July is here, and with July and August come extremely hot and humid temperatures throughout the state of Georgia. Heat intolerance is common for pregnant women, and as women get further along into their pregnancy, their intolerance for heat increases. In fact, pregnant women are more susceptible to heat stroke and exhaustion because they must carry the extra weight of their growing baby and must cool not only their own body, but also the body of the baby inside their womb.
During the oppressively hot months of summer it is vital that pregnant women avoid becoming overheated. Staying hydrated is essential, and women need to drink at least eight glasses of water every single day to prevent dehydration from occurring. Dehydration can occur much faster in high temperatures because water content leaves the body through sweat and evaporation. Having a substantial water content within the body helps to maintain a cooler body temperature for both the expectant mother and the growing baby. Many women mistakenly believe that because they are experiencing swelling and water retention, they must have an adequate hydration level. This is not true. Pregnant women have issues with fluid retention, making it easy for them to retain fluids in their extremities – pulling water away from their vital organs – and causing dehydration.
The growing baby within a mother’s womb is dependent on the fluids of the mother. When fluids are pulled away from the womb, there will be an inadequate fluid level to support the growth and health of the baby. By avoiding being outdoors during excessive heat and humidity and increasing the amount of fluids that they consume, pregnant women can safely survive summer’s heat. If women must be outdoors, it is vital that they find shade, bring a fan to sit near, float in a pool, and/or maintain a high level of fluids in order to prevent dehydration and heat stroke.
At Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A., we are here for you throughout your entire pregnancy. If you experience any symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, a feeling of being lightheaded, and/or your body temperature rises quickly, please contact us immediately and go to the emergency room.