Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 03 Dec 2019 Air pollution and it ...

Air pollution and its affect on pregnancy

Published Dec 3, 2019, 1:06 pm IST
Updated Dec 3, 2019, 1:06 pm IST
Air pollution is particularly detrimental to the foetus during pregnancy.
Research reported it is not exactly clear how particulate matter can trigger autism.
 Research reported it is not exactly clear how particulate matter can trigger autism.

Air pollution refers to the mixture and release of pollutants into the air that are damaging to human health and the environment. Usually, polluted air is formed of ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, vehicle exhaust, building emissions, second hand smoke, dust and chemicals. Poor air quality is associated with a number of adverse health effects; from cardiac and respiratory problems to cognitive decline. Research suggests that air pollution is particularly detrimental to the foetus during pregnancy.

The numerous studies have pointed out how prenatal exposure to air pollution from vehicles may affect children’s birth weights, gestation periods and lung health after they are born. Dr Aruna Kalra, Gynaecologist and Obstetrics Surgeon mentions below are a few consequences you need to keep a check on during your pregnancy.


Fertility Troubles – The air we breathe can seriously affect our chances of expanding our family. Multiple studies have ascertained that air pollution contributes to lower fertility rates in men and women. Some research have also linked air pollution as a reason for miscarriages as inhaling polluted air is considered as dangerous as smoking.

Sudden infant death syndrome – At times being regularly exposed to passive smoke may put you and your baby in immense danger. Air pollution is also linked to sudden infant death syndrome in babies.


Underweight delivery – In usual pregnancy a baby is born about six to nine-pounds at 38 to 40 weeks. On the other hand babies fewer than five pounds eight ounces are considered weak and under weight. This can happen for a variety of reasons—but exposure to air pollution while pregnant is speculated to as a major cause.

Development of autism – Expecting mothers who were exposed to high levels of fine particulate pollution during their pregnancy have double the risk of developing autism for their babies in regard of mothers breathing cleaner air. Research reported it is not exactly clear how particulate matter can trigger autism. Some known facts say that pollution is draped with infinite contaminants those perforate cells, which can interrupt with the brain development.


Premature delivery – Children born before term have quite a risk of neurological disorders and permanent physical disabilities. While premature birth can happen to anyone for many reasons, air pollution is one we can try to avoid.

Once you find out about your pregnancy you get cautious and settle for a healthy lifestyle by eating fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, going for a walk, taking plenty of rest, and plan to do everything for a healthy pregnancy. The question is have you ever considered if the air that you breathe is good enough for your baby? Pollution is one of the biggest problems in our country. Polluted air is noxious to us, particularly for pregnant women. Find out here how to and protect yourself.


Expecting women portions everything with their foetus including what they consume, drink and inhale. It is crucial that you keep a tab of the air quality before heading out, it may be useful to limit the time when you go out during peak pollution. Generally, ozone levels tend to be lower in the morning. If the air quality is bad, it is safe to be indoors.

Indoor plants – Some plants have the ability to filter out the air and assist you and your growing baby inhale fresh air by removing hazardous compounds from the air and substituting carbon dioxide with oxygen.


Using air purifier – Indoor air pollution has an answer at hand an air purifier. These devices get rid of everything from smoke to dust and germs from your air—helping you and your baby grow in a healthier environment. Better air quality from the start can have long-lasting benefits for your baby.

Use of natural products – Many household cleaning products may contain harmful chemicals, you can create a healthy environment by using natural household cleaners like vinegar, using your electric chimney when cooking, and using carbon monoxide detectors. Avoid going into freshly painted rooms and rooms with people smoking as passive smoking is also equally dangerous.


In order to have a healthy and safe pregnancy, you need to save yourself and your baby from the ill-effects of air pollution.