Thursday, June 21, 2012

How hot is too hot?

Alright, I have a question for all of you, as even my not unremarkable researching skills have failed me.

As you may know, I live in Texas, where summers are HOT. Like I hear northerners complaining about 90 degrees and I laugh at them.  It's not unusual to have the hottest days of the year reach over 110, and that's before the heat index adds another 5-10 degrees. Last year alone, we had over 100 days at over 100 degrees.

This doesn't usually bother me. My car doesn't even have air conditioning, and when my cars HAVE had it, I almost never used it. My motto is, "suck it up and roll down the windows."  We don't even turn the air conditioning on in our house until the daily highs are well over 80 degrees, and we turn it back off and open up the windows as soon as the temperature drops back below 78 (which is the lowest we ever run our A/C).

But now there's a fetus involved, and I'd very much like it to not die from heatstroke on the drive home from work.   My husband's truck has air conditioning, but it's a gas guzzler and I'd prefer not to use it unless it's necessary.

So my question to you is...HOW HOT IS TOO HOT??  There's no doubt that I'll take the gas-chugging truck to work on days when the high will be 105 degrees, but what about 95 degrees? 98?  I have a 1/2 hour commute (barring traffic, etc.), I'm inside the car so I'm out of direct sunlight, and I have the windows down while I cruise along at anywhere from 40-75 miles per hour.

The only information I found online about pregnant women and heat was to avoid hot showers, baths, and spas, which has surprisingly little to do with my daily commute.  I'm fairly used to the heat, but I don't want the baby to be missing an arm or half its face or something because I picked the wrong day to drive my gas-sipping Aveo to work instead of the air-conditioned boat of a truck.

So, what's the cutoff?  What is the "danger zone?"  Not what's comfy or convenient; I can live with a little discomfort in the face of such high gas prices, but what is the UNSAFE temperature for a pregnant woman to be driving in an un-air-conditioned car for about 1/2 an hour?

Any thoughts?


  1. I'm no doctor, but as long as your core body temperature doesn't go up, seems like your baby should be fine. Stay hydrated, keep out of direct sunlight, and wear clothes that allow your skin to breathe (so your sweat can evaporate properly to cool you down). Women have been having babies for a lot longer than air conditioning has been around.

  2. Yes! That's EXACTLY what I've been saying! People lived in Texas in the 1800s and had babies, and it was still 110 degrees in the summer, and I assume that women still had babies. Otherwise there would be no people in Texas.

  3. I think hot is too hot when you're uncomfortable and can't stand it. Typically your body and your baby will let you know when enough is enough. So go with gut instinct and what you're feeling. I agree with K.C. there were babies coming into this world long before air conditioning.
    One other note every pregnancy is different: some women are easily chilled during a pregnancy or liable to run around naked from hot flashes. I was one of those whose pre-conditions toward hot and cold did not change at all.

    Still super excited about this baby news!


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