One in every 100 babies in the U.S. was in a car crash before they were born. Car crashes are the leading cause of hospitalization during pregnancy, and can be dangerous for the fetus. In at least 1% of all births, women say they were in a car crash while pregnant. The pregnant women actually had better recoveries than those who weren’t pregnant, because they rushed to the hospital, but no one knows what effect the crashes had on their unborn babies.
We do know that women exposed to high levels of pollen in the last third of their pregnancies are much more likely to have asthmatic children. Scientists think that antibodies produced by the mother in response to pollen may cross into the fetus and make allergies more likely.
Swedish scientists looked at pollen levels during the pregnancies of tens of thousands of women and found that women who lived in areas with high pollen counts in the last 12 weeks of pregnancy were three times more likely to have a baby who developed early asthma. The greatest increase was in babies born in April and May, and it was lowest in August and September.
British researchers think that selenium and iron in the diet of mothers-to-be might protect their babies against asthma. They looked at the levels of these minerals in the umbilical cords of 2,000 babies and found that higher levels were associated with babies who had less childhood asthma. Selenium is found in nuts, cereals and oily fish.
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