Women giving birth earlier because of climate change, study finds

As if giving birth is not hard enough, a new study has found that women are at risk of giving birth earlier due to the warmer weather brought on by climate change.

The study, published Monday (Dec 2) in the journal Nature Climate Change, found birth rates increase five per cent on days when temperatures soar past 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 degrees Celsius).

This is bacause heat-stress increases the amount of oxytocin the mother produces. The level of oxytocin increases when labour begins. Another proposition is that extreme heat causes cardiovascular stress, which might cause earlier deliveries.

The increase in temperatures also poses significant health risk for the mother and baby.

A baby born early is at a higher risk of developmental delays.

The mother faces an increased risk of preeclampsia, hypertension and other health problems with higher temperatures. 

While the babies who are born early have a higher risk of diseases such as asthma, higher risk of developmental delays, and greater risk the child will need to be hospitalized early on in life.