How Does Indoor Air Pollution Affect Expecting Mothers?
When pregnant, you find yourself searching the Internet and other sources for information on; what to do and what not to do. While what to eat, drink, wear, or fitness are the main issues of concern, the air that you breathe also matters.
Studies show that the quality of ambient air has a direct impact on the health of expecting mothers and their babies. Premature births, low birth weight, and chronic health issues like diabetes in children are some of the proven problems. Therefore, there is a need for proper maintenance of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC). This will not only provide a safe indoor space for expecting mothers, but also a comfy one to live in.
Effects of Poor Air Quality On Pregnancy
Clean air is important to ensure an easy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Some of the possible effects of exposing expecting mothers to indoor air pollution are:
It is the wish of every parent to undergo a full-term pregnancy so that the baby is born healthy. However, exposure to air pollutants may increase the chances of a preterm pregnancy. Since the pregnancy will not have reached 37 weeks, the baby is at the risk of developing serious problems like:
- Neurological disorders
- Permanent physical disability
- Breathing difficulties
- Cardiovascular issues
- Immature body parts like the digestive system, heart, or retinopathy
According to the National Institutes of Health study, exposure to polluted ambient air may cause premature birth during the second pregnancy. Besides, research by an institute of the University of York recorded around 2.7 million premature births linked to poor air quality.
Low Birth Weight
Usually, in a full-term birth, a baby is expected to weigh about six to nine pounds. Any baby weighing five pounds and below is considered underweight. Indoor air pollution is one of the risk factors found to cause low birth weight.
As a study carried out in Los Angeles shows, pregnant women in the polluted areas had underweight babies in comparison to those in less polluted areas. This is because the pollutants contaminate indoor air and pregnant women spend most of their time indoors.
Autism and Other Spectrum Disorders
If expectant mothers are exposed to indoor air pollution, the unborn babies are at the risk of developing neurological disorders like autism. In 2013, the Harvard School of Public Health established that these effects are especially so if the pregnancy was in the third trimester. This causes children to experience developmental and behavioral problems that affect their learning, social life, growth, etc.
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Ensuring there's quality indoor air is a healthy behavior for a safe pregnancy. Avoid exposure to air pollution through regular maintenance of the HVAC system. Also, avoid going to areas with high levels of air pollutants like crowded urban centers.
For more information about indoor air pollution in your home, contact the experts at TDI Air Conditioning. We are here to ensure you have the best pregnancy and post-pregnancy experience with cleaner fresher air!