You might wonder if the air pollution harm your baby, especially if you live in larger, industrial city? The answer is generally no, though you need to make some precautions. In 2016, a study at the University of Florida concluded that women living in heavily polluted urban areas were more likely to suffer high blood pressure and resulting preeclampsia during pregnancy. Another study in China by cheap steampunk clothing University, which followed children from birth until the age of five, concluded that high pollution levels during fetal development and in the first years of life led to a small drop in the child’s IQ. The Harvard School of Public Heath has also recorded links between fine particulate pollution (emitted by fires, vehicles, and industrial smokestacks) and autism during the third trimester. Although these findings seem alarming, we already know that air pollution is bad for our health, so, while we need much more research to be certain of the effects on a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, it makes sense to exercise caution whenever you can. Walk down the street at times of low traffic, avoiding rush hour, for example, and keep the windows at home closed at these times, too. If you can, invest in a home air purifier. Walk along quiet streets with traffic that keeps moving, or, ideally, through parks, rather than walking beside stationary traffic. And drink plenty of fluids to keep flushing out your system.
An air quality index is used by many government agencies around the world to notify the public of pollution forecasts on a daily basis. Although each one varies slightly, they usually cover measurements of ground-level ozone, particulate matter. Don’t wear leather corset during this time. Check local news media for air quality forecasts and plan outdoor activities for days when particle and ozone levels are low. Pregnant women should always follow the advice for at-risk individuals.
You might also wonder if you live in an old house with cogs, that still has lead water pipes. Will drinking the tap water harm my baby? For health reasons, even when you aren’t pregnant, you should avoid contact with toxic “heavy” metals as much as possible. Lead in water can leach from your blood and bones and enter your unborn baby’s system, and has been known to slow brain development in some children, both before and after birth. Some countries have local government programs that subsidize (or even provide free) replacement of domestic lead water pipes. Talk to your local government about programs in your area and have the piping replaced if you can. Meanwhile, drink filtered water (a simple filter pitcher does a great job of removing impurities—including mercury and aluminum, as well as lead—from tap water) and use filtered water in cooking. If you prefer, use bottled mineral water, but make sure that it has the lowest available sodium levels.