motor vehicle and industrial machinery, to autism. Showing women were twice as likely to deliver a child with autism when exposed to high particulate matter pollution during the third trimester.
Research has also shown that exposure to air pollution can lead to low birth weights and increase your babies chances of developing asthma later in life because the fine particulate matter actually crosses over into the placenta.
Whilst these reports can seem alarming, it’s already well known that air pollution is bad for our health, so it goes without saying that during pregnancy, more must be done to protect yourself and your baby.
More research needs to be conducted to be certain about the effects on a pregnant women and her baby but there are some simple precautions you can take that can help limit the exposure to toxic air pollution.
Here’s our top tips if you do live or work in the city:
1- Try to avoid walking in the street at peak hour. If this is unavoidable, a simple face mask can be helpful in reducing the pollution you breath in, until you get indoors.
2- Keep your windows and doors closed at times of peak traffic or when air quality is low poor . Try to stay indoors during this time as the biggest organ in the body – your skin, is actually absorbing 60-100 percent of whatever it comes into contact with and passing this on to your baby.
3- Invest in a air purifier for the home or office.
4- When walking outdoors, try to take the less congested route, along quieter streets that have more moving traffic rather than those prone to traffic jams.
5- Drink plenty of water to help flush away toxins from your system.
6 – Protect your air. Any time you cook, spray hairspray, paint or use cleaning products make sure you are in a well ventilated space.
7- Opt for social activities in clean outdoor spaces like a park or nature reserve. Try going for a walk and breath in the fresh air rather than sitting in a busy city style cafe.
8- Buy some air purifying plants. Plants can naturally filter your air and help you and your baby to breath easier. Certain varieties remove volatile organic compounds from the air and replace carbon dioxide with fresh clean oxygen. Get one plant for every 100 square feet to maintain clean air.
AIR QUALITY CHARTS
Many government agencies around the world use whats known as an “air quality index” to to notify the general public about daily pollution forecasts.
You can use this information to help plan your activities and be aware of potentially hazardous days. When assessing the information provided through these charts, news reports etc, pregnant women should always follow the advice given for people classified as “at-risk individuals”.
A wonderful way to help protect your body from toxins and free radicals encountered through environmental factors is through the marvelous protective benefits of Green Bosch.
The antioxidants in the South African plant exhibit free radical scavenging activity, meaning they help to prevent free radicals from being formed and remove them from your body’s tissue.
A deliciously nourishing and loaded with antioxidants herbal tea, that can be enjoyed daily. We use this powerful herb as the base of our ACTIVITEA blend. Its perfect for pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy. 100% organic and caffeine free.