Can Babies Overheat In The Womb? Don't Worry, Your Body Has It Covered

When you’re pregnant, every thought that runs through your head follows a simple if-then statement pattern. For example, If I eat this doughnut, then how will it affect my baby? If I don’t change the litter box, then how long can I pass along the dreaded chore once the baby is born? But what about when you feel too hot? Whether due to exercising or the human you're carrying, if a pregnant woman is sweaty and sticky, then can babies overheat in the womb?

“Due to hormonal changes, moms tend to feel hotter during pregnancy,” says Dr. Sherry Ross, an OB-GYN and Women’s Health Expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “Sweating is the body’s built-in protective mechanism that prevents us from overheating and harming the baby.”

Ross explains in an email interview with Romper that cause for concern arises if a mother has a temperature greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). She cautions that temperatures above 101 degrees that last for an extended period of time (more than 24 to 36 hours), and are not responding to acetaminophen, are “more worrisome to a growing baby.” This is especially important during the first trimester. In these instances, you should contact your medical provider.

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"For moms who become overheated this can lead to dehydration, preterm labor, and the baby’s heart rate to increase," Ross says. "If overheating persists, this can ultimately lead to the baby experiencing distress."

The cure for feeling too hot? Ross says pregnant moms should stay hydrated by drinking at least eight to 10 12-ounce glasses of water a day.

According to Cafemom, pregnant moms prone to overheating should consider also carrying a spray bottle so you can mist yourself when you feel too hot or just hanging like an indoor cat and staying at home. Ross takes it one step further, saying that a cool bath is another natural way to bring your body temperature down.

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Turns out, feeling sweaty and generally too hot to consider yourself a human being is just par for the pregnancy course, but thankfully experts have a few tips and tricks all pregnant women can use to keep cool. I, of course, have some other words of wisdom for any soon-to-be moms willing to listen: give into your pregnancy cravings when necessary and within reason (yes, even and especially if it includes a doughnut) and milk that "I can't clean out the litter box thing" for all it's worth.