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Cooking with fumes when pregnant? This is how it affects your child

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According to a study conducted in China on 45,518 pregnant women, there is a link between indoor pollution caused by cooking with fumes during pregnancy and hyperactivity in the children at 3 years of age.

According to findings in the study, “Maternal exposure to cooking fumes during pregnancy was related to an increased risk of their offspring having hyperactivity behaviors at the age of 3 years. Compared with pregnant mothers who never cooked, pregnant mothers who cooked sometimes, often, or always had children who showed a significantly higher hyperactivity risk.

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Households using cooking fuels such as coal, gas during the mothers’ pregnancy, exhibited more hyperactivity behaviors in the young child when compared to those using electricity for cooking. In addition, poor ventilation during cooking, while mothers were pregnant, was found to be a significant risk factor for clinical levels of the offspring’s hyperactive behaviors.

Furthermore, the positive association with maternal cooking during pregnancy and their offsprings’ hyperactivity was relatively consistent across strata defined by social class, education, and other covariates.”

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Based on the above findings, we recommend the following tips while cooking during pregnancy:

  • Use electric cooking range instead of coal or LPG based cooking range
  • Keep your kitchen well ventilated with open windows while cooking
  • Install chimney or exhaust fan to rapidly remove fumes from kitchen while cooking
  • Avoid foods that require long time to cook with fumes eg. frying foods
  • Take turns with your partner to cook or switch duties to avoid consistent exposure to kitchen fumes during pregnancy

Photo by Le Creuset on Unsplash

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