To avoid any mishaps or complications, you might have to take additional precautions when bathing while pregnant. During pregnancy, bathing is important as it helps keep the body clean and protects the baby from skin diseases (1)(2). It also helps in the relaxation of the body amidst the several changes and discomfort that you may experience as your pregnancy progresses. Read this post to learn more about the benefits of bathing during pregnancy and the precautions to avoid any negative outcomes.
Can You Bathe Throughout Your Pregnancy?
Pregnant women can safely take a lukewarm bath during any trimester unless stated otherwise by a health care provider. However, care must be taken not to increase the core body temperature, especially during the first trimester when the baby’s vital organs begin to develop (3) (4).
Studies suggest that pregnant women usually have a slightly higher body temperature than non-pregnant women. Therefore, having a hot bath during pregnancy may increase the risk of dizziness and fainting (5). To ensure your water is not too hot, use a water thermometer. Alternatively, use your finger or elbow to gauge the heat level.
In the third trimester, you may experience significant discomfort, and a soothing bath may help you relax. However, it may be challenging to stand without support if you have back pain. In this case, consider using a bathtub, which, contrary to popular belief, is safe to use in the third trimester (4).
Your water will break toward the end of your pregnancy. At this time, avoid taking a bath as your baby is no longer protected from the external environment (6).
How Do You Bathe Safely During Pregnancy?
Here are some tips for bathing safely during pregnancy (5):
- Use warm water of around 98.6°F (37°C).
- Do not bathe for more than 10 minutes with warm water.
- Maintain a core body temperature of below 101°F (38.3°C) while bathing.
What Types Of Baths Are Safe During Pregnancy?
- Shower: It is among the most preferred ways of bathing. Use your shower on lukewarm settings.
- Bathtub: Immersing your body in a bathtub for some time can relax your body.
- Sponge bath: If you prefer not to stand while bathing or there is water scarcity, use a wet sponge to clean your body.
- Bucket and mug: Some cultures prefer using a mug to pour water from a bucket over the body.
- Swimming: Swimming during pregnancy can be relaxing and beneficial.
- Sitz bath: Sitz bath is a post-childbirth therapy to recover from the strenuous childbirth procedure. It helps relieve post-childbirth pain and speed up the healing of any stitches.
What Should You Avoid While Bathing During Pregnancy?
Here are some things to avoid while bathing during pregnancy (9):
- Steam baths
- Hot tubs
- Water disinfectants
Can You Take A Bath During Miscarriage?
It is safe to take a bath during a miscarriage. A warm bath may help relieve pain from a miscarriage. However, since you may experience bleeding and discharge, refrain from swimming to avoid infection (10).
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it wrong to shower at night during pregnancy?
As long as the water temperature is right and you are not overheating yourself, you may bathe at any time of the day during pregnancy. Bathing before bedtime helps you relax and sleep better.
2. Can a hot bath cause a miscarriage?
Yes, a study found out that a hot tub bath can double your risk of having a miscarriage during early pregnancy (11). It is better to avoid hot baths, but you can have warm water baths.
A bath during pregnancy can help relax your muscles and offer a calming experience. It is recommended to bathe regularly unless your physician advises otherwise due to underlying complications. Further, noting the water temperature while bathing is paramount as an extremely cold or hot bath may harm the baby.
- Bathing helps maintain proper hygiene and guards you from infections while pregnant.
- Lukewarm water is ideal for bathing during pregnancy. However, make sure your body temperature is below 101°F (38.3°C) while bathing.
- Indulge in a warm shower, take a sponge bath or relax your body in a soothing bathtub.
- Nonetheless, you must avoid hot tubs, saunas, and steam baths during pregnancy.
- A Guide to Common Skin Disorders while Pregnant.
- Things to avoid during pregnancy.
- Can I Take Long
Hot Showers While I’m Pregnant?
- Can Pregnant Women Take Baths? What You Need to Know.
- Can I have a hot bath during pregnancy?
- What to Do When Your Water Breaks
- Patrick Martial Nkamedjie Pete et al.; (2019); Genital hygiene behaviors and practices: A cross-sectional descriptive study among antenatal care attendees.
- Taking a Sitz Bath.
- A J Agopian et al.; (2013); A case–control study of maternal bathing habits and risk for birth defects in offspring.
- Your miscarriage.
- De-Kun Li et al.; (2003); Hot tub use during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage.