Written by Editorial Team
A nice, long hot shower could be any pregnant woman’s bet of relief. A hot bath refreshes the body and mind and eases those pains and aches pregnancy brings. But how safe is hot showers and hot tubs during pregnancy? This article helps us to understand it better.
Who would not want that extra steam in the shower or some more minutes in the hot tub when you are dealing with so much? But hot tubs and long, hot showers may not be safe during pregnancy. So what is the definition of hot here, and what types of showers and baths should you avoid when pregnant? Read ahead to know more.
In This Article
During pregnancy, taking a hot shower can be safe provided you do not let your body get overheated. Though warm baths are recommended during pregnancy, some women may not find ‘warm’ warm enough to soothe and relax them. It is best to be somewhat cautious about taking a long, hot shower as overheating during pregnancy has been related to causing birth defects in the unborn baby during the first trimester.
In the second trimester and later on stages, hot baths can lead to dehydration, which can further lead to other complications during pregnancy. Because it is easier to get out of a hot shower immediately and the cooling-off effect is faster, hot showers can be considered safe, provided you do not use too hot water.
As opposed to hot showers, it is best to avoid hot tubs during the pregnancy period. Hot tubs potentially pose health and development risks to your baby. This is so because when you are soaking in a hot tub, your body temperature can quickly shoot up, causing you to overheat. A heated body temperature can cause a condition called hyperthermia, which essentially makes the blood pressure fall. During pregnancy, you have almost 50% more blood running in the body. Low blood pressure can decrease oxygen and other nutrients passed on to the baby. This can cause complications for the unborn child.
It is not easy to figure a rise in your body temperature when sitting all soaked up and immersed in hot water. You do not even release the temperature by sweating, as a result of which your body temperature rises suddenly. Raising your body temperature above 102°F (38.9°C) during pregnancy could spell complications, and so you must avoid hot tubs. For the same reason, you must also avoid saunas during the gestation period. In fact, you should try not to keep cool outdoors as well, and avoid very long and hot baths altogether. Even when exercising during pregnancy, take care that you do not overheat your body.
[Read: Sweating During Pregnancy]
Research indicates that increasing the body temperature above 102°F (38.9°C) could potentially increase your baby’s risk of developing anomalies in the brain and the spine. Also referred to as neural tube defects (NTD), these birth defects could come in the way of having a healthy baby. Because you can cool yourself off rapidly after a bath, it may still be safe, but hot tubs and saunas that at a constant high temperature could cause problems and are best avoided.
Very hot water could also make you feel dizzy, faint, or simply burn your skin. This, in turn, can cause complications during the pregnancy.
Scented, bubbled baths or baths with bath salts and oils could be very tempting during pregnancy, but it is best to strike them off the list now that you are pregnant. These baths can disturb the acidic balance of your vagina. This often results in developing thrush, which, besides being comfortable, can also pass on to your baby.
Though hot showers and hot baths are considered safer than hot tubs, it is best to exercise some caution at such a delicate phase of your life.
Hence, your comfort should be the key when you are taking a hot bath during pregnancy, and you should feel relaxed and happy. However, if you are feeling guilty about taking a hot bath earlier in your pregnancy, do not be – the chances are that you stepped out before it could cause any harm to the baby. Try to soak in cool water pools, and drink a lot of liquids to keep yourself from dehydration.
There are chances, yes. If you do this in the first trimester, chances are very high. Towards the end of pregnancy can cause preterm labor.
No, not always. If it is just a quick shower, it’s safe. Avoid long hot showers.
Yes, they can. Especially, if it’s not cleaned well. Also, it can cause preterm labor.
Yes, you can. Many women find this very soothing. However, do not let your body get overheated.
Read Also: Hot Flashes During Pregnancy
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