LivingThis is how the heat wave affects you if...

This is how the heat wave affects you if you are pregnant (and how to survive it)

During pregnancy, the body temperature of the pregnant woman increases, and if we are also in summer with the thermometer shot, pregnant women become a group that is especially vulnerable to high temperatures.

In the midst of a heat wave , the typical discomforts of this stage are aggravated, affecting the body and with some consequences for pregnancy. In fact, there are studies that claim that intense heat and humidity can shorten gestation by an average of six days.

How the heat wave affects you if you are pregnant

voltage drops

Low blood pressure is a common complaint in pregnancy, because the volume of blood circulating through the veins increases to cover the baby’s requirements.

The symptoms of hypotension are: dizziness, nausea, vertigo, blurred vision, palpitations, syncope or fainting, weakness and confusion. These tend to be more common in the first trimester, since little by little the body adapts to the new situation towards the fourth month of pregnancy.

However, when it is very hot, these symptoms are aggravated, and although voltage drops are not dangerous, other symptoms must be monitored, which as a whole could indicate heat stroke.

Circulation problems

Excessive heat causes a dilation of blood vessels (vasodilation) affecting blood circulation and causing a greater accumulation of fluids.

Swelling of the legs, feet, and ankles is common in pregnancy. Edema affects approximately 75 percent of women, is further aggravated in hot weather, and can also affect the hands and face.

Increased risk of dehydration

Water requirements increase in pregnant women, who need to increase the volume of body fluid to cover metabolic needs during pregnancy.

To this we must add that many women experience vomiting during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, which increases the risk of dehydration.

If we add to this that when it is very hot, we sweat to regulate body temperature, with its consequent loss of liquid, water intake should be increased .

more sensitive skin

The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy make the skin more sensitive to external factors such as heat and sun exposure, which can lead to rashes, eruptions or spots on the face, which we know as chloasma or gestational melasma.

To avoid this, it is recommended to use a cream with a protection factor of +50, to wear light, loose and breathable clothing, to refresh the skin and to avoid sun exposure in the middle of the day.

Increases body sweat

Sweat is the body’s mechanism to regulate elevated body temperature due to high temperatures. There is little we can do to prevent it, other than seek cool places and avoid activities that raise our body temperature even more.

Some women may notice that their sweat odor is stronger than it was before pregnancy. This is due to the action of hormones and the special olfactory sensitivity that occurs.

warning signs

If the pregnant woman presents symptoms of dehydration such as little and dark urine, extreme thirst, dry mouth and mucous membranes, paleness, as well as symptoms of heat stroke such as rapid breathing and pulse, headaches, hallucinations, seizures, hot and reddened skin, changes in level of consciousness or fainting should go to the emergency room.

How to avoid risks

  • Avoid activities that increase body temperature (hyperthermia)
  • Stay hydrated: drink at least two liters of water a day and increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, hydrating foods.
  • Look for cool and air-conditioned places.
  • Protect yourself from heat and sun
  • Avoid sudden movements, such as getting up suddenly, as this leads to what is known as orthostatic hypotension.
  • Avoid spending too much time sitting and too much time standing.
  • Move your legs and feet to stimulate circulation and try to keep your legs elevated.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as well as slow-digesting foods.
  • Sleep on the left side to promote blood circulation.

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