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Hot Weather Safety during Pregnancy

Pregnant women or people are more vulnerable to heat exhaustion or heat stroke than the general public because they have to work harder to cool down – not only themselves, but their baby too.

Many have a lower blood pressure during pregnancy, particularly in the early months. Warm conditions bring blood to the skin to get rid of excess heat, potentially lowering blood pressure even further. This can result in headaches, feeling light-headed or even fainting.

Any of the symptoms of heat related illness can be worsened if there are underlying illnesses like obesity, kidney disease or heart issues.

Dehydration can make Braxton Hicks contractions worse. Although there is not strong evidence that hot weather can cause preterm labour, anyone who experiences more Braxton Hicks-type uterine activity than usual should be checked by their health-care provider.

Here are some tips to help you beat the heat:

Stay hydrated 

  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid sugary, carbonated and caffeinated drinks to reduce risk of dehydration.
  • Eat raw fruits and vegetables help cool the body and hydrated.

Protect yourself outside

  • Avoid increased activity during extreme heat.
  • Try not to go outdoors at the hottest time of the day.
  • If you are outside, wear sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.
  • Dress for the weather in light weight breathable materials and spend as much time in the shade as possible.   

Seek cool spaces inside

  • Keep room temperatures down with air conditioning or fans to circulate air. When necessary, keep blinds or curtains closed to reflect out sunshine and keep rooms cool. 
  • Head to public, air-conditioned spaces, such as a library or community centre. 

Know the danger signs

  • Severe headache, confusion, unsteadiness, loss of thirst, nausea/vomiting, and dark urine or no urine are signs of dangerous heat-related illness.  If you have any these symptoms after heat exposure, please seek medical assessment urgently.

Additional resources:

SOURCE: Hot Weather Safety during Pregnancy ( )
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