Air pollution particles can cross into the placenta and could harm baby, study finds

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Pregnant women should be aware that the air they breath travels can cross their placenta and to their unborn baby.

Air pollution – such a car exhaust particles – could be harmful to a fetus, a new study published in Nature Communications has found.

Air pollution particles can cross into the placenta and could harm baby, study finds

Soot pollution particles can cross into the placenta

Belgian researchers looked at placentas from 5 pre-term and 23 full-term births and found that black carbon particles were present on the fetal side inside the placentas, near to the umbilical cord.

10 of the mothers in the study lived close to busy roads and had the highest levels of particles compared to those who lived further away from traffic.

“As the fetal organs are under full development, this might have some health risks,” says Professor Tim Narwot, from Hasselt University in Belgium.

“Our results demonstrate that the human placental barrier is not impenetrable for particles.

“Further research will have to show whether the particles cross the placenta and reach the fetus and if that represents a potential mechanism explaining the detrimental health effects of pollution, from early life onwards.”

Air pollution particles can cross into the placenta and could harm baby, study finds

Experts say women should not be paranoid about heading into the city.

However, they could make small changes to their routine, such as taking a route with less traffic or stepping away from car exhausts or people who are smoking.

The role of the placenta

Air pollution particles can cross into the placenta and could harm baby, study finds

The placenta is a large organ that is developed during pregnancy and is attached to the wall of the uterus.

This organ is a lifeline to the foetus as it passes blood, oxygen and other nutrients to a mother’s unborn baby via the umbilical cord.

The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie

Sascha Farley Pregnancy Smoothie

The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie is a convenient and easy supplementary food, designed to complement your existing pregnancy vitamins or supplements, to help you meet the extra protein, vitamin and mineral requirements during your pregnancy.

The pregnancy smoothie is also free of all chemicals, fillers and artificial ingredients, has no fructose in, no added sugar in and uses high-quality dairy protein sourced from grass-fed cows in New Zealand.

How can The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy smoothie help?

  • HEALTHY INCREASED CALORIES – Additional nutrients and calories are needed in pregnancy to support the mum and the baby – and the smoothie is a convenient and tasty way to increase your calories in pregnancy whilst nourishing your body
  • MORNING SICKNESS – If you are suffering from morning sickness and find eating food difficult – the smoothie is a great way to nourish your body with a easy to drink smoothie- it also contains ginger.
  • TIREDNESS – If you are feeling exhausted, the smoothie is a nutrient dense snack high in protein, B vitamins and low constipation iron to help keep energy levels up
  • CONVENIENT- if you are struggling to find the time or energy to eat nutrient dense and healthy foods then the smoothie will be a great help. You could also have it as a quick breakfast by adding fruit, oats and vegetables to your smoothie to further increase calories
  • PROTEIN & CALCIUM – It is ideal as a high-protein, high-calcium snack in pregnancy with each smoothie giving you 15g of high quality protein

You can all see all FAQ on the smoothie including a list of all the ingredients, use in gestational diabetes, RDI’s for pregnancy of vitamins and minerals when you download the Pregnancy Smoothie Fact Sheet on the smoothie here.

You can also buy the Pregnancy Smoothie in our shop here.

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