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This post was last updated on January 19th, 2019 at 08:00 pm
If you’re asking yourself ‘why do I get more mosquito bites when pregnant?’, you’re not the only one! On my recent trip to South Africa at 30 weeks pregnant I was bitten like crazy, but then, having travelled a lot during my two pregnancies, this came as no surprise.
Being pregnant in the summer can be challenging for a lot of reasons (trust me, I know!). This includes being hotter than normal and being generally uncomfortable. One thing many people may not realise is that when you are pregnant, you are more susceptible to getting mosquito bites. Weird, right?
Why Do I Get More Mosquito Bites When Pregnant?
Now, mosquitoes can be a nuisance for a lot of people in the warmer months. But for women who are pregnant, the pesky little bugs find them even more tasty.
If you are like me, then you are scratching your head and wondering why this is true (or frantically Googling to find out why you are all of a sudden being eaten alive!). I want to share with you two reasons why, if you are pregnant, you may be finding yourself with a lot of these bites.
1- Pregnant women have a higher body temperature.
You may notice that when you are pregnant, you seem to get hotter faster, especially during the summer months. This is because pregnant women have a higher body temperature than when they are not pregnant. How does this have anything to do with mosquitoes? Well, it just so happens that mosquitoes are attracted to a warmer body. Lucky you!
When you are hot your veins are often closer to the surface of your skin. It’s your body’s way of cooling down. This means that mosquitos can more easily reach your blood, which makes you, the pregnant lady, an easy meal!
2- A pregnant woman tends to let off more carbon dioxide.
When women are pregnant, they tend to breathe heavier and therefore let off more carbon dioxide. This is yet another thing that attracts mosquitoes (you are batting a thousand here!). If you are out and being active, you are more likely to have more mosquitoes vying for your attention than someone who isn’t pregnant. I for one, don’t normally get bitten but when pregnant I seem to attract the critters from afar!
While you are definitely at a greater risk of the dreaded mosquito bite when expecting, there are a few things you can do to limit the risk of bites. Of course, nothing will completely prevent the mosquitoes from being attracted to you but you can at least lessen the chance of them finding you!
Here are a few of the things that I recommend:
Tip 1- Citronella candles
If you are planning to be outside, citronella candles are you best friends. Light these babies up, have as many as you want really, and you will find less mosquitoes hanging around. Of course, this isn’t always practical, especially if you are travelling around a lot or are at a public venue such as a restaurant. We often stay in Air b’n’b places so that we can put our toddler to bed early, so it is super easy for us to light some candles, as long as we have remembered to pack them!
Tip 2- Wear light-colored clothing
According to Fit Pregnancy and Baby, mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colored clothing. If at all possible, try to stick to lighter colors like white, light pink or a light gray. This will reduce your chance of mosquitoes biting you.
Tip 3- Stay inside
I know, I know. You’re on holiday and you want to be outside enjoying the warm weather. As much as you can, staying inside will make sure that you aren’t inundated with mosquito bites.
Simple things like opting for a table indoors at dinner could make all the difference. We also close up all of the windows and doors a couple of hours before we go to bed or before it gets dark to limit the mosquitos inside. Air con or a fan can help deter them from coming inside too.
Tip 4- Use a non-toxic mosquito repellent
Using a mosquito repellent is another really great way to prevent a ton of mosquito bites. There are a number of non-toxic options that are very safe to use when pregnant (avoid the usual mosquito repellents that contain deet).
Two choices that I recommend are Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellent and Burt’s Bees Herbal Insect Repellent. Both of these products are not expensive and will help with the mosquitoes while you are outside.
Tip 5- Wear protective clothing
Again, not the most desirable option but something that will prevent a lot of the mosquito bites. If you can wear long sleeves or long pants when you are outside, the chance of getting a bite is lessened quite a lot. The least amount of exposed skin, the better. You can buy light weight clothing or use a pashmina to cover yourself in hot weather.
Tip 6- Avoid dawn and dusk
Mosquitos predominantly come out during the hours of dawn and dusk, so it’s best to be extra cautious during this time. Either cover up, stay inside or use a repellent to avoid bites!
Tip 7- Avoid areas with still water
Mosquitos LOVE water. Lakes, ponds and any areas with still water are a haven for them so be careful when visiting such places- I was bitten within a couple of minutes of starting a hike through a marsh land recently- these bugs have no mercy!
Do you have any other tips for avoiding mosquito bites? Please let me know in the comments below!