Researchers have discovered that where you live whilst being pregnant can affect the size of your baby, based on air pollutants like those from heavy traffic although as yet why this is the case is still unknown.
A New Jersey study carried out on nearly three hundred and fifty thousand births, used data available from hospital admissions and compared them to readings gathered by America’s Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA has various equipment, located throughout out the state, that looks at pollution of the air.
The daily levels of exposure to the various pollutants, based on distance from the given subject’s home, was used to determine what effects it would have on the foetus and ongoing development of the baby.
Certain women for example African Americans are more likely to have smaller babies, along with younger mothers to be and smokers.
Despite these factors it could be clearly seen that exposure to air pollutants did produce a baby weighing less than expected. The initial and latter stages of pregnancy were the times where women were most affected by these outside conditions.
Nitrogen dioxide has been linked to heavy traffic and anyone living close to a busy main road was found to have more than ten parts per billion extra of the compound than those who lived outside of a city.
Furthermore particular pregnancy complications like the placenta separating before the actual birth made the women exposed to the particulate matter, five times more likely to have the growth rate of her baby significantly reduced.