As you look forward to celebrating Diwali this fortnight, it is imperative for you to know the effect of Diwali pollution on pregnancy and the growth of the baby.

There is enough scientific evidence to show the effects of pollution in pregnancy. Breathing in air pollutants can cause harm to an expectant mother and the longer exposure to the pollutants can impact the growth of the baby.
Various scientific studies have found that long term exposure to air pollutants can cause any of the following:

  • intra-uterine growth retardation (IUGR)
  • low birth weight
  • increased risk of a premature delivery
  • poor placental growth and function
  • heart defects in the baby

Fireworks and crackers emit smoke, trace gases and particulates, including metals into the air. This causes air pollution and smog that often linger for several days after Diwali. Some parts of the country are worse affected by Diwali pollution than others because of climatic conditions that keep the pollutants in the air for longer. Even if Diwali pollution does not stay for long enough to have lasting effects on you or your growing baby, it can aggravate asthma, breathing problems or allergies.

To help limit your exposure to pollutants during and after Diwali you can try the following:

  • Say no to crackers in your home instead celebrate with earthen diyas, lanterns and electrical lights.
  • Keep your doors and windows closed, especially at the time when most of the firecrackers are being lit.
  • Consider wearing a mask, especially if you have to be outdoors for long and will be in the smoke of the firecrackers.
  • If possible, stay indoors during the peak time when fireworks are in full swing and the next few days after Diwali when there is often smog and high levels of pollution.
  • If you commute to work, keep the windows of your car closed and the recycle button on your air ventilator or air conditioner on.

While the festivities are on and during the few days after Diwali, be sure to contact your doctor right away if you experience any:

  • breathlessness
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headaches

Disclaimer: The information given in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We urge readers to seek the advice of a physician before trying any home remedies.