Childcare starts in the mother’s belly. Expecting mothers have a lot to deal with and watch over during the long months of waiting. But have they ever thought how air quality at home is important?
The pending birth of a baby creates a lot of mixed emotions from happiness, anticipation, and anxiety. Will it be a boy or a girl? Who will s/he look like? And, mainly: will my baby be healthy?
This concern leads to much of a mother-to-be’s care focusing on her diet and what she eats. Thus, pregnant women tend to prioritize an adequate diet and avoid contact with tobacco and alcoholic beverages, since it is known that many substances can be carried to the fetus through the placenta.
Mothers-to-be need also need to pay close attention to the air quality in their environment.
If tobacco presents in the environment and can affect a fetus, could it be possible for other inhalable substances to follow the same path?
Recent studies show that the answer to this question is yes. Among the harmful elements that can be carried through the placenta are some types of aeroallergens – substances in the air, responsible for triggering allergies in susceptible individuals. Thus, when the fetus comes into contact with these allergy-causing substances, a pre-birth sensitization may occur, leading to an initial allergic response. It is important to take into account the quality of the air that a pregnant woman breathes, as it can affect not only her health, but also that of the child that she carries.
The rise of allergies has been a constant throughout the world in recent years. Since most allergies are triggered during the first few years of life, prenatal preventative measures can be beneficial. In fact, a study conducted in England showed that asthmatic-prone children had decreased respiratory symptoms when preventive measures were taken to prevent exposure to allergens in the pre- and postnatal periods. This proves that an environment with a lower amount of allergic substances is a healthier environment for the baby.
Should I consider the air quality in my newborns room?
As the first allergic episodes occur in the first years of life, taking care of the quality of air that the child breathes at this stage is extremely important. It has been shown that babies (up to one year of age) who were exposed to a certain amount of mites are 4.8 times more likely to develop asthma. Also, the greater the number of mites the child had contact with up to that point, the earlier the asthmatic episodes could appear.
The discomforts caused by nocturnal allergies can be uncomfortable to the point of disrupting the baby’s sleep. Sleep is not only important for rest, but also for the assimilation of knowledge and brain development of the child, in addition to the more intense release of growth hormones.
Improving the quality of the air your baby breathes can guarantee more peaceful nights for them, and also for the parents.
HOW TO ENSURE A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT FOR BABY?
Below are some suggested measures in maintaining a healthy environment for the baby. Special attention should be given in cases where there is a history of asthma in the family, like:
– If you notice the presence of mold on a surface clean it immediately, discarding the porous materials that have been affected;
– Bedding must be washed with warm water (140֯ F) in periods not exceeding 7 to 10 days, which helps to eliminate dust mites;
– Do not use pillows or feather blankets;
– Avoid furniture that can not be easily cleaned and accumulates a lot of dust;
– Avoid carpeting;
– Avoid stuffed animals on baby’s bed;
– Avoid accumulating internal moisture by opening the windows daily;
– Keep the room as clean as possible to reduce the number of mites,
fungi, bacteria and animal hair.
– Use an air purifier to maintain optimum air quality in the environment.