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Bathing is one of the most effective ways of maintaining full body hygiene. However, if you like soaking in long bathing sessions or you enjoy occasional hot water baths, pregnancy may evoke certain concerns, and you may want to know whether your usual bathing practices are safe for your baby or you need to make some changes? Well, this post talks about baths during pregnancy and also discusses various other aspects that you should keep in mind while bathing.
Can You Take Bath while Pregnant?
Bathing is not only calming and relaxing during pregnancy, but it is also a great way of soothing the tired muscles. Therefore, there is no harm in taking regular baths during pregnancy until and unless you take a bath with hot water. Soaking in hot water or taking hot water baths tend to increase your body temperature which can lead to several complications for you and your baby. In the same way, steam baths, sauna baths, hot tub baths etc. should be strictly avoided during pregnancy.
How to Take Bath Safely in Different Stages of Pregnancy?
It is indeed safe to take a bath during pregnancy, however, make sure the temperature of the water is not too high as high water temperature may drop the blood pressure, cause weakness or dizziness and even cause congenital disabilities in babies. Lower blood pressure may lead to abortions and miscarriages during the first trimester. Here are some safe ways of how to take a bath during pregnancy or precautions to be taken during different stages of pregnancy.
1. First Trimester
The first trimester is a very crucial time for your baby because at this stage your baby’s organs start developing and overheating of the body may lead to severe complications or congenital disabilities. Following are safe ways of bathing during the first trimester
- Take tepid or warm water bath in early pregnancy.
- Make sure you do not soak in the bathtub for longer durations.
- Use organic or chemical free bathing products.
- The temperature of the water should not be more than 102 degrees.
2. Second Trimester
Your pregnancy is more settled during this stage, and your growing baby bump can take a toll on your balance. Bathing can be very soothing and relaxing, however, make sure you follow these rules.
- You can take regular baths until or unless your doctor advises against it.
- Make sure you test the temperature of the water before soaking in it.
- Limit your shower time and do not soak in water for the longer duration. Taking longer showers may increase the risk of vaginal infections.
- To relieve any leg pain, you may soak your legs in hot water instead of soaking the entire body.
3. Third Trimester
- By this trimester, you get closer to labour and delivery. Your body may be aching or experiencing pain at this juncture. Bathing is a great of rejuvenating and relaxing. Take following points into consideration while bathing during the third trimester of pregnancy.
- Relax and indulge in a warm water bath.
- At any given point if you feel uncomfortable or your body temperature rises while take baths, get out of the bath immediately.
- Getting in and out of bath may get tricky towards the end of pregnancy, you may ask for assistance to avoid accidents.
- It may get difficult to manage your weight towards the end of pregnancy; extra caution should be exercised while entering washroom or bath during third pregnancy trimester because of the slippery surface.
Things to Avoid While Bathing in Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a delicate phase of life and requires the mommy-to-be to exercise caution in everything she does, and bathing is one such practice. Certain things are a complete no-no during pregnancy. Here we have listed down the things that you should avoid while bathing during pregnancy
- Soaking is hot tub baths or standing under hot water showers for longer durations is a big no! If any doubt occurs regarding the water temperature, get a thermometer and check the water temperature.
- Most women love bubble baths. However, during pregnancy skip the bath products that may contain any harsh chemicals in them such as phthalates, BPA liners and other harmful chemicals.
- Ensure you have somebody to help you in getting into the tub and out of it. As you get bigger, handling your pregnancy weight may become challenging. Assistance from your partner may prove to be helpful and also be safe for you.
- Do not skip the bath mats. A bathroom is a place where you are at the maximum risk of slipping and falling because of a slippery surface. Place bath mats at various places in your washroom.
- Do not soak in baths for prolonged durations as it may put you at the risk of infections, such as vaginal infections. Limit your bath time to 15 to 20 minutes.
- Refrain from using bath bombs. These bombs may not only make the tub area more slippery, but it may be loaded with chemicals that you be harmful to your growing baby.
- If possible avoid aroma oils. This is because sometimes aroma oils can cause allergic reactions and may even induce labour or cause miscarriage. Until or unless you are sure of the efficacy of the oil, refrain from using it.
- Do not get into the tub without keeping an anti-slip mat. As you move ahead with your pregnancy and gain weight, your centre of gravity changes and may make you prone to falls. Placing an anti-slip plastic mat in the tub may help you in maintaining your balance.
- Refrain from using body scrubs. Pregnancy makes your body sensitive, and most body scrubs may contain Epsom salt in it. This can make your body very dry and deprive your body of its natural moisture. If you wish to use scrubs, you may use homemade scrubs with sugar or get organic body scrubs.
- Do not use a harsh loofah sponge to get rid of the dead skin cells. Pregnancy makes changes in your skin texture, and harsh bath products may take a toll on your skin. Use softer loofah while bathing to protect your skin and to enjoy your bathing experience during pregnancy.
- Do not use unfiltered bathing water especially if you live in areas that have contaminated water supply. Make sure you install water filters in your washroom to minimise your interaction with contaminated water during pregnancy. Bathroom water filters are readily available and can be conveniently installed too.
- Avoid tub baths if possible and opt for shower baths. Tub baths can be relaxing, but they can get too cumbersome and risky towards the end of pregnancy. As much as possible opt for shower bath in comparison to soaking in a tub bath.
Like everything else, baths need special consideration too during pregnancy. Make sure you follow the suggestions mentioned above while talking bath during pregnancy and make it a more relaxing and enjoyable experience. Any doubt, worry or query in context to your bath must be directed towards your OB/GYN for more comprehensive and appropriate consultation.
Also Read: Taking Bath in Epsom Salt in Pregnancy