Pregnancy Puts Mom and Baby at Higher Risk for Heatstroke
July 28, 2016
As some women get further along in their pregnancies, they become more and more intolerant to heat. Some even experience hot flashes when in an air-conditioned building. For women in their second and third trimesters, the hottest months of the year can be almost unbearable, especially in humid climates or in the South.
Aside from causing physical discomfort and sweating, high temperatures and humidity can pose significant dangers to both mother and baby. Prolonged exposure can cause heat stroke, which can cause damage to the brain, vital organs, and can even cause death.1
Because of the extra weight they carry, pregnant women have an increased risk for heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Plus, expecting mothers’ bodies have to work overtime to cool down.
The most common symptoms of heat exhaustion (which can lead to heat stroke) include confusion, dizziness, pale skin, profuse sweating, fatigue or even fainting.1 Women also may experience headaches or feelings of light headedness.1 Dark-colored urine is also a sign of dehydration.1
Pregnant women should limit their exposure to high temperatures for prolonged periods. Avoid being outside during midday, when the sun is the hottest. Wear lighter color clothing if you must be outside during the heat of the day. Taking frequent breaks in cooler or air-conditioned environments also is advised.
Perhaps the most important thing a pregnant woman can do to prevent heat stroke and avoid heat exhaustion is to stay hydrated. A developing baby is dependent on getting fluids from the mother. Drinking eight glasses of water each day can help both mom and baby stay healthy in the heat. Avoiding caffeine and high levels of salt is also recommended. These can be dehydrating to both mothers and babies and are generally not recommended as part of a balanced prenatal nutrition regimen.
Prenatal Vitamins to Supplement Prenatal Nutrition
During pregnancy, a well-balanced diet is even more important as mothers-to-be are eating to support the nutritional needs of their babies, too. The Prenate® Vitamin Family is committed to promoting women’s health. Prenate® Vitamins can help support mother and baby throughout pregnancy and through labor and delivery. Even with a balanced and healthy diet, many women have trouble meeting their daily recommended intakes for certain vitamins and minerals. Talk to your doctor to see if a prenatal vitamin may be right for you to help fill nutritional gaps.