Mumbai: City gynaecologists have been witnessing heat exhaustion cases in pregnant women. According to the doctors, weekly two to three such cases are being seen at the hospital where pregnant women complain about loss of appetite, cramps in arms and legs, fatigue, clammy skin, and dehydration due to high temperature and humidity.
Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital Dr Vaishali Joshi said that in pregnancy, the core body temperature remains more than normal and it can get worse in summer due to high temperature. However, doctors have urged pregnant women to drink enough water and avoid visiting hot places.Navi Mumbai civic agency issues guidelines to avoid heatstroke
Increased fluid requirement due to hot weather
“In the past two months, I have come across a few cases of heat exhaustion. Recently an architect who used to regularly visit sites and commute by road started feeling headaches and urinary tract infection symptoms. An anomaly scan noted to have decreased fluid levels. She was advised to rest at home, electral sachets and daily intake of 3-3.5litre of water,” she said.
Dr Joshi further said that the fluid requirement increases due to the growing baby. There are more electrolytes and fluid loss in pregnancy due to peripheral vasodilation. Hence,pregnant women are more vulnerable to heatwave as they sweat a lot.
Last month, a 21-year-old pregnant woman from a tribal community of Dahanu, who was due for delivery in about two weeks, allegedly died of heat stroke after walking to and from the primary health centre (PHC) where she had gone for treatment for anaemia. Her unborn child could not be saved too.
Consultant gynaecologist, NH SRCC Children’s Hospital Dr Rujul Jhaveri said though there is limited evidence to say that the core body temperature increases in pregnancy, pregnant women definitely feel hotter during these 9 months.
Keeping cool during pregnancy
“The warm weather can definitely make pregnant women feel more hot and uncomfortable. Hot weather can also lead to dehydration, fatigue, heat exhaustion, fainting or even heatstroke. So it’s really important to keep cool when pregnant. Avoid overexertion, remain indoors during the peak summer hours, hydrate yourself, avoid heavy exercises and protect your skin if you need to step out in the sun,” he said.
Senior health experts said that while the effect of heatwaves on a human body can differ from person to person, “children, pregnant women and senior citizens should take additional precaution to mitigate the effect of severe heat, and avoid going outdoors during the day”. They are more likely to experience dehydration when exposed to extreme environmental temperatures.
-2-3 cases reported in week
-Hot temperature main cause
-Advised to stay hydrated
-Drinking coconut water, lemonade should be routine
-Crowded places must be avoided
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