What are the changes in body temperature during pregnancy?
Changes in body temperature during pregnancy
It is common for a woman's body temperature to alter during pregnancy. During pregnancy, a woman's metabolism speeds up and causes her body to create additional heat. In order to cope with this, a woman's body temperature in fact decreases over the course of her pregnancy, to keep her base temperature from increasing as her metabolic rate rises.
Besides, the fluctuation of hormones creates hot flashes or other temperature changes during pregnancy. It is quite common for a pregnant woman to experience hot flashes, either during daytime or nighttime.
Over a period of time, as pregnancy progresses, a woman's body needs to do more work. In addition to processing nutrients for the baby, the baby himself/herself sooner or later creates extra weight for her to carry around. This extra work is capable of making it easier for a woman to get overheated, as well.
Exercise is one of the biggest concerns with temperature changes during pregnancy. It is particularly important that a pregnant woman exercises in loose, breathable clothing, and avoids exercising when it is extremely hot or humid. She should wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothes when exercising. This will prevent her from becoming overheated, and also help with dehydration. It is also important for a pregnant woman to make sure that she is getting a sufficient amount of clear liquids as this will keep her from getting dehydrated and also help to cool her down.
Denim is an appropriate material to wear during pregnancy. Denim will keep you cool during summers, but warm during cooler months of the year. Dressing in layers is also sensible, as it helps you to take off or put back on parts of your outfit according to temperature changes.
If temperature changes are severe, or if you experience hot flashes, you must talk with your health care provider. She may be able to help formulate a treatment plan to help you cope with the discomforts of pregnancy.
Causes of changes in body temperature during pregnancy
Heat stress during exercise needs to be considered for two reasons. First, an increase in the mother's core temperature (hyperthermia) can be harmful for the baby’s development. Second, loss of water in mother (dehydration) can reduce the amount of blood available to the fetus leading to increased risk of preterm contractions.
In women who are not pregnant, moderate aerobic exercise causes considerable increases in core body temperature. Pregnant women, whether they do exercise or not, experience an increase in base metabolic rate as well as core temperature. Luckily, pregnant women regulate their core temperature efficiently. Increased blood flow to the skin and expanded skin surface increase body heat.
It has been revealed that pregnant women do not have as much increase in body temperature during exercise in comparison to those who are not pregnant. However, it is suggested that pregnant women avoid exercising in non-breathable clothing avoid exercising when it is extremely hot or humid since the impact of hyperthermia might be severe. Using fans during indoor activities, swimming, and wearing light colored, comfortable, loose fitting clothing may all help in dissipating the heat during exercise.
Majority of women who exercise for about 20 to 30 minutes or who exercise during hot and humid weather will sweat. In pregnant women, loss of body fluids due to sweating can decrease the blood flow to the uterus, the muscles, as well as some organs. As the developing fetus needs a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients carried through the blood, it may result in increased injury.
In most conditions, uterine oxygen consumption is continuous during exercise and the fetus is safe. However, exercising can prove to be dangerous for women with pregnancy-induced hypertension, because it limits uterine blood volume as the vessels compress and deliver less blood to the area.