Manifestations of climate change have demonstrable effects on perinatal outcomes.  Extreme heat, for example, has been found to have an enormous impact on pregnant women, leading to premature birth, low birth weight, and congenital anomalies.  A systematic review published in JAMA in 2020 looked at 68 studies comprising of 32,798,152 total births to investigate how prenatal exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), ozone, and heat impacted preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth.  There was a significant association found between of air pollution and heat exposure with birth outcomes across all US geographic regions. The study also found that the groups at highest risk were persons with asthma and minority groups, especially black mothers, highlighting the disproportional impact of climate change and the need for greater attention paid to environmental justice efforts.  References to articles can be found on our Further Reading page.

Image by Christian Bowen

Another resource is the University of California San Francisco's Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.  Check it out!