A new study reports that maternal exposure to any phenomena caused by climate change i.e. ozone, high heat, or the fine particulate matter may trigger pregnancy-related complications. It could result in pre-term birth, stillbirth, low birth rate, and others. The complete findings of this study are published in the journal JAMA Network Open.
This link is determined after going through 57 studies with information and medical records of 32.8 million newborns from all over the US. Among all factors, the highest risk was estimated for heat and increased air pollution. On the other side, women who had asthma or were Black were highly affected.
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Nathaniel DeNicola from George Washington University says that these study findings are helpful especially determining the risk of climate change on minorities living in the US. The additional risk is for those people who are living near to any industrial area.
According to DeNicola, health care experts could take whatever it takes to warn pregnant women about the risks of climate change and how can it affect their newborn. It is common to see news about people suffering from dehydration when the heatwave strikes but rarely pregnant women are exclusively warned about any such thing.
Not just the OB-GYNs but the local counsels can also advise pregnant women to follow general precautionary measures and save themselves and their unborn child.
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The results of previous studies reveal that climate change has disastrous health effects on everyone’s health and this risk could be much higher for a woman who is carrying a baby in her womb. But fortunately, doctors and support groups can conduct sessions about climate-related factors and suggest women how to avoid them.
Some of the studies show that some ethnic groups for example Black and Hispanic communities are more likely to experience low birth rates. Hence it is necessary to prevent anything that could let it happen.
Doctors are advising pregnant women to avoid environmental pollution in the following ways.
- It is necessary to evaluate air pollution in the are where a woman lives. Many online tools can also help in this regard. It is better to estimate when the air is unsafe for a pregnant woman and based on this information she can choose to live indoors and avoid getting exposed to pollution.
- Making sure that a woman is not spending much time outdoor especially in areas that are high in pollution. It also includes waiting in traffic or areas near a high way or a port.
- It is advised not to burn anything in the house especially in an enclosed capacity. It includes the cigarettes and the fireplaces because both of them affect the quality of the air where a person breathes. It is better to look for safer alternatives i.e. electric heaters.
- Pay attention to the labels while purchasing cleaning sprays and bleaches. Products that are used around a pregnant woman should be as per EPA’s recommendations and free from irritants.
- Try using an air filter in the house to purify the air.
- If there is a construction site near the house, try to shift somewhere else for a temporary basis. The pollution caused by a construction site is unavoidable most of the time.