Smokey conditions create extra precautions for pregnant women

(KTVL/Georgia Lawson)

When it comes to smoke, soon-to-be-mothers may want to take extra precautions.

This is a difficult topic to study, so the data is limited.

But there is evidence of particulate matter from wildfire smoke passing from mother to unborn child with singificant impacts.

Most notably, smoke exposure could cause a child to be born at a lower birth weight, averaging 6.1 grams lighter.

"Six grams is about .2 ounces so it's not that big in the scheme of things, but certainly if you're dealing with another condition that could cause a low birth weight then that is something to consider for sure," says Dr. Nicole Brooks, a Urogynecologist with Providence Medical Group.

If that smoke exposure pushes birth weight low enough, the child will be more likely to experience chronic medical conditions later on in life.

But beyond that, the affects are largely unknown.

Dr. Brooks expects that we may see more study on the topic moving forward, as the climate changes and fire seasons get more intense.

But for now, Dr. Brooks recommends pregnant women stay out of the smoke as much as possible, and use an N95 respirator when going outside.

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