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- What Is Epsom Salt?
- How to Use Epsom Salt During Pregnancy
- Benefits of Taking Epsom Salt Baths in Pregnancy
- How to Prepare an Epsom Salt Bath
- Precautions While Taking an Epsom Salt Bath When Pregnant
- Are There Any Risks of Using Epsom Salt for Pregnant Women?
- Can You Consume Epsom Salt During Pregnancy?
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Epsom salt is known for relaxing muscles, improving digestion and soothing the skin. It provides much-needed relief from fatigue and stress to most people. It can also prove to be helpful to pregnant women in multiple ways. Let us see a few ways in which Epsom salt can help you sail through your pregnancy with ease.
What Is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt, also called magnesium sulfate, is made up of sulfur, magnesium and oxygen. Despite being called a ‘salt’, it does not contain any sodium chloride. Being discovered in the town of Epsom in England led to it being called Epsom salt. It can help cure any magnesium deficiency in pregnant women, and can also reduce stress, help treat preeclampsia and haemorrhoids during pregnancy.
How to Use Epsom Salt During Pregnancy
Many of you may be asking, ‘Can I bathe in Epsom salt during pregnancy?’ The answer is yes, you can. If you are pregnant, you might find it extremely beneficial to soak in water containing Epsom salt. Since it dissolves instantly, using it in baths is the best way to use it as it relaxes sore muscles. The correct way to use it is to add 2 cups of Epsom salt to the water in your bathtub, get in and soak for around 15 minutes. Make sure the water is lukewarm, as soaking in hot water may be dangerous for the baby in your belly.
Benefits of Taking Epsom Salt Baths in Pregnancy
Bathing in Epsom salt can help you flush out any and all toxins from your body. There are many benefits associated with taking a bath with Epsom salts. Let’s look at a few more benefits:
1. Reduces Swelling
Epsom salt is anti-inflammatory, and the magnesium sulfate it contains helps increase your blood circulation and reduce the build-up of fluid or pregnancy swelling in your body. During pregnancy, swelling usually happens in the feet, so an Epsom salt foot soak can help reduce it.
2. Soothes Your Muscles
When you soak in a tub which has Epsom salt, it can pass through your skin and help soothe your muscles and reduce joint or back pain, which many pregnant women usually experience. It will be a much-needed relief for you.
3. Improves Skin
During pregnancy, your skin can get stretched to accommodate the growing baby in your belly. Bathing with Epsom salt can restore and exfoliate your skin greatly, soothing the stretches and improving the appearance. Stretching also causes itching around your tummy and joints, which Epsom salt can relieve.
4. Treats Hemorrhoids
Epsom salt has great anti-inflammatory properties. An Epsom salt bath for haemorrhoids during pregnancy has a detoxifying effect as it helps to relax the anal area and remove toxins from the sphincter, leading to overall relief. Pregnant women with haemorrhoids will feel better after taking a bath with Epsom salt.
5. Helps Improve Digestion and Constipation
Epsom salt increases water in the intestine and helps clean any faecal matter present. It reduces bloating, which is a common occurrence in pregnant women and replenishes magnesium in your body. Do not ingest it as it may not be safe, but you can bathe in an Epsom salt bath as it can readily pass through the skin.
6. Eases Constipation
Soaking in Epsom salt for constipation during pregnancy can also relieve the condition as it acts as a laxative. This means that it helps to regulate bowel movement in pregnant women.
7. Helps Treat Preeclampsia
If you are pregnant and suffering from preeclampsia, then studies have shown that exposure to Epsom salt can help reduce the risks associated with this condition by about 15%. It is worth a try as preeclampsia, though rare, is a life-threatening condition.
8. Cures Morning Sickness
Epsom salt contains a large proportion of magnesium, which is known to reduce any nausea experienced during pregnancy.
9. Uplifts Mood
When you are pregnant, your hormonal levels are constantly changing as your body accommodates to supply nutrition to the baby inside of you. This can cause you to experience mood swings which are not good for you or your baby. Bathing with Epsom salt can improve your mood and make you feel lighter.
10. Reduces Stress
When you are pregnant, you need to keep yourself calm and peaceful. Soak in a hot tub containing Epsom salt, and your stress will melt away as it increases the level of serotonin in your blood. It will also help you sleep better and be happier.
11. Prevents Early Labour
The magnesium sulfate in Epsom salt can help prevent any early contractions, which would otherwise send you into preterm labour, by reducing levels of calcium in the uterus muscles.
How to Prepare an Epsom Salt Bath
This depends on what you want to fix in your body, whether it is your mood or muscles or something else, but you can either add Epsom salt to your bathwater in the tub or soak your feet in it.
- Fill your bathtub with lukewarm or warm water (make sure it is not very hot) and add 2 cups of Epsom salt.
- Once it dissolves, soak your body in the tub for around 12-15 minutes.
You can add baking soda or apple cider vinegar if you want relief from a vaginal yeast infection or hives.
Precautions While Taking an Epsom Salt Bath When Pregnant
Though it sounds like a remarkably simple process, there are a few precautions that have to be observed before taking an Epsom salt water bath.
- First, be absolutely sure that the temperature of the water in your tub is not very hot (or beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit). It can be dangerous for you and the baby in your womb.
- Do not add any aromatic oil, such as eucalyptus or lavender to your Epsom salt bath, as it is generally not recommended due to safety reasons.
- Consult a doctor just to be sure before using Epsom salt a liberal number of times. In rare cases, it may have a negative effect on pregnant women who have heart or kidney problems.
- Never drink it, or inject it into your body by force. In rare cases, magnesium poisoning can happen.
Are There Any Risks of Using Epsom Salt for Pregnant Women?
Many people may use Epsom salt for all the above purposes as it is easily available and not very expensive. But always consult a doctor first when you plan to use use it, whether it is before or after you conceive, especially if you want to use Epsom salt in your bath more than once or twice. As mentioned earlier, it may, in rare cases, have a negative effect on pregnant women with heart or kidney problems. Epsom salts take away fluid from the intestines and shift them to other body parts. While this regulates bowel movement, it can also cause cramping in the intestines and contractions, which can lead to pregnancy complications. More so in the case, if you have a miscarriage history.
Can You Consume Epsom Salt During Pregnancy?
Drinking Epsom salt during pregnancy is dangerous. Never drink it or inject it into your body by force. In rare cases, magnesium poisoning can happen. Use it only to mix in your baths.
Epsom salt baths can provide much-needed relief for pregnant women by easing their joint pains, itches and other irritating pregnancy symptoms. If you are pregnant, go ahead and take a nice long Epsom salt soak, but only after consulting your doctor!
Also Read: Epsom Salt Bath for Infants and Children