Pregnant Women and Heat Illness

a pregnant woman sits in bed in her pajamas holding a bottle of waterWhy worry about them when it is hot?

  • More Body Heat: Pregnant women's bodies make more body heat. 
  • Cooling for Two: Pregnant women work harder to stay cool because they must also cool the body of the fetus.
  • Too Much Heat is Bad for Baby: An increase in body temperature of a pregnant woman may harm the fetus, especially during the first trimester.

What to Do

  • Follow the general tips to keep cool, drink fluids, lie low
  • Use air conditioning to keep cool.
  • Wear lightweight, loose fitting clothing.
  • Take a cool bath.
  • Drink lots of fluids like water, or drinks that have electrolytes and other nutrients, like sports drinks.
  • Avoid caffeine, salt, and alcohol.
  • Stay inside in an air conditioned place in the middle of the day when it is hottest out.
  • Call your doctor or go to the emergency room if you feel dizzy, short of breath, or lightheaded.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is hotter than the mid-90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.