In the face of environmental challenges, it is imperative to recognize and address the potential impact of climate hazards on maternal and perinatal health. These hazards, such as extreme heat, can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy that can lead to adverse outcomes for both mothers and babies. These complications include gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, premature birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth.
In addition to physical health risks associated with poor nutrition, water, hygiene and sanitation, exposure to climate hazards during pregnancy can also have an impact on mental health. The consequences of these dangers can contribute to intergenerational trauma and increase stress, anxiety, and depression—all known risk factors for adverse perinatal outcomes.
To mitigate these risks and improve outcomes for mothers and their babies, it is essential to understand the different ways in which climate hazards can affect pregnancy and maternal health. This knowledge will enable us to develop effective interventions and support systems that prioritize the well-being of expectant mothers and their babies. By taking action now, we can work towards a future where all mothers and their babies are healthy and thriving despite environmental challenges.