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Heating pads are commonly used for getting quick relief from sore muscles and backache. But can you use a heating pad during pregnancy? This is one of the most frequently asked pregnancy questions.
Naturally, many women are apprehensive about using heating pads during pregnancy, because health advisors strongly advise them not to use hot tubs and saunas while they’re expecting. They have a potential risk of increasing the core body temperature.
Is It Safe To Use A Heating Pad For Sore Muscles During Pregnancy?
Yes. It is completely safe to apply a heating pad to aching joints or sore muscles as it won’t harm your growing baby. Wondering why? Because moderate heat applies to one area of your body will not cause an increase in your overall core body temperature. Still to be on the safe side, you must use any such heating device for a maximum of 10-20 minutes. Remember to apply only low to moderate heat on the sore, affected area.
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Remember, anything that increases your core body temperature more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit can increase the risk for neural tube defects and even miscarriage in the first trimester. Saunas and hot tubs can shoot up your body temperature easily, but heating pads are completely safe to use.
Safety Tips For Using A Heating Pad While Pregnant:
If you’re planning to use heating pads during pregnancy, it is important to remember few safety measures:
- Try and use only the lowest heat setting. Always remember to avoid the highest heat mode on the heating pad. Remember you do not want to get overheated.
- Avoid using the heating pad for a long duration. Use only the 20 minute autoset timer. This should be sufficient for you to get quick relief from muscle sores and aches.
- Always apply the heating pad to a spefic region – like your affected lower back.
- Stictly avoid placing the heating pad on your tummy, as this can be a potential threat to your growing baby.
- Remember that you should strictly avoid treating any abdominal or stomach pain with the help of a heating pad. Any such discomfort or pain could be a indication of an underlying serious condition – always report these pains or discomforts to your health advisor as soon as you experience them.
- Don’t use the pad when your’re about to sleep or sleeping. It may cause overheat and you’ll not be able to realize it.
- Always remember wrap it in a blanket or towel to avoid direct contact. This will minimize the direct effects of a heating pad. By wrapping it in any unused clothing, like an ill-fitting sweatshirt, makes it safer to use on affected muscle region.
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Other Safe Alternatives For Using Heating Pads During Pregnancy:
Apart from using heating pads for quick pain relief, you may also try other natural pain relievers for your pregnancy-related pains and aches:
- Cold compresses or ice packs – apart from direct heat, cold packs also help to alleviate discomfort and pain during pregnancy. If you’re not palnning to spend anymore on pain relievers, you can use a bag of frozen vegetables and apply it to the affected region. Don’t use the pack for more than 20 minutes before you remove the compress.
- Use alternate warm and cold treatments – Alternating between cool and warm treatments may help you get quick relief from backaches or muscle sores. Also, alternating the two temperature-based treatments may avoid overheating your skin.
- Maternity support belts – if you suffer frequently from backaches, you may consider and buy a maternity support belt that will help you to take away some pressure off your aching back.
- Prenatal massage – you can always indulge in a relaxing massage and enjoy many benefits too. Prenatal massage is a great way to get instant relief from any discomforts and aches you may experience in pregnancy. Apart for quick pain relief, it also decreases stress hormones released during pregnancy and boost your mood. So, say hello to a happy you!
- Hot water bottle – if you are suffering from normal bouts of pregnancy achiness or backache, usin a hot water bottle sometimes can alleviate your condition. The good news is that hot water bottles don’t raise the core body temperature to an unsafe level. So, they are highly safe for use.
- Warm baths – Who doesn’t love a self-indulging warm bath or shower? It can be highly relaxing and invigorating. Also, taking a luxriant warm bath can give you some much-desired relief from your pains and aches.
[ Read: Hot Tubs When Pregnant ]
When Should You Avoid Using Heating Pad?
Remember, you must never use a heating pad to get relief from abdominal pain. Neither should you try any other measures for quick pain relief, as abdominal pain in pregnancy is associated with complications such as uterine rupture, placental problems or onset of labour.
If you have tried and tested all natural pain relievers, and you’re still feeling uncomfortable, you may consider taking Tylenol (acetaminophen) to ease your pains and aches. It is the safest choice to treat aches and pains during pregnancy, and it is always recommended by OB/GYN for a long time. It has been classfied as a category B drug by the FDA.
Avoid taking any over-the-counter drugs, such as aspirin, Aleve (naproxen), or Advil (ibuprofen) during your pregnancy. These drugs may have potential side effects that can harm you and your baby.
Always remember to consult your health advisor or gyencologist if you have any doubts or queries regarding what type of painkiller is safe for your specific situation.
The bottom line is that heating pads are perfectly safe to use during pregnancy, as long as you never place it directly on your belly. If you know of any other alternative use of heating pad during pregnancy, do share them with us.
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