Leeann Kuehn and Sabrina McCormick

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Published date July 29, 2017

Heat Exposure and Maternal Health in the Face of Climate Change

  • Climate change will increasingly affect the health of vulnerable populations, including maternal and fetal health
  • Systematically reviews recent literature that investigates increasing heat and extreme temperatures on pregnancy outcomes globally
  • Identifies common research findings in order to create a comprehensive understanding of how immediate effects will be sustained in the next generation
  • Finds that there is evidence that temperature extremes adversely impact birth outcomes, including, but not limited to: changes in length of gestation, birth weight, stillbirth, and neonatal stress in unusually hot temperature exposures
  • Studies indicate that not only is there a need for further research on the ways that climate change, and heat in particular, may affect maternal health and neonatal outcomes, but that uniform standards for assessing the effects of heat on maternal fetal health also need to be established