Heat stroke during pregnancy

Pregnant women face higher risks of heat issues due to their body’s extra work cooling both mom and baby, making dehydration more likely.

heat stroke during pregnancy

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion occurs when the body overheats and has difficulties regulating its temperature. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress into heatstroke.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a much more serious condition that can potentially damage the heart, kidneys, and brain. If a pregnant woman’s body temperature exceeds 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit, she is at risk for heatstroke. At this temperature, there are risks to normal fetal growth.

Warning Signs of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

  • Moist skin with goosebumps
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Excessive sweating and pale
  • Headache and feeling faint
  • Rapid breathing and pulse
  • Swelling legs
  • Nausea

What happens if a pregnant women becomes Dehydrated?

When a pregnant woman’s body temperature rises and she gets dehydrated, the amniotic fluid decreases (which enables a baby to move around comfortably in the womb). If this happens in early pregnancy (first 12 weeks of pregnancy), it can cause congenital disabilities (such as a cleft palate), miscarriage, or preterm labor

Concerns about Heat Stroke

Dehydration, Heat exhaustion, or Heat stroke can make a pregnant women dizzy which can increase the risk of falling and causing complications such as early labor or placental disruption.

How you can protect yourself?

Avoid over-exerting yourself

If there is a sudden heatwave and it’s very hot and humid, you will need to take it easy and avoid exercising. 

Use water to cool down

Having a cool bath during a heatwave can help you to feel less hot. If you’re going out or exercising in warm weather, take water to stay hydrated.

Protect your skin

Avoiding the sun can help prevent melasma also called pregnancy mask (a common skin condition in which brown or grayish patches of pigmentation develops on face). This condition is more common in women, especially during pregnancy and up to 50% of women may be affected. You can prevent melasma worsening by protecting yourself from UV radiation. Avoid going out in sun, or apply sunscreen before stepping out.

Easing discomfort of swollen ankles

Ankles, feet and fingers can swell in pregnancy, as your body retains more water than usual, especially if the weather is hot or you’ve been standing a lot.

How to prevent swollen ankles?

  • Avoid standing up for a long time.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and socks.
  • Try to rest with your feet up as much as you can.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Try to take regular walks during the day or doing foot exercises, to improve blood circulation and reducing swelling in the ankles.

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