In the face of environmental challenges, it is crucial to recognize and address the potential impact of climate hazards on maternal and perinatal health. Pregnancy is a vulnerable time, and exposure to extreme heat can increase the risk of complications that can lead to adverse outcomes for both mothers and their babies. These complications may include gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth.
However, the risks associated with climate hazards during pregnancy are not limited to physical health. Exposure to these hazards can also have an impact on mental health. The aftermath of these hazards can contribute to intergenerational trauma and increase stress, anxiety, and depression – all of which are known risk factors for adverse perinatal outcomes.
It is important to understand the various ways in which climate hazards can affect pregnancy and maternal health in order to develop effective interventions and support systems. By recognizing these risks and taking action to mitigate them, we can work towards ensuring the well-being of expectant mothers and their infants, even in the face of environmental challenges.