The impact of extreme heat exposure on pregnant people and neonates: a state of the science review

Resource type
Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health
Geographic area

The relationship between heat exposure and perinatal morbidity and mortality is of increasing concern as global temperatures rise and extremeheat events become more frequent and intense. Heat exposure can lead to a multitude of harmful outcomes for pregnant individuals and neonates,including hospitalization and death. 

This state of the science review explored the evidence on the associations between heat exposure and negativehealth outcomes during pregnancy and the neonatal period. Findings suggest that improving health care provider and patient awareness of heat-related risks and implementing specific interventions could mitigate adverse outcomes. Furthermore, public health and other policy interventionsare needed to increase thermal comfort and reduce societal exposure to extreme heat and related risks. Early warning systems, medical alerts,provider and patient education, and increased access to health care and thermal comfort may improve pregnancy and early life health outcomes.