Pregnant Women Get More Mosquito BitesRebecca Odes
Have you noticed more interest from the insect community now that you’re pregnant? There’s a good chance that you are not imagining things. Pregnant women do get more mosquito bites! Around twice as many, according to one study. Why?
Mosquitoes use heat to see. So that furnace you’ve been feeling in bed at night is to blame. It’s easier for a mosquito find you due to your higher body temperature. Pregnant women also exhale more carbon dioxide than other people, which is another way mosquitoes track down their victims.
So how do you avoid being bitten to bits?
Most people tend to reach for the bug spray. There’s no conclusive data saying there’s a risk from using the hard stuff (DEET) but for those of you who are skeeved out by the smell (or lack of conclusive data about its safety) there are lots of milder, safer alternatives. EWG.org has a list of the least toxic bug repellents. The list is not specifically for pregnant women, but there are many for babies. Citronella oil is considered a pretty safe option, and it can be used in candles instead of applied directly to the skin.
The problem is that some of these natural repellents don’t repel nearly as well as the nuclear DEET stuff. So you may end up cutting down on bug bites but not avoiding them entirely. Then there’s the physical block option: long sleeves, screens, or just staying inside at the buggiest times of day. Not always the most fun option in the moment, but it may be worth it to keep excruciating mosquito bites off your current list of middle of the night discomforts!