Pregnant in summer? Study finds more women go into labour early in a heatwave 11 months ago

Pregnant in summer? Study finds more women go into labour early in a heatwave

Having been heavily pregnant in the summer myself, I am sending all sorts of good vibes and cooling thoughts to all you mamas-to-be out there who are currently going through the same.

As the rest of the country is celebrating the gloriously hot weather of the last few days, I am pretty sure you (like I was) are staying firmly inside and eating all the ice cream you can get your hands on. At least that's what I hope you're doing.

However, did you know that apart from being uncomfortable, very hot weather can also have a more serious effect on your pregnancy?

It's true. According to a study, experts have found that heavily pregnant women are more likely to give birth early when temperatures reach 32C for three or more days.

Researchers from the University of Montreal looked at data from 300,000 births in the city from 1981 to 2010 and compared them against summer temperatures recorded at the same time.

And what they found, was that when the hot weather stayed for between four and seven days, the risk of early labour increased to 27 per cent.

Keep in mind that the research, published in the journal Epidemiology, showed that consistent high temperatures didn’t increase the number of babies born before 37 weeks, but found that women who were 37 or 38 weeks pregnant were more likely to give birth if the temperature stayed at 32C for three days or more.

"Studies suggest that heat-induced stress increases uterine contractility, during a period of pregnancy when thermoregulation seems less effective," explains study’s lead author Dr Nathalie Auger.

"We also suspect that dehydration reduces blood supply to the uterus, increasing the release of pituitary hormones that induce labour."