In this study the authors examined how maternal health workers (MHWs) perceive the health risks of extreme heat exposure to pregnant women and fetuses. The authors conducted interviews with 12 MHWs (including midwives and doulas) in El Paso, Texas. Using qualitative analysis, the researchers identified numerous themes. Although heat was not communicated as a major health risk, participants expressed some concern with growing heat exposure and communicated standard protective measures. While all participants were familiar with some heat illness symptoms, they were generally unaware of their clients’ vulnerability. MHWs’ minimal heat-risk knowledge leaves pregnant women and developing fetuses at risk of preventable harm.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Professions(all)