There are a lot of things that are advised to a Pregnant woman, from what to eat to as specific as what not to but what about the air you breathe

What Air Pollution is?

Air Pollution is the release of pollutants in the air which is very harmful to the human health. The pollutants that generally comprise of air pollution are gases like PM2.5, PM10, Ozone Gas, Nitrogen Dioxide, chemicals and smoke from factories and cars.

The amount of damage that is created by air pollution affects children, older adults, people with respiratory problems and pregnant women a lot.

How Air Pollution affects women who’re pregnant?

Let’s start by saying that any sort of exposure to pollutants either in the air or gases emitting out of vehicles, smoke out of stoves can all be linked to premature birth rates and lifelong problems in children in accordance with many kinds of research.

  • Low in Weight

– According to the Research of Steering Committee formed by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2016, it was found out that the usage of cooking stoves and chulhas is one of the main reasons for low weight amongst babies.

– A study in the worst Air Pollution affected the city, Beijing was conducted connecting air pollution with low weight. Where researchers studied women who were pregnant during the 2008 Beijing Olympics during the two-month span where the city was mandated to low emissions and better Air Quality. It was found out that women who were eight-months pregnant during the Olympics compared to women who delivered during the same calendar month after few years, delivered babies who were 0.8 years heavier.

  • Intrauterine inflammation 

Intrauterine Inflammation is a condition that can increase the risk of health problems for her child from the fetal stage well into childhood and beyond. This condition as researchers have found out has increased due to the intake of Air Pollution and Pollutants in different sources.

A study conducted by Environmental Health Problems stated that pregnant women exposed to the highest levels of air pollution were nearly twice as likely as those exposed to the lowest levels to have intrauterine inflammation, with the first trimester appearing to be the time of highest risk. The results held up even when researchers accounted for other factors, including smoking, age, obesity, and education levels.

  • Premature Birth

According to the University of Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at the University of York, it was noted that there are almost 3 million born prematurely every year due to Air Pollution. It is also denoted that women who do not treat their asthma well during pregnancy will have a higher rate of premature births.

  • Slow mental growth

– According to a study in Krakow, Poland, led by Columbia University environmental health scientist Frederica Perera. Her team monitored healthy, non-smoking pregnant women for exposure to common air pollutants called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH’s. The children of women with higher PAH exposure scored lower on cognitive tests at age five as compared to people who were at a lower risk of air pollution.

– A Harward Study also noted that women who are exposed to high levels of Particulate Matter during their third trimester are more likely to have a child with autism, especially if they live near a highway with high PM levels.

  • Child mortality

A study conducted by the Public Health Foundation of India about household air pollution that was published in 2015 found out that there is a strong association between household air pollution and neonatal mortality and stillbirths.


So there are a lot of things related to Air Pollution that can affect a pregnant woman and even if it is impossible to avoid air pollution, it will be recommended to stay safe as much as possible by taking preventions such as staying inside, checking the air quality and staying away from high emitting gases.