Expectant parents are always looking out to educate themselves on what to avoid during pregnancy for safety purposes. Outdoor and indoor air pollutants need to be prevented at all times, especially during pregnancy. These pollutants could be as a result of vehicle and building emissions. However, other sources can also contribute to this menace. It is essential to note that the majority of the population spend most of their time indoors.
Researchers have found that air pollution has adverse effects on pregnant women and their unborn babies. Therefore it’s vital for expectant parents to check on their home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Ensuring high indoor air quality is crucial for pregnant women. The unborn babies through their mothers require access to quality air.
Effects of contaminants
Contaminants such as ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide reduce air quality. These contaminants have detrimental effects on expectant parents in various ways. One negative impact is low birth weight in babies. A Los Angeles research institute conducted a study revealing that mothers residing in areas with high pollution gave birth to babies whose weight was below standard. Babies born in areas with less pollution have a standard weight.
Pre-mature deliveries are also linked to poor air quality. Other risks brought about by poor air quality is autism spectrum disorder. This is a condition that vastly affects children. The occurrence of the disease in babies is twice higher in mothers living in highly polluted areas. Zones with poor air quality may cause asthma in both the mother and the baby.
Fertility challenges and the risk of miscarriages are also associated with exposure to high levels of air pollutants.
Having understood that air quality is vital for expectant women, there is a need to check the quality of air, especially indoors continually.
How to correct poor quality air
There are a few drills that parents should do to ensure quality air indoors.
Looking out for indicators of ventilation problems in the home is key to ensuring the circulation of clean air. Parents should look out for stuffy or smelly shoes, clothing, or book storage areas that have mold. Testing for active radio gases like radon, among others, is also a key strategy. There are affordable testing kits for radon. But, you can also hire a professional to do the test.
Improving ventilation is the most efficient strategy. This is achieved by increasing the outdoor air getting into the house. Opening windows and doors and having a fully functional HVAC system can improve ventilation. Activities, i.e., painting should be done when the house ventilation is optimum.
If you use a traditional HVAC system or a furnace, you should ensure proper HVAC maintenance. After 60 to 90 days, the filter should be changed. Portable air cleaners can improve indoor air quality by filtering pollutants. Heat pumps do not emit harmful gases. Their services during pregnancy enhance air quality.
During pregnancy and after delivery, having a sound HVAC system guarantees clean air that is crucial for the health of the baby and the mother.