Researchers: Failure to respond quickly to the reproductive health impacts of climate change is depriving the most marginalized populations of their ability to bear children and thus provide safe parenting for their children.
Recent studies in the field of reproductive health said that climatic risks from high temperatures, pollution and forest fires have a negative impact on reproductive health, and increase the risks of premature birth, and that there is evidence that mothers from the most marginalized populations are more vulnerable to exposure to climate risks.
In a report published by the British newspaper “The Independent” on the issue of premature birth, author Alan Calvert noted that women are less able to adapt to the effects of these risks due to structural and systemic suppression, and that failure to address the reproductive and perinatal health effects urgently The health of children caused by climate change will perpetuate and exacerbate this crisis.
risk of premature birth
Studies have found that rising temperatures worldwide as a result of climate change are having a devastating effect on fetuses, infants and children.
Scientists have found through 6 different studies that climate change causes – among other negative consequences – an increased risk of premature birth, increased hospitalization of young children, and weight gain in infants.
These separate studies were published in a special issue of the Journal of Pediatrics and Epidemiology on the appropriate period for childbirth.
A growing body of evidence points to the ways in which extreme heat, hurricanes and bushfire smoke can increase the risk of preterm birth, said visiting editors of the journal Prof Gregory Wellenius and Professor Amelia Weselink of the Boston University School of Public Health.
One study found that preterm births were 16% more likely in areas experiencing heat waves. The researchers concluded this by examining one million pregnant women between 2004 and 2015 in Australia in the high temperatures of New South Wales.
Similar results were observed in a study that evaluated the association between ambient temperature and spontaneous preterm birth between 2007-2011 in a hot climate in Harris, Texas. The day after mothers were exposed to heat waves, they had a 15% risk of preterm birth.
Another study found that with the frequency and intensity of wildfires increasing dramatically over the past two decades in the western United States, there was a 32% rise in a rare condition commonly associated with air pollution among pregnant women.
Fetal gastroschisis is a defect in the abdominal wall, which is rare but “increasingly prevalent”, according to Prof. Wellenius and Prof. Wesselink.
The exacerbation of reproductive inequality
“The evidence is clear: climatic hazards, particularly heat and air pollution, negatively affect a wide range of reproductive health outcomes and the Perinatal period and children’s health.
They added that failure to urgently address the reproductive, perinatal and child health impacts of climate change would perpetuate and exacerbate reproductive inequality.
“The projected pace of continued climate change and its consequences for our physical and mental health and well-being calls for decisive and immediate action on adaptation,” they said.
The professors added that the evidence also found that mothers from the most marginalized populations most at risk of exposure to climate risks were less able to adapt to the effects of these risks due to structural and systemic oppression.
And they added, “Our climate has already been profoundly altered by human activity, and these changes are generally detrimental to our health, with some communities and individuals affected much more than others. Reproductive justice is the human right to maintain personal bodily independence, to have children, or not to have children.” For parents of children to be in safe and sustainable societies.