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Are Hot Showers And Hot Tubs Safe During Pregnancy?

4 min read

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 about. Who would not want that extra steam in the shower or a some more minutes in the hot tub when you are dealing with so much, but are hot tubs and long, hot showers safe during pregnancy. Well, not really, and let us understand what is actually meant by ‘hot’ here.
Hot shower in pregnancy

  • Taking Hot Showers During Pregnancy
  • How Safe Are Hot Tubs During Pregnancy?
  • What Kind Of Birth Defects Can Arise By Using Hot Tubs During Pregnancy?
  • Scented Baths During Pregnancy
  • Points To Be Noted When Taking Hot Baths During Pregnancy

Taking Hot Showers During Pregnancy

Taking a hot shower during pregnancy can be considerably 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 to be safe, provided you do not overheat yourself.

How Safe Are Hot Tubs During Pregnancy?

As opposed to hot showers during pregnancy, hot tubs are best avoided 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 easily shoot up causing you to overheat. Now a heated body temperature can cause a condition called hyperthermia, which essentially makes the blood pressure fall down. Because during pregnancy, you have almost 50% more blood running in the body, a low blood pressure could decrease the amount of oxygen and other nutrients getting passed on to the baby, which can cause complications for the unborn child.
It is not so easy to figure a rise in your body temperature when you are sitting all soaked up and immersed in hot water. You do not even release the temperature by sweating, thus getting overheated easily. Raising your body temperature above 102°F (38.9°C) during pregnancy could spell complications and it is best avoided. For the same reason, using saunas are also best avoided during the gestation period. Infact, you should try not to get overheated in the outside weather as well, and avoid very long and hot baths altogether. Even when exercising during pregnancy, take care that you do not overheat your body.
Sitz bath

What Kind Of Birth Defects Can Arise By Using Hot Tubs During Pregnancy?

Research has indicated that increasing the body temperature above 102°F (38.9°C) could potentially increase the risk of your baby 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 is still considered safe, but hot tubs and saunas that are maintained 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 can in turn cause complications during the pregnancy.

Scented Baths During 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. This is so as these baths can cause a disturbance to the acidic balance of your vagina, and could make you develop thrush, which can even be passed to your baby during birthing, besides being very uncomfortable for you.

Points To Be Noted When Taking Hot Baths During Pregnancy

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.

  • The water temperature should be comfortable and not scalding to the point that it turns your skin red
  • If you notice any signs of feeling dizzy, come out of the bath immediately as this could mean that your blood pressure is lowering
  • You should be comfortable with the water temperature at all times
  • Do not let very hot water come down on your belly
  • if you feel thirsty, overheated or chilly, come out of the bath immediately

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 of taking hot bath earlier in your pregnancy, do not be – 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.
Happy bathing!

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