By Harper Steele
Pregnant women often complain about being bitten by mosquitoes more than other people. But is there any truth to this claim?
Yes, there is. Mosquitoes are indeed more attracted to pregnant women. There are a few reasons for this:
Pregnant women produce more carbon dioxide
Mosquitoes use carbon dioxide to locate their hosts. Pregnant women produce more carbon dioxide because their bodies are working harder to support the growing baby.
Pregnant women have higher body temperatures
Mosquitoes are attracted to heat. Pregnant women tend to have higher body temperatures than other people because of the increased blood flow to their skin.
Pregnant women produce certain hormones that are attractive to mosquitoes
Some studies have shown that pregnant women produce higher levels of certain hormones, such as estradiol and progesterone, which are attractive to mosquitoes.
In addition to being more attractive to mosquitoes, pregnant women are also more vulnerable to mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria and Zika. This is because the immune system of a pregnant woman is suppressed, making her more susceptible to infection.
So, what can pregnant women do to protect themselves from mosquito bites?
Here are a few tips:
1. Wear insect repellent
Choose a repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or IR3535. Be sure to apply repellent to all exposed skin, including the face, neck, ears, and hands.
2. Wear long sleeves and pants
This will help to cover your skin and protect you from mosquito bites.
3. Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn
Mosquitoes are most active during these times of day.
4. Use mosquito netting
If you are sleeping in an area where there are mosquitoes, use mosquito netting to protect yourself from bites.
Tip: If you are bitten by a mosquito, wash the area with soap and water. You can also apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and itching. If you develop any symptoms of a mosquito-borne disease, such as fever, headache, or body aches, see a doctor right away.
By following these tips, pregnant women can help to protect themselves from mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases.
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