Longview doctor warns against dangers of heat and pregnancy

Doctors say pregnant women are much more susceptible and heat exhaustion can cause health problems for mother and baby.
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 12:38 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 15, 2022 at 5:17 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - We all have a tough time handling the Texas heat, but doctors say pregnant women are much more susceptible and heat exhaustion can cause health problems for mother and baby.

Liana Flores is seven-and-a-half months pregnant and said she has felt the increased effect of the heat.

“I noticed that when I get out from work, I do get hotter a lot easier and I feel like I’m dehydrated more so I do try to stay hydrated,” Flores said.

OBGYN doctor Andrew Gallfy works at Longview’s Christus Good Shepherd North Park and says heat exhaustion is a bigger concern for pregnant women due to their bodies having greater difficulty regulating their temperature.

“And also, there are complications that can occur from that such as premature cervical dilation, premature delivery, sometimes we see smaller birthweights. Sometimes some studies have even found that there is a high risk of high blood pressure during pregnancies when patients are exposed to long durations and periods of high heat,” Gallfy said.

Flores says she was very active before she was pregnant and is surprised how quickly the heat can get to her, like at her son’s baseball games.

“I started noticing I was getting a little lightheaded. So, I went to a cool area and just relaxed for a couple minutes and just made sure everything went back to normal and drank a lot of water,” she said.

Dr. Gallfy says if heat exhaustion symptoms are present there are steps people can take to help get relief.

“Cold ice packs. You know just put it on your body. And drink some cold water. Just kind of laying down and elevating your legs. You know, staying in a shaded area while you’re doing that. Hopefully you have someone to help you. If not definitely call for help.” Gallfy said.

Dr. Gallfy says to stay aware of your body and opt for water for hydration.

Dr. Gallfy says it is important to be active during pregnancy and walking is a good way to do it. But not in the heat of the day. And if possible, walk in an air-conditioned building.

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KLTVs Jamey Boyum talks with Christus Good Shepherd’s Dr. Andrew Gallfy and Liana Flores about the dangers heat and pregnancy.