It’s not pain but labour, that brings in a healthy, rosy, crying (yes, that’s a good sign usually) human being out in this world. And suddenly the little one is crawling, babbling, walking and growing up in a jiffy!
All moms-to-be go to great lengths to ensure that their babies get all the protection they need. And we are sure you are no exception. But here’s something you may have missed.
Preparing For The Baby’s Arrival!
Your shopping list must be packed with items like hand sanitizers, toys, booties and dream-catchers. A thorough sanitisation of the room that the baby is going to spend a good amount of time in is also on the cards. But often, this sanitisation is not able to include removal of tinier, almost invisible impurities like fine floating dust, smoke, pet dander, particles from volatile compounds in and around that very cosy room. These almost invisible particles are what are called “particulate matter”. Amidst all the hopes, socks and songs you are weaving for your special wonder-to-arrive, this “particulate matter” wreaks havoc without you even knowing about it – as one of the most dangerous forms of indoor air pollution.
Fighting the Invisible Monster
Particulate Matter is, indeed, a fine particle (often measured in microns) that can range across shockingly-microscopic sizes, and is almost invisible.
Believe it or not, India houses 10 of the 20 global cities with the highest level of Particulate Matter 2.5 or PM2.5, as per the World Health Organization (WHO). And exposure to these particles is an open-arms invitation for both not just short-term health dents related to nose, throat, eye, lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath but also long-term damage like asthma, heart disease, amplified respiratory ailments and more.
PM2.5, for instance, is as teeny-weeny as two and a half micrometre or less in diameter. It’s infinitely -small size, however, does not make its effect negligible.
Noel Mueller of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore examined the data on 1,293 mother-child pairs and assessed kids’ blood pressure at checkups from ages 3 to 9 years. He says 'we believe that when pregnant women breathe air with high levels of fine particulate matter, it causes an inflammatory response that alters genetic expression and fetal growth and development, on the pathway to high blood pressure in childhood”.
The study reveals that children exposed to the highest levels of ‘fine-particulate air pollution’ in late pregnancy were 61 per cent more likely to have high blood pressure than those exposed to the least pollution. It suggests being wary of PM2.5, which when inhaled, can enter the circulatory system and lead to health problems.
So how can you be both a nurturer and a soldier for the baby who is nestled inside you?
Taking precautions outdoors and purifying indoor air is a good start.
When outside, wear a RESPIRATOR instead of a mask. Multiple layers of handkerchief or dupatta also don’t do the job. They can only filter dust particles at best, and not particulate matter like PM 2.5. So, when you step out for work or leisure, make sure you wear a certified disposable respirator which can protect you from dust and mist.
While taking precautions outdoors and purifying indoor air is a smart start, remember that when it comes to indoors, anything seemingly inconsequential can be crawling in via cooking smoke, candles, heaters, dust and dirt through carpets, pet dander, curtains, furnishings, household chemicals, perfumes etc. When indoors, invest in air purification solutions. You can use, for instance, AC filters that are easily connectible with your AC and start absorbing particulate matter.
That’s not the least that you can do for your priceless baby. That’s quite a lot.
Now that you are air aware, how about passing on the wisdom to other expecting mothers?
To get started with the protection preparation for your baby, check out our products here.
Wishing you and your baby the best of health!
Also read: Eat Healthy Foods During Pregnancy Easily