How Can Heat Affect Your Pregnancy?

If you are pregnant, summertime is not your friend.

You already know how uncomfortable you feel even with the AC cranked up, and how quickly any kind of activity wears you out. You are familiar with the humidity and the hot temperatures, but be aware also that the heat of summer can result in many unhealthy effects for you and your baby.

HEAT AND DEHYDRATION

When pregnant your body is already a little warmer than normal. Therefore it doesn’t take much heat and humidity to make you feel tired and uncomfortable.

Heat exhaustion can occur quickly when the temperatures are scorching hot, so it may seem that you are simply tired due to being pregnant when symptoms of dizziness, nausea, difficulty breathing or cramps occur. However, they may be signs of dehydration which is dangerous to both you and your baby.

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, a much more serious condition which can affect muscles and damage your brain, kidneys, and heart. If the mother’s temperature exceeds 102 degrees it can affect fetal growth and sometimes cause cleft palate.

Dehydration and increased body temperature can affect the level of amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac. The fluid permits the baby to move around freely and maneuver within the womb. If the mother is dehydrated, the amniotic fluid level is reduced. If this should occur in the early stages of pregnancy, it can result in birth defects, miscarriage, and preterm labor. In addition liver and kidney issues can arise.

HOW TO STAY COOL

First and foremost stay hydrated. Drink 3-4 liters of water per day, and if you think you feel thirsty, start drinking. In addition to water, you can also include fruit juices and sports drinks.

Besides embracing the AC, other ways to stay cool include the following:

If symptoms persist even after drinking water and getting into a cooler place, contact your Atlanta Obstetrics & Gynecology right away.

HEAT AND SUNBURN

Being out in the sun while pregnant should be limited since you are more prone to getting sunburn. Always wear sunscreen with SPF 30+ minimum. 

Sweating IS your friend. It helps to lower your temperature and keep you cool. If you notice a lack of perspiration, it’s time to go inside and have a cold drink.

HEAT AND SWOLLEN LEGS

Swollen legs can become particularly troublesome, and the swelling can substantially increase during the second half of pregnancy and during the summer months.

HOW TO STAY COOL

Ask your physician at Atlanta Obstetrics & Gynecology about more dangers of summertime pregnancy and how to cope.

Request an Appointment 

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/summer-pregnancy#1

https://www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/summer-safety-guide-pregnancy

https://www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/combat-hot-weather-hazards-summer-pregnancy

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