Pregnancy is a very special time for future parents.Everything matters during pregnancy; from the food you eat to the air you breathe. Studies back this up, showing that those who are exposed to air pollution can result in lower birth weight and preterm birth.
Many of these studies were based on outdoor air pollution,but the fact is we spend as much as 90% of our time indoors. Because of this, it’s worthwhile to look at indoor air pollution, and how the quality of the indoor air we breathe can have during pregnancy.
The EPA says, “the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.” With that in mind, here’s what you can do to breathe easy during your pregnancy.
Take HVAC maintenance seriously
Your HVAC system filters the air going through your air conditioning so that the air is clean and fresh. It can only do this however, if the filter itself is able to hold more dust. Check your air filter regularly and change it whenever it appears dirty, or if it has been 1-3 months since the last time it was changed.
Dirty equipment can also lead to air pollution, for example sending mold through the home instead of filtering air pollutants out. If you notice dirty HVAC equipment, you may need to call a maintenance company for an inspection.
Check for common indoor air pollutants
You’ve probably already banned smoking and other obvious causes for air pollution, but there are other common causes you may not be aware of. Inspect windowsills, door frames, and other potentially damp locations for mold, and eradicate it if possible.
Mold is a very common air pollutant, and it can potentially cause a lot of harm to unborn babies, their parents, and other household members too.
Gas leaks can also be a possible cause of air pollution. If you have a gas stove or a gas line running into your home for other reasons,have it inspected to make sure it isn’t leaking gas into your home.
One of the easiest ways to improve indoor air quality is to simply open up your home and let fresh, outdoor air in. This isn’t always possible if the weather is too hot or cold, but on mild days opening doors and windows can really help freshen the air you breathe. If your bathroom fan exhausts outside, running the fan can also be another way to help boost ventilation even if the weather doesn’t allow for windows to be open.
Pregnancy is a very important time, when everything you do not only effects yourself, but the entire lifespan of another person. Most parents will do anything for their children, and that includes before they are even born. If you are concerned about the health of your little one, make indoor air pollution something you take seriously for the safety of you and your precious child.