10 Papers That Address Climate Change and Maternal Health

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By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The physical environment has an enormous impact on women’s and maternal health. Climate change in particular has been linked to food insecurity and undernutrition, water scarcity, poor hygienic conditions, infectious disease outbreaks and increased vulnerability to floods, hurricanes, heat waves and other natural disasters—all of which have direct consequences for women’s health during pregnancy, labor and delivery and postpartum. Below are ten papers that discuss the effects of climate change on maternal health globally.

  1. Climate change and the potential effects on maternal and pregnancy outcomes: An assessment of the most vulnerable – the mother, fetus, and newborn child
    Global Health Action | March 2013
  2. Heat exposure and maternal health in the face of climate change
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | July 2017
  3. Water, climate change, and maternal and newborn health
    Current Opinions in Environmental Sustainability | December 2011
  4. PMNCH knowledge summary #32 Protecting women’s and children’s health from a changing climate
    Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health | 2014
  5. Climate change and environmental impacts on maternal and newborn health with focus on Arctic populations
    Global Health Action | November 2011
  6. Whether weather matters: Evidence of association between in utero meteorological exposures and foetal growth among Indigenous and non-Indigenous mothers in rural Uganda
    PLOS One | June 2017
  7. Potential climate change health risks from increases in heat waves: Abnormal birth outcomes and adverse maternal health conditions
    Risk Analysis | February 2017
  8. Considering climate in studies of fertility and reproductive health in poor countries
    Nature Climate Change | June 2017
  9. Climate extremes and the length of gestation
    Environmental Health Perspectives | June 2011
  10. All gas and no air? Why addressing climate change is critical for maternal and infant health
    Midwifery | December 2009

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