5 tips for pregnant and new moms to protect themself from poor air quality in cities
Metros like Delhi and Mumbai have been in the news lately. The reason is the dropping air quality in these cities. The polluted air not only causes health issues like cough, throat and other viral illnesses, it also aggravates the conditions like asthma and heart diseases. If you are pregnant or have just given birth read on for 5 tips that you can use to protect yourself and your baby from this hazard.
1.Air purifiers are great to improve AQI
While writing this blog, I spoke to many parents living in Delhi to ask how are they dealing with the poor air quality. And 1 thing echoed by all was - air purifiers for home.
Investing in high-quality air purifiers for your home is an essential step in ensuring a safer environment for you and your baby. Look for purifiers with HEPA filters and activated carbon filters to effectively trap harmful pollutants, such as PM2.5 and PM10 particles, as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxins commonly found in Delhi's air. "I have an air purifier in every room. When I put it on, the air quality index is above 400 even in my house! It takes around 15 minutes for it to go below 10!, shares Bhoomika, a zactive mom of a newborn from Delhi NCR.
Secret tip: Air purifiers need maintainence every week to ensure they are functioning well!
2. Protective masks are a must for pregnant women
This seems like common sense but currently, barely anyone in Delhi or Mumbai is wearing mask outside. Its almost routine life for them to breathe the poor quality air. “Every year news channels used to talk about the poor AQI in depth, But this year, they are busy discussing other topics so people are not talking this seriously”, shares Tanvi, a pregnant mom from Delhi.
What do experts say? Dr Sonal Mishra, a gynecologist says that poor air quality can lead to increased risk of pregnancy complications such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and preeclampsia.
Secret tip: Look for masks labeled N95 or N99, which are designed to block at least 95% or 99% of airborne particles respectively, providing you with a higher level of protection from pollutants.
3. Air purifying plants provide cleaner indoor air
This is a great idea whether you are pregnant or have a new baby. Exposure to pollutants during pregnancy has been associated with an increased risk of respiratory issues in newborns, including asthma, respiratory infections, and impaired lung function. Pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) have been found to be particularly harmful, leading to respiratory inflammation and long-term respiratory health challenges for infants.
Several indoor plants have been recognized for their air-purifying properties, effectively helping to improve indoor air quality by removing harmful toxins and pollutants.
Get one plant for every 100 square feet to maintain cleaner air.Here are some common houseplants that can serve as natural air purifiers for your home:
4. Stay indoors when pollution levels seem high outside
Some studies have linked early-life exposure to air pollutants with an increased risk of chronic conditions later in life, including respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disorders, and even metabolic issues such as obesity and diabetes. Consider exploring prenatal yoga, gentle stretching, or meditation practices that promote relaxation and wellness. Additionally, opt for indoor hobbies and activities that promote mental stimulation and relaxation, such as reading, crafting, or listening to calming music.
5. Dust free indoor air will help when air quality is poor
Since majority of your time is spent indoors its critical to keep the environment as clean as possible. You can minimize air borne contaminants in your house by boosting ventilation when air quality is favorable. Ensure your living space remains as dust-free as possible by regularly dusting and vacuuming. Use wet mopping techniques instead of dry sweeping to minimize the circulation of dust particles in the air. Keep windows and doors closed during peak pollution hours.
Bonus tips from Zactive moms to stay safe from air pollution!
The best tips are always given by those who are experiencing it firsthand. Here are some super useful methods that have worked for many pregnant and new moms from our ZactiveTM mom community! Try these and let us know!
Drink warm water before bedtime to flush out pollutants.
Have a steam bath.
Inhale steam with few drops of eucalyptus oil.
Eat food rich is Vitamin A, C and E like carrots, pumpkin, lemon, amla and methi.
Check your personal care products to see if they contain harmful volatile organic compounds, Switch to those with low/no VOCs.
Check the air quality before stepping out on an app or the air quality index website to decide your outdoor plans.
Give kids honey, pepper and turmeric for immunity if they are above a year old.
By following these essential tips, pregnant and new moms can minimize their exposure to harmful pollutants and create a safer environment for themselves and their babies. Stay informed, stay cautious, and prioritize your well-being and that of your little one.
Watch this quick Youtube shorts video to know how to stay safe from air pollution in cities as a pregnant/ new mom!
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