Expecting Mother's Expect Mosquito Bites

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Do you know what month of the year most babies come into the world? According to a 2013 study, the most popular month for the arrival of newborns is August. Do you know what that means? All through the summer those babies are in the waiting room, making summertime the time of year with the most expecting mothers. If you thought you were baking in the hot sun toward the end of your pregnancy, there is a good chance it wasn't in your head. But heat isn't the only thing expecting mothers have to worry about in summer.

Mosquitoes are blood eaters, equipped with sensory abilities that allow them to track warm-blooded animals, and expecting mothers put out more signals to attract mosquitoes than anyone else. Here's how.

  • It takes a lot of effort to carry a baby around, and the bigger the baby, the more the effort. Mosquitoes have mouthparts that can detect heat. This allows them to zero in on an appropriate target, and locate the perfect vein for extraction. Since expecting mothers are putting out more heat, mosquitoes like them more.

  • Expecting mothers put out more carbon dioxide. When you exert more, your breath is heavier. Mosquitoes have receptors in their antennae that detect carbon dioxide emissions. If they have to choose between two targets, they'll go for the target with the most CO2.

  • Mosquitoes will sometimes choose who they are going to bite by the chemical smells being produced by their skin. Human skin can produce more than 340 chemical odors, and some of those odors smell like dinner. Mosquitoes love the smell of sweat and are more likely to target those who are sweating more, like expecting moms.

  • Those little biters also like the smell of skin lotions and perfumes. These aren't directly related to being pregnant, but it is good to know.

  • Mosquitoes fly low to the ground and sometimes use silhouettes to find their targets. The darker and bigger the silhouette, the more interesting the target. You can't do much about hiding that baby bulge, but you can choose brighter clothing to make yourself less noticeable to mosquitoes.

If you're an expecting mom, be aware that you are more interesting to mosquitoes, in every way. When you're on the go, remember to wear pants and long sleeve shirts that are light in color. Refrain from perfumes and lotions. Try to take it easy when you're outside, and keep your exertions to a minimum. If you plan on being in your backyard, consider implementing a professional mosquito abatement

program. The fewer mosquitoes you have flying around in your backyard, the fewer mosquitoes there will be to bite you.


Tags: mosquitoes  |  mosquito prevention tips  |  pregnancy


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