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Consequences of Humidity in Pregnancy

Most of us know pregnancy can cause heat flashes and body temperature changes in the expecting mother. These can be very uncomfortable and also disturb the expecting mother in multiple ways. What about the temperature around her? Did you know the temperature and humidity around a pregnant woman can impact the pregnancy?

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What is Humidity?

The technical explanation is that humidity is the concentration of water vapour in the air. The humidity is low when you step out and feel hot and dry. If you feel hot and wet or sticky, then humidity is high. When the humidity is high, you tend to feel hot and sweat. Since there is a lot of water vapour in the air, it makes it difficult for the body to cool down despite sweating. This is why we feel very sticky and uncomfortable in humid regions.

Humidity in Pregnancy

A pregnant woman's body temperature is slightly higher than her normal temperature. It is natural for her to feel hot or suffocated when she steps out in hot weather conditions. When the humidity around her is high, it makes it difficult for her body to cool down, even if she sweats profusely. Studies show that steady exposure to high humidity increases the expecting mother's blood pressure.

A study conducted in China, showed that exposure to high humidity and hot weather conditions can increase the risk of preterm delivery. The exposure to hot and humid weather conditions at the beginning of the pregnancy did not have any noticeable impact. However, exposure to such weather conditions in the last few weeks of pregnancy significantly increases the risk of preterm delivery.

The risks and impact of humidity on pregnancy depend not just upon the level of exposure but also on when or how long the exposure is. The relation between heat and pregnancy in the third trimester is more concerning than the relation between heat and pregnancy in the first trimester. It is important to note that overheating of the body in the first trimester can also lead to complications and miscarriages. Thus, doctors advise against hot baths or saunas in the first trimester.

Effects of Humidity on Pregnancy

When a pregnant woman is exposed to humidity regularly or lives in very humid conditions, she may experience the following:

  • Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or confused
  • Excess sweating
  • Look pale
  • Skin feels clammy or sticky
  • Heavy or laboured breathing, even with minimal exertion
  • Cramps in limbs or stomach
  • Excess thirst

Tips to Manage Pregnancy in Humidity

If you are pregnant in a hot and humid area, here are some tips to help you stay safe:

  1. Stay Hydrated – Doctors always advise pregnant women to drink a lot of water and stay hydrated as the body requires more fluids to support the baby's development. In a humid region, you will sweat more, leading to an increase in fluid loss. It is important to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day and stay hydrated. Though cool juices or aerated drinks may feel great to quench your thirst, it is not recommended during pregnancy.
  2. Wear Light Fabrics – Opt for light, breathable fabrics for your clothing. They will let the heat escape and the air in, which can help keep your body cool. The ventilation will also help reduce your body temperature.
  3. Stay Indoors – While it is not possible to stay indoors at all times, try to avoid stepping out when the temperature is too high. High heat and humidity can lead to heat exhaustion, which can be dangerous during pregnancy. Avoid going out during the middle of the day or early evening when the humidity can be high. The heat and humidity can be lesser during the early morning and late evening hours.
  4. Cover Up – When you step out in the sun, use an umbrella to protect yourself from the direct sunrays and heat. While sunscreen can protect your skin from harmful UV rays, it cannot protect you from heat. Umbrellas and hats can.
  5. Have Company – If you must step out in the hot sun during your pregnancy, take a friend or partner along. If the heat affects you, making you feel dizzy, light-headed, or highly thirsty, you will have someone to help you. Being pregnant and handling a sudden dizzy spell on your own may not be the safest option.
  6. SwimmingSwimming can be a great exercise during pregnancy. Swimming can help keep your body cool and is also safe during pregnancy. Ensure you get your doctor's approval before you start.
  7. Spray Bottle – If it is too hot, you can use a spray bottle to spray cool water on your face and neck. This may not reduce your body's overall temperature, but it can make you feel cooler and reduce the chances of headaches or dizzy spells.
  8. Pay Attention – Pay attention to various symptoms and be proactive. If you experience symptoms of heat exhaustion, like feeling dehydrated, light-headed, or weak, you need to cool down your body immediately.


There is little you can do about the temperature or humidity around you. Not every pregnant woman can shift locations and stay away from the humidity during her pregnancy. The best option is to be cautious and take the necessary steps to stay safe when pregnant in extreme weather conditions.


1. Is humidity bad for pregnancy?

Yes, humidity can trap the body's heat and lead to an increase in body temperature. High levels of humidity and increasing body temperature increase the risk of preterm delivery.

2. What weather is too hot for pregnancy?

Hot summers with high levels of humidity can be tough during pregnancy. Each body is different, and the threshold for heat or humidity can vary from woman to woman. If you feel too hot, suffocated, or dizzy when you step out, the weather may be too hot for you.

3. What is the ideal room temperature for a pregnant woman?

Maintaining an average room temperature between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for pregnant women. Some women can feel hot, and some can feel cold easily, so you may have to change the room temperature to ensure your body does not feel too hot or too cold.

4. What is the high temperature for a pregnant woman?

When pregnant, it is not advisable to let the body cross 102.2°F frequently. Such an increase in body temperature for long periods increases the risk of complications in pregnancy.

5. Can heat cause miscarriage?

Yes, excess exposure to heat in the first trimester of pregnancy can lead to a miscarriage. The heat can increase the body temperature, thus making it unsafe for the fetus to develop.

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