If you're just beginning your motherhood journey (like me) then you're in full-force mama bear mode. Your senses are heightened and you're suddenly aware of everything around you. You're likely thinking about things that have never crossed your mind before – like pollution. Now, you're wondering how to protect baby's lungs from all the yucky things we've subjected our planet to. I've teamed up with the Mom Clean Air Force Baby Power community for this post to help educate other mothers about the importance of clean air for those little lungs! All opinions are my own.
The start of my motherhood journey
He came into this world screaming. With brand new lungs, he took his first breath right on my chest. Less than two weeks ago, I watched my first child, my sweet son, do one of the most basic human things: he inhaled fresh, clean air. Right there in that Orlando hospital, he learned how to breathe, pee, poop, and eat for the very first time. Isn’t it hard to believe that a child so tiny, can do all of these things all on his own? I couldn’t help but to think of how tough those first days must have been for him. Thankfully, my baby boy is completely healthy. I’m so proud of him and of myself. I spent my pregnancy doing all the “right things”. I avoided any foods that could be harmful to myself or baby, I lightly exercised, I filled my body with nutrients, I avoided pollution as much as I possibly could. I cared for my body better than I ever had before, so my baby would have a healthy home for 38 cozy weeks and 5 days. Then, he came into this world and I immediately knew it was time for the real work to begin!
I watched as nurses checked my newborn’s weight, length, heart rate, and temperature. I anxiously waited as his eyesight, hearing, and breathing were checked. I couldn’t help but to wonder what if my son had something wrong with his lungs? What if I didn’t hear him scream so beautifully after I birthed him? A mother’s love is strong and that kind of worry is just powerful enough to make her change the world.
And so, I teamed up with Moms Clean Air Force Baby Power to help protect every breath in a clean air initiative. I want to protect every baby’s lungs so I’ve joined this community of moms to do just that! Remember, “it takes a village”. I’m starting within my home and hoping to educate and inspire others to do the same in theirs!
How I’m protecting baby’s lungs in my home:
I’m starting now, friends. Did you know a boy’s lungs don’t stop maturing into the age of 20? His lungs are the most vulnerable right now! We might as well create healthy habits as soon as possible. This is what I’m doing:
- Dusting and sweeping regularly – without baby in the room. This isn’t the easiest task to complete after a natural child birth. I’m less than 2 weeks postpartum, so my body is still recovering. I have very strict orders from my doctor to keep physical activities to the bare minimum. So, I’ve delegated these tasks to my incredible husband. We want all the dust and dander gone from our living space so our little man can scream for milk as loud as he wants without damaging those vulnerable lungs.
- No smoking anywhere near my baby. I’m talking nowhere near him at all. I have no shame in telling someone to step away from me who’s smoking. If I can smell it, then baby can breathe it! Not cool!
- No smoke-filled clothing. You can bet everything that I’ll be the first to ask someone to change their shirt if they smoke or have been around any sort of smoke or chemicals. Did you know the smoke on someone’s clothing can damage your baby’s lungs? Yikes! They won’t be holding my little guy. I’ll gladly be that Mom.
More tips to protect baby’s lungs in your home (from Moms Clean Air Force):
Babies need clean air to grow healthy lungs. Here’s what you can do in your home and your community to clean up the air:
- Remove or reduce allergens such as roaches, pet dander, mold, and dust mites.
- Do not smoke tobacco products in or near your home. Support measures to make all public places tobacco-free.
- Prevent mold growth by lowering the humidity in your home with exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms, or a dehumidifier.
- Increase air flow (open windows and doors) to give your house better ventilation.
- Store harmful products like pesticides and paints in a shed that is not attached to your home and always dispose of them properly.
- Avoid using scented candles or products with odor-hiding fragrances.
- Install and check regularly your smoke, carbon monoxide, and radon alarms.
- Use a HEPA filter, if you want to use an air filter. Do not use air cleaners that emit ozone, which is a lung irritant.
- Check daily air pollution forecasts on local media outlets or at airnow.gov.
- Avoid exercising outdoors when pollution levels are high. Limit the amount of time your child spends playing outdoors if the air quality is unhealthy.
- Do not exercise near high traffic areas. Even when air quality forecasts are good, the vehicles on busy highways can create high pollution levels up to one-third mile away.
- Save energy: Use ceiling fans, replace light bulbs with CFL bulbs, turn off computers and appliances when not in use, and insulate your home.
- Don’t burn wood or trash.
- Don’t idle your car or truck engine. If you will be sitting still for more than 10 seconds, turn the engine off.
- Use hand-powered or electric lawn care equipment rather than gasoline-powered. Old two-stroke engines like lawnmowers and leaf or snow blowers often have no pollution control devices.
- Get involved. Talk to your neighbors and friends about why clean air matters to you.
- Reach out to your lawmakers to let them know you care about air quality. Support measures to clean up the air at the local, state, and national levels.
How can you join me for this clean air initiative?
Click this link to easily email the EPA and demand a plan that will reduce harmful pollution and protect future generations.
Sign this petition and send me a screenshot of your confirmation and you’ll be automatically entered to win a copy of Every Breath We Take and a child’s t-shirt.
Help spread the word at a MommyCon near you! If you’re local, be sure to grab your tickets for the Orlando MommyCon coming September 1, 2018.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links and/or promotional products, all opinions expressed are that of But First, Joy only. Read my full disclosure.
What an important topic! My own family was sickened due to breathing in polluted air following a chemical accident in a nearby town. I had no idea before that moment just how important clean air is for our children’s health. Now my 7 year old continually faces health and developmental challenges that make me wonder whether our exposures to the toxins in the air during that time are exacerbating his health issues. Moms Clean Air Force has helped me find my voice and taught me how to be an advocate for our children to make sure that the air they are breathing is safe.