Air pollution is a leading cause of 9 million deaths worldwide. There are chemicals and particles in the air that can harm the human body. The environment we live in today not only affects our health, but also the health of our babies in the womb. Unborn babies are very sensitive. Because their bodies and brains are still developing, unborn babies are more vulnerable to disease.
Air pollution accounts for 1 in 10 deaths from respiratory infections. Industrial fumes from construction, smoking, cooking with wood or other organic sources, road and vehicle pollution contribute to air pollution. Studies show that six million infant deaths and up to 7% of all miscarriages in Asia could be prevented by using clean gas stoves, finding alternatives to waste disposal and helping each other to quit to smoke.
The effects of air pollution on a pregnant woman are;
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Low birth weight – Air pollution can cause problems like low birth weight in their babies. The ideal weight for a newborn baby is nine pounds, but babies weighing less than 5-8 pounds are considered ‘low birth weight’.
Premature birth or death – Premature birth increases the risk of problems such as underdeveloped lungs, a small brain, and death during or after birth.
Blood pressure – Air pollution in the mother’s womb poses a risk to the health of the child in the womb and the mother due to problems related to blood pressure.
Abortion – Air pollution can reduce fertility rates in both men and women. This can make it difficult for women to conceive a baby. In fact, air pollution also increases the risk of miscarriage.