The American Heart Association has published an article outlining the increased risks of overheating for pregnant mothers this summer. Especially with rising temperatures and heatwaves around the globe, it’s critical that expecting moms are vigilant of their body temperatures. Overheating and dehydration can be detrimental to both the health of the mom and the baby.
This summer, many countries are experiencing the hottest heatwaves in their weather’s history. In Europe, heat emergencies have been declared by each nation’s respective government as temperatures reached a record high. France’s heatwave reached a record 45.9 degrees Celsius (114.6 Fahrenheit), which led the government to cancel classes, open public cooling rooms, and install mist showers on the streets. Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic also declared heat emergencies as they experienced their hottest weather ever in June. Spain had to battle a 15,000-acre forest fire sparked by the record-high temperatures.
With rising temperatures across the world, this summer could be dangerous for expecting moms who aren’t careful of the heat. During pregnancy, the body works double time trying to keep two living beings healthy, so the additional work of cooling down the systems can push the body to its limits. Dizzy spells and fainting due to the heat can cause many complications during pregnancy, especially if the mom is dehydrated. In some cases, these can even lead to defects in the child’s development such as their heart structure and the neural tube.
Experts recommend that expecting women take precautions when enjoying the summer. If you’re out enjoying the sun, make sure to wear loose-fitting clothing and bring lots of water. It’s important to pay attention to your body’s signals, so knowing the symptoms of overheating is essential: warm skin, headache, dizziness, muscle cramps, and nausea. If the symptoms get worse or persist for more than an hour, you should immediately seek medical attention.
While the heat can be scary, experts don’t recommend that you avoid the sun completely. Getting some vitamin D and exercise is also important for the health of both the mom and the baby. It’s all about taking precautions instead of being overly cautious, so with some sun screen and lots of fluids, this summer can still be a good one.