Using a Hot Tub During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?
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The very thought of enjoying a nice hot water bath in your tub and relaxing with beautiful scents and suds can be tempting for a pregnant women, given the amount of stress and anxiety she might be feeling. But is it safe for a pregnant woman go in a hot tub to enjoy a nice bath? This is usually not advised, and there are various reasons for the same. You might be thinking it is because of the fear of slipping in the tub. But, that alone is not the reason, it is just the tip of the iceberg.
Can Pregnant Women Use a Hot Tub?
Ask any doctor or a nurse about enjoying a hot tub bath while you are pregnant and they will say a strict ‘NO’, the reason being the necessity to maintain optimal body temperature for the unhindered growth of your little one. Spending even up to 10 minutes in the hot water bath can elevate your body temperature to a degree that is equivalent to a high fever. This temperature, which hovers around 101-102 degrees Fahrenheit, induces hyperthermia within the body and affects the foetus. Results have shown that such babies tend to have a higher risk of defects in the development of neural tubes, brain abnormalities and so on. Cases have also suggested the possibility of a miscarriage, although that isn’t conclusive yet.
Tips to Lower the Risk While Using a Hot Tub in Pregnancy
By now you must be aware of the risks associated with using a hot tub during pregnancy. But if you can’t resist it, there are a few tips you can put into practice.
- Dip your feet in the warm water of the tub instead of immersing fully into it. Do this for no more than 10 minutes at a time.
- If you are entering a hot tub or a sauna, make sure you do not spend more than 10 minutes in it. If you soak yourself in hot water for more than 10 mins, you put yourself at a risk of high body temperature.
- The temperature of the tub should be safe and not too hot during pregnancy. Make use of a thermometer if needed and try to reduce it down to about 96 degrees or so.
- The moment you feel any discomfort while taking a bath, get out of the hot water immediately, dry yourself, and contact your doctor.
- It is best to keep away from any kind of hot tub baths or saunas if you already have any health conditions or a higher risk of pregnancy complications.
Is There Any Safer Alternative to a Hot Tub?
For most pregnant woman, sitting in a hot tub is full of risks. But there are a few alternatives that could help you give the same amount of relief that a hot tub bath may.
Opting for a hot bath is a better option. A bath does not keep your body immersed in hot water continuously, thus, reducing the chances of your body temperature elevating rapidly. Hot water can be taken in small proportion and specific body areas can be cleaned accordingly. Even in that case, do not keep bathing for a long duration or go for a hot shower, since that, too, can bring up your temperature.
Taking a wonderful bath in the hot tub during pregnancy may seem relaxing, but it can turn into a nightmare if the temperature of the hot tub is too high. It is best to stay away from hot water baths for a few months. Very soon you will have your child to take care of and then the both of you can enjoy them together.
Also Read: Do’s and Dont’s during Pregnancy