Is it true that pregnant women should not take baths, sit in hot tubs or visit a sauna? The risks associated with these activities all comes down to temperature. Let’s take a closer look.
Can I visit a sauna or hot tub when pregnant?
There’s little research on using saunas, jacuzzis, hot tubs and steam rooms during pregnancy, however, it’s advisable to avoid them because of the risks of overheating, dehydration, fainting and feeling dizzy. Exposing yourself to any environment where your core body temperature rises can be dangerous.
Can I take a hot bath during pregnancy?
It is perfectly fine to enjoy a soak in a bath as long as the water temperature is not too hot. The safety concerns with taking a bath during pregnancy all come down to heat. The temperature of the water shouldn’t be above 37C (98F) which is your regular body temperature. Some hot tubs can be as hot as 40C (104F), so it’s best to avoid them.
How to take a ‘safe’ bath when pregnant
A bath is a great way to soothe sore muscles and relax during pregnancy.
- Warm should be comfortable enough so that you can get straight in without having to get in bit by bit.
- Test the water with your elbow or forearm before getting in. This part of your body is more sensitive to temperature than your feet or hands.
- If the water temperature changes the color of your skin making it red, it’s too hot.
- If you are starting to sweat when in the bath, the water is too warm.
Why have a warm-water bath?
A warm-water bath is comforting and offers many advantages:
- It opens up your skin pores
- Relaxes your blood stream
- Can help relieve a blocked nose and cough
- Relieving stress and muscle stiffness
- Taking a warm-water bath before doing to bed can help give you a relaxing night sleep.
What to avoid when taking a bath whilst pregnant
As tempting as it may be to relax in a bath whilst pregnant, avoid adding anything extra into the water. Don’t use:
- bubble bath
- bath salts
- bath oils
Some bath products and soaps can cause irritations to skin during pregnancy and even cause thrush which is not pleasant.
Is it safe to exercise in water?
If you’re looking to do some exercises in water such as an antenatal aqua class the pool temperature should not exceed 32°C. The main reason for this is because when you exercise, your core body temperature goes up naturally and if you’re already in hot water, you can’t sweat to keep cool.
Now, why not run a lovely warm bath for yourself. Relax and unwind. You deserve it.