Is It Safe To Take A Hot Water Bath During Pregnancy?

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Congratulations, you are pregnant! Now comes all the wishes and advice, making you feel confused. Relax and remember pregnancy is a natural process and a phase for a woman to enjoy this beautiful experience with minimal stress or worries.

One advice that often confuses expecting moms is whether they could use hot water bath during pregnancy or not. Well, there is nothing that really suggests that it is unsafe during pregnancy. In fact, soaking in some warm water and spending some ‘me’ time is a sheer bliss for all. It is best to exercise some basic care and precaution to ensure that your bath experience relaxes you and your baby safely.

Opt For ‘Warm’ Bath Instead:

Experts advice it is completely okay to have hot tubs for pregnant women. As long as the temperature is close to the body temperature, i.e., around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water gets overheated, there is a strong chance it will also increase heart rate and reduce blood flow to to your body thereby causing stress to your baby.

Studies have shown that overheating, especially in the early trimesters of pregnancy, can cause birth defects in the offspring, affecting the spine and the brain causing problems like spina bifida. It is extremely important to check the temperature before stepping into the bath and ideally go for a warm bath to relax your tired muscles.

How To Check If The Water Temperature Is Ideal?

Using a thermometer on your bath water is the best way to know if it is the right temperature. Alternatively you can also check by inserting your elbow or forearm as these areas are more sensitive to temperature changes. If your skin turns red, it is a clear indication that the water is too hot and you may want to wait for it to cool down.

Don’t Linger Too Long:

When taking a hot water bath during pregnancy you should keep a check on how much time you are spending in the bath. You should aim not to spend more 10-15 minutes. As this time limit does not allow your body to overheat and your core body temperature to rise.

Jacuzzi And Sauna During Pregnancy Are A Strict No-No:

Although warm and hot baths during pregnancy are perfectly fine for you, it is highly recommended that hot tubs, sauna and jacuzzi are to be avoided during pregnancy. This is because your body is under constant heat in these fancy bath appliances, and are more hazardous than relaxing.

Stay Hydrated:

If the water is very hot it can lead to dizziness or faintness. Hence it is always best to keep yourself well hydrated before you step into a hot bath during pregnancy. Hence, it is a good idea to keep a bottle of water next to your tub just in case you may suddenly feel tired or dizzy.

Benefits Of Warm Water Bath:

Warm bath is not just relaxing physically and mentally during pregnancy, it also has a few scientifically proven benefits:

  • It is the best remedy to soothe tired muscles especially your back and feet thereby inducing good sleep and relaxation.
  • A nice warm water bath during pregnancy can help in providing relief from oedema that is uncomfortable swelling in the legs, ankles and feet which although normal during pregnancy but can be stressful.
  • Warm water bath is also helpful in easing premature contractions as water is soothing and provides pain relief.
  • It is also believed that a good warm water soak can help increase amniotic fluids if your level is low.

Hot Tubs When Pregnant: Are They Recommended!

You may want to sit in a bath of warm water or a sauna to get rid of those pregnancy aches and pains, but the truth is – they could actually spell trouble for both you and your baby.

The basic science behind these activities is that, they tend to raise the core body temperature. This in turn is harmful for not just the mother, but also for her baby.

6 Points On Why Sauna Is Not Recommended:

Here are some research excerpts for you to understand why hot tub or sauna for pregnant women is not suggested.

1. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women must avoid being a part of such activities during all three trimesters.

2. Pregnancy tends to put the mother under stress, both physically and mentally. With the body already working overtime, exposure to a higher temperature may cause pregnancy complications and may pose health risks to the developing fetus.

3. The use of hot tubs when pregnant is thought to be linked to brain and spinal cord defects in the babies. Some experts believe that the exposure to hot temperatures during pregnancy may increase the risk of spina bifida (birth disorder characterized by improper closure of the baby’s backbone) in the baby.

4. A study published in 1992 has revealed that the exposure to heat in the form of saunas during the first trimester of pregnancy could be linked to an increased chance of neural tube defects in children.

5. Certain studies have also pointed out to an increased risk of miscarriage associated with hot tub use.

6. A sauna session is suggested because it may help release toxins from the body by encouraging sweating. In case of pregnant women, heavy sweating may lead to dehydration and hypotension. This in turn may cause dizziness for the pregnant women and loss of blood supply to the baby.

5 Ways To Follow If Sauna Bath Is Unavoidable:

Expecting ladies can choose to sit in a sauna or a warm water bath, without any risks by keeping the temperature under control. But it is best to stay on the safer side and avoid these activities.

If you still choose to engage in any of these hot-tub activities, please follow the precautions listed below:

1. Make sure you get a nod from your doctor beforehand.

2. Also, limit your time in the hot tub or sauna for not more than 10 minutes.

3. Care should be taken that the temperature of the water, in the hot tub or sauna, not exceeds 32 degrees centigrade.

4. Pay attention for signs such as dizziness, profuse sweating and clamminess to stay safe.

5. Get out of the setting immediately, after you start to note any signs of discomfort.

So, go ahead and enjoy the warm water, soak and pamper yourself. Always remember stay safe and relaxed as your health is your baby’s well being!

We hope this article helps you make the right decision about indulging in these activities during the pregnancy period. Experts advise pregnant women to opt for alternate methods of relaxation like meditation, yoga, exercise etc.

Share your experiences on how relieved you felt in hot tub during pregnancy:

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