Pregnancy is a critical period in a woman’s life, and exposure to climate hazards during this time can have significant impacts on both maternal and perinatal health. Extreme heat, for example, has been linked to an increased risk of complications that can lead to adverse outcomes for both the mother and the baby. These complications may include gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth.
In addition to physical health risks, exposure to climate hazards during pregnancy 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 essential to recognize and address the potential impact of climate hazards on maternal and perinatal health in order to mitigate these risks and improve outcomes for both mothers and their babies. Understanding the various ways in which climate hazards can affect pregnancy and maternal health is crucial for developing effective interventions and support systems. With this knowledge, we can work towards ensuring the well-being of expectant mothers and their infants, even in the face of environmental challenges.