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Thrice Bitten, Twice as Bugged

Another day, another mosquito bite.

One night a couple weeks ago, a friend and I sat in her backyard with our families, making ‘smores, watching fireflies and feeling good and summery–until she couldn’t take it any more and declared it was time to go inside.

There’s nothing like a few pesky mosquitoes to ruin a night around the fire. My friend is a couple months ahead of me in her pregnancy and said she’s been getting bitten more than ever. I didn’t think too much of it until I woke up the next morning with close to 20 swollen bites on my legs, alone. And counting. I can’t seem to leave the house without acquiring at least a handful more. In short: I’m a itching fool.

So is there something to it? Are pregnant women really more prone to getting mosquito bites? These little bloodsuckers are an annoyance to the average person, but it seems they’re enough to drive the pregnant woman crazy.

Turns out there are a couple fact-backed theories to support the claim. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, and pregnant women can release up to 21 percent more exhaled carbon dioxide than most adults, mostly because we’re breathing harder than normal–especially in our second and third trimesters.

Also working against us (in terms of these six-legged insects and summer temps, in general) is our increased body temperature, since movement and heat attract mosquitoes. Amniotic fluid makes the areas around our bellies warmer by 1.26 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the next few months, I’ll only be doing ‘smores over the stove. In the meantime, if you’re curious about whether or net your repellent is safe, run it by EWG.org and see which ones are OK for babies. You’re carrying one, after all!

Image by Flickr user Debs.

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