Best Practices For Pregnant Women And Hot Tubs
Pregnancy will undoubtedly be a wonderful and exciting time in your life, but that doesnt mean you and your baby are immune to complications. You can reduce the risk of complications by following doctors orders and adhering to best practices for expectant mothers, especially where hot tubs are concerned. If youre tempted to soak away the stress of a work day, or the pains of a morning workout, or even just the pains of carrying another human being inside of you, keep these best practices to of mind:
- Avoid using a hot tub in the first trimester of pregnancy.
- Keep spa temperatures at or below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Soak no more than 10 minutes at a time.
- Monitor the waters temperature and your own body temperature during those 10 minutes.
- If you feel hot, begin to sweat, get dizzy, or demonstrate other signs of overheating, get out.
British Columbia Specific Information
According to Baby’s Best Chance , when you are pregnant it is important not to increase your inner body temperature. Overheating can increase your developing babys body temperature which can affect their healthy development.
If you choose to use a hot tub or sauna while pregnant, follow this advice: lower the temperature to below 38.9°C spend a maximum of only 10 minutes in a hot tub or 15 minutes in a sauna. Have another adult with you and get out right away if you feel dizzy, faint, have a rapid pulse, irregular heartbeat, stomach pain, or tingling in your feet or hands. In a hot tub, sit with your arms and chest above the water.
For more information about hot tub health and safety, see HealthLinkBC File #27a Residential Hot Tubs and Pools: Health and Safety Tips. If you have questions or concerns about your pregnancy, labour, or baby care, speak with your health care provider. You may also call 8-1-1 to speak with a registered nurse anytime of the day or night, any day of the year, or a pharmacist from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Hot Tub While Pregnant: Third Trimester
The third trimester is the most challenging time when it comes to relaxing in a hot tub. The call to soothe your aching body has never been as tempting.
You should still be able to soak in a hot tub, but you need to have someone one with you. Even if the water and your body are not beyond the temperature limit, the risk of slipping or falling down is a lot greater during this time.
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Using Hot Tubs Safely During Pregnancy
If youre in your first trimester, the general advice is to avoid the hot tub. Even if you keep the time to under 10 minutes, it can be dangerous for your baby-to-be. Everyones body is different, so you might find yourself overheating sooner than expected.
For your babys sake, skip the dip during the first three months. Instead, grab your water bottle or a tall glass of lemon water and dip your feet. Youll still need to keep the time you do this limited.
If youre past the first trimester and want to use the hot tub after getting your doctors approval, heres how to stay safe:
- Use the tub for no more than 10 minutes at a time and allow for plenty of cooling off in between sessions.
- If the hot water jets are on, sit on the opposite side where the water temperature is slightly lower.
- If you feel sweaty, step out of the tub right away and cool yourself down.
- Try to keep your chest above the water if possible. Its even better to sit where only your lower half is in the hot water.
- If you stop sweating or experience any kind of discomfort such as dizziness or nausea, get out immediately and monitor your condition to make sure your body is back to normal.
- Dont use the hot tub if you have a fever.
If youre among friends or with family members and ready to use the hot tub, ask if theyd be willing to lower the temperature. While still nice and warm, a lower temperature considerably reduces your risk of overheating.
Is It Safe To Take A Hot Water Bath During Pregnancy
It is safe to take a hot water bath during pregnancy if the water is not too hot. In general, health experts recommend pregnant women to avoid hot water as it elevates body temperature, which could be risky for the baby.
Also, hot water baths are not safe when you have vaginal bleeding or ruptured membranes. To prevent burns on the skin, test the water temperature with your wrist or forearm and see if you are comfortable with it.
Also, if the water is too hot, it can increase your body temperature to above normal.
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Why Can’t You Go In A Hot Tub When Youre Pregnant
First published on Wednesday 21 April 2021
If you’re pregnant, you might have already heard that you’ll have to say goodbye to hot tubs for the next few months. But why can’t you go in a hot tub during pregnancy? Here’s what you need to know…
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Being pregnant means you’re likely to have to change at least one aspect of your lifestyle from the foods you can eat, to the sports you can do. And there are some activities that are considered unsafe during pregnancy which you might not have even thought of before!
For example, going in a hot tub might not have previously crossed your mind as an unsafe pregnancy activity, but it’s actually recommended that you steer clear.
The NHS advises that you avoid using hot tubs during pregnancy. This is mainly due to the risk of overheating, becoming dehydrated, and fainting.
FREE NEWBORN NAPPIES
You’re likely to feel warmer and are more prone to feeling faint during pregnancy, due to hormonal changes and an increase in blood supply to the skin. So you probably won’t find a hot tub that comfortable, anyway.
Plus, using a hot tub can also cause your core temperature to rise, because your body isn’t able to lose heat via sweating as effectively as it usually does.
Safe water temperature during pregnancy
Can Pregnant Women Get In Hot Tubs
Getting in a sauna or jacuzzi during pregnancy means exposing yourself to higher-than-usual temperatures. Because your body is going through heavy hormonal changes, this can lead to severe side effects:
Overheating. Saunas hamper your ability to lose heat by sweating. Even though this is not risky normally, it can cause harm if youâre pregnant. For example, overheating can cause nausea and disorientation.
Fainting. While exposed to a high temperature, your body sends more blood to your skinâs surface to cool you down by sweating. Combined with the hormonal changes that come with pregnancy, this can reduce blood flow to your brain â leading to fainting.
Dizziness. Overheating can also make you feel dizzy. Just like fainting, this is caused by a lack of blood flow to your brain.
Dehydration. The high temperature of a hot tub makes your body sweat much more than usual. And if youâre pregnant, your body may already be lacking some water. The combination of the high temperature and lack of water may cause mild dehydration.
To avoid some of these symptoms, make sure to keep hydrated and dress properly. Otherwise, if you start feeling overheated, get out of the sauna or hot tub as soon as possible and try to cool down with a glass of water.
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Can You Use A Hot Tub While Pregnant
It is without a doubt that one of the best ways to relax is soaking in a hot tub. A warm bath with the correct water temperature soothes your muscles and relaxes the mind.
Hot tubs are also designed to give more than one person access at a time, so it could be a relaxing way to share quality time with your partner or friends.
However, when it comes to hot tub use during pregnancy, it is recommended that you proceed with care.
Studies suggest that the water temperature should not exceed 40 C. Why? Because sitting too long in hot water at an elevated temperature will cause your body temperature to rise. And that could put you and your unborn baby at risk.
While there are some serious concerns about using a hot tub during pregnancy, don’t worry too much. You can use it for a limited amount of time carefully.
Risks Of Hot Tub Use During Pregnancy
If youre feeling the common muscle aches and strains of pregnancy, a soak in a hot tub might sound like the best thing in the world. However, submerging your body in high-temperature water can increase risks to you and your baby.
Elevated body temperature during pregnancy is concerning whether its due to internal causes, like a fever, or external factors, like a hot tub. Fetuses are most vulnerable to temperature-related defects in the first seven weeks before the neural tube is closed.
According to the Mayo Clinic, research suggests a small increase in the risk of neural tube defects in the brains/spinal cords of babies whose mothers had fevers in early pregnancy. While hot tub temps might not have the same effect of fever temps, caution is encouraged.
The American Pregnancy Association discusses the risks associated with body temperatures above 101 degrees Fahrenheit for any reason during the first trimester. Some studies link these early pregnancy high temps to neurological and other birth defects.
Hot tubs are often set to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which is too hot for a pregnant person. Such a high water temperature could cause hyperthermia, which is simply abnormally high body temperature.
Later on, in pregnancy, there is less concern about birth defects. However, sitting in a hot tub could lead to discomfort and even dehydration.
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Hot Tubs And Pregnancy
The idea of kicking back in your hot tub after a long day on your swollen feet may sound like paradise for a pregnant woman. But the caution of every warning sign rings in your ears pregnant women should consult physician before entering the spa. Is this something you should heed? What are the reasons that pregnant women are cautioned about hot tub use?
Pregnant women run the risk of becoming overheated, or hyperthermia. It can take as little as ten minutes to raise your body temperature to 102, a dangerous temperature for you and your baby. As you become overheated, your heart rate raises and blood flow to the uterus is reduced, potentially causing stress for your baby. The heat is also damaging for developing cells, like those helping your baby grow. There are many birth defects that can occur due to overheating, including spina bifida and neural tube defects. Most of the defects that occur due to overheating are more likely in the first trimester.
The extreme temperatures in a hot tub can lead to heat exhaustion and dizziness. As your body redirects blood flow to the skin to help sweating, it directs blood away from your brain, preventing it from obtaining necessary oxygen. This can make you feel faint, and even pass out. Not only is this dangerous for you, but it is also dangerous for your baby, as blood flow is diverted from the uterus as well.
Taking Hot Baths While Pregnant
If you simply need to relax but want to do so without worrying about the harm you may or may not cause your baby, you could just take a hot bath. Soaking in a hot bath is different from a hot tub in two key ways. First, when you sit in a bath, more of your body is out of the water , which means you will be less likely to overheat. Second, hot baths begin to cool the moment you turn off the faucet. After just 10 minutes in a hot bath, your water, in most cases, will be around 98.8 degrees or lower, which is a more than safe temp for you and baby. Hot tubs, on the other hand, continually cycle in hot water, meaning that the tub itself never gets a chance to cool.
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Hot Tub Use During Second And Third Trimesters
While the risks during the second and third trimesters are generally lower, it is still important to take precautions when using a hot tub. As the baby grows, the amount of amniotic fluid decreases. This makes it more difficult for the baby to regulate its temperature. For this reason, it is important not to let your body temperature get too high.
Hence, it is important to avoid hot tubs that are very hot. The ideal temperature for a hot tub during pregnancy is between 100-102 degrees Fahrenheit.
To Soak Or Not To Soak
Im not saying you have to eliminate hot tub use completely as I mentioned before, the risk of neural tube defects for a typical pregnancy is 1 in 1,000, and that risk doubles to 2 in 1,000 if you use a hot tub during early pregnancy.
If you want to totally eliminate the increased risk, avoid the hot tub during the first trimester of pregnancy to give yourself a buffer of a few weeks. A nice, warm bath is a safe alternative if you want to relax in the water.
If you still want to enjoy the hot tub, soak for short periods of time, make sure the water temperature is below 101 degrees, and avoid the jets where the water is usually the hottest. Once youre past the first trimester, the risk is virtually gone.
Go ahead, pamper yourself during your pregnancy! For recommendations about massage, manicures, and hair coloring during pregnancy, read this blog post from Dr. Shivani Patel.
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Sauna And Jacuzzi During Pregnancy
Even though hot baths are considered completely fine during pregnancy, it is wise to avoid hot tubs, Jacuzzi, and sauna.This is for the fact that during the use of these fancy appliances, the body is under constant heat, thus becoming more at risk than being relaxed.
However, if you still feel like using them to relax your mind and body, it is extremely important to keep yourself hydrated by drinking more water. One good idea is to have a water bottle handy, next to your tub, just in case you might feel dizzy or tired.
Important Temperatures To Keep In Mind: How Hot Is Too Hot
Generally speaking, hyperthermia occurs at 104.0 degrees Fahrenheit. However, according to AmericanPregnancy.org, a body temperature of 101.0 degrees is considered too high for expectant mothers and their fetuses, especially if it lasts for an extended period of time. Other sources, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, state that pregnant women should never let their core body temperatures rise above 102.2 degrees. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends an even lower hot tub temperature for pregnant women, at just 100.0 degrees. Though the specific temperatures vary, each of these organizations generally cautions against certain use of hot tubs while pregnant.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the average hot tub temperature is 104.0 degrees Fahrenheit. For a healthy, full-grown adult, heat stroke can occur in a hot tub with a water temp of 106.0 degrees. For a newly developing fetus, damage can occur far before that temperature is reached.
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Benefits Of Using Spa During Pregnancy
Although pregnant women dont need to change to only taking cold showers, they should probably avoid hot tub use. Expecting mothers are at an increased risk for dehydration, dizziness, and reduced blood pressure. Those symptoms can be compounded by exposure to increased heat.
Any situation that can increase an expecting mothers body temperature to above 102.2°F is potentially harmful to the child, especially in the early stages of pregnancy. Thorough research has indicated that exposure to high temperatures can increase a babys risk of developing several birth defects or miscarriage.
Hot Tub While Pregnant: Second Trimester
The second trimester is when your body becomes optimally equipped with being pregnant. You should now be able to enjoy soaking your body in a hot tub. However, this does not mean that you can have your core temperature can rise beyond the 101 degrees limit.
It just means that your temperature will not erratically shoot up all of a sudden. Give yourself up to 10 minutes tops and nothing more. If youre a little more cautious , you can soak your legs at the very least.
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Can A Hot Bath Cause A Miscarriage During Early Pregnancy
A hot water bath during early pregnancy could result in a miscarriage, and the risk is higher when you have frequent hot water baths with very hot water .
However, further studies are required to find a concrete association between the duration and frequency of showering in the early stages of pregnancy and miscarriage or congenital disabilities in the baby.
Meanwhile, a bath in reasonably hot water can be beneficial to you during pregnancy.