WHY PROTECT YOURSELF FROM EXTREME HEAT?
Pregnant people are more vulnerable to heat illness. Exposure to excessive heat can reduce the blood flow in your uterus and the amount of nutrients and oxygen your baby receives through the placenta. Your baby need lots of oxygen and nutrition to develop and have an optimal birth weight. In extreme heat it is easy to get dehydrated. Constant dehydration during pregnancy may trigger complications that can lead to premature birth.
WHY ARE BLACK WOMEN AND BABIES AT THE HIGHEST RISK DURING HOT WEATHER?
Black women are more likely to live in homes that are:
located in unfinished neighborhoods
does not have central air-conditioning
in "heat-islands" which are spaces with less green space and more asphalt
TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND BABY:
Remember to drink at least 8 to 12 cups of water every day. Try to drink 2-3 cups of water per hour, or more if you are sweating heavily.
Limiting outdoor activities to when it is the coolest (morning and evening)
Check your local news for extreme heat alerts and know where the nearest cooling shelter is in your area Keep your blinds or curtains closed. This helps decrease the heat entering through windows
If possible, dry clothes outside instead of using dryer or hanging clothes inside