Exposure to climate hazards during pregnancy can have a significant impact on maternal and perinatal health, leading to adverse outcomes for both mothers and their babies. Physical health risks associated with poor nutrition, water, hygiene, and sanitation can increase the likelihood of complications such as gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth.
But the effects of climate hazards on pregnancy go beyond physical health. The aftermath of these hazards can contribute to intergenerational trauma and increase stress, anxiety, and depression – all of which are known risk factors for adverse perinatal outcomes. It is important to recognize and address the potential impact of climate hazards on maternal and perinatal health in order to mitigate these risks and improve outcomes for both mothers and their babies.
Understanding the various ways in which climate hazards can affect pregnancy and maternal health is crucial for developing effective interventions and support systems. With this knowledge, we can work towards ensuring the well-being of expectant mothers and their infants, even in the face of environmental challenges.