MADISON (WKOW) — A new study published by the American Heart Association shows climate change may be a contributing factor in certain birth defects.
The study shows women who are exposed to extremely high temperatures during the early phases of gestation have a higher rate of giving birth to babies with congenital heart defects.
The exposure often happens before women even know they’re pregnant, so doctors suggest a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy.
“The take home for families and women who are planning pregnancies is really to be as healthy going into your pregnancy as you can, that means an active lifestyle, a healthy weight, taking folic acid supplements if you’re at all at risk of getting pregnant,” said Pediatric Cardiologist at SSM Health, Dr. Andrea Rock.
The study shows the impact of the environment on a developing fetus is helping doctors and families understand that the placenta isn’t completely protective.