How Hot Summer Days Could Increase Risky For Pregnant Women?
How Hot Summer Days Could Increase Risky For Pregnant Women?.
Feeling hot? Unfortunately, this is a common symptom of pregnancy. Your body temperature is naturally higher because of the heat generated by your baby (and their metabolism). The warmer weather can therefore make you feel especially uncomfortable and can lead to dehydration, fatigue and even heatstroke. But for pregnant women, the summer heat may be particularly risky, that’s because getting too hot or dehydrated can pose a risk of pregnancy complications, experts say.
There are about 1,500 babies born with spina bifida in the United States each year — a rate of about 3 cases per 10,000 births, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as caused by Dehydration and hot temperation.
Women’s bodies undergo a lot of changes in pregnancy, including changes in the way their bodies handle fluids and control their temperature. As a result, they may become dehydrated a little more easily, or may be more likely to show symptoms of dehydration, than they would be if they weren’t pregnant. According to Dr. Schaffir, who is not part of this research said pregnant women are more susceptible to dehydration. “Especially further along in pregnancy—that increased tissue inside [makes it] harder for them to dispel heat because they are are keeping all that heat inside their [larger-than-normal] pregnant bodies.” To Dr. Schaffir, he therefore encourage pregnant ladies to ensure they are drinking lots of water throughout your pregnancy, especially when you’re in a hot place.
Dehydration “can create a lot of potential problems” for pregnant women, said Dr. Saima Aftab, medical director of the Fetal Care Center at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami. As a general rule, doctors caution pregnant women to avoid being in “any situation where they get too hot.” Because Women could develop hyperthermia from fever, as a result of getting too exposure to excessively hot temperatures outside or even a dip in a hot tub. Indeed, the Mayo Clinic advises women to spend no more than 10 minutes in a hot tub due to the risk of hyperthermia.
Hyperthermia could occur in pregnancy in the first six to eight weeks, and the effected babies stand at a higher risk of having defects of the brain or spinal cord (known as neural tube defects), such as spina bifida. However, the risk of birth defects tied to hyperthermia is mostly limited to the first eight weeks of pregnancy, Aftab said
Dehydration risks to Pregnancy
Symptoms of dehydration causes the brain to produce a hormone called vasopressin (also called antidiuretic hormone), which triggers thirst. But this hormone is similar to oxytocin, the hormone involved in stimulating uterine contractions. This also include; dizziness or lightheadedness, which can be risky for pregnant women if these symptoms cause them to fall, Aftab said. (Falls during the late second and early third trimester can be harmful to both the mother and the baby, leading to complications such as a loss of amniotic fluid, according to the Mayo Clinic.
For all of these reasons, it’s important that pregnant women stay hydrated. “We know that not a lot of good things will happen if a mother is dehydrated” in pregnancy, Aftab said. Also in a study published last month in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers looked at whether exposure to certain temperatures in pregnancy was tied to the risk of low birth weight (less than 2,500 grams, or 5.5 lbs.), using a population of more than 2 million babies born in California from 1999 to 2013. They found that every 10-degree increase in temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees Celsius) was linked with a 16-percent increase in the risk of low birth weight.
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The study found only an association, not a definite cause-and-effect relationship, and did not take into account whether a mother had ways of reducing her exposure to warm temperatures, such as through air conditioning. As such, more studies are needed to confirm the findings. However, the study “adds to the growing body of literature that suggests that pregnant women and their fetuses are vulnerable populations following ambient heat exposure,” the researchers wrote. “During heat advisory warnings, pregnant women should be included as a vulnerable subgroup for extra precautions,” the study concluded.