While hot tubs are an amazing way to unwind, you might already have heard that there are some concerns about using hot tubs, jacuzzis, and saunas while pregnant.
So, can you get in a hot tub while pregnant?
Here, we’ll look at why some women choose to avoid them until after their baby is born, and some of the things you can do to make them safer for you and your little peanut.
Are hot tubs safe during pregnancy?
Brace yourself. This might not be the news you were hoping for.
It’s generally recommended that women avoid hot tubs during pregnancy, or at least talk to their doctor first. There are some good reasons for this, backed up by a few scientific studies.
One concern about hot tubs is that they can be a great home for germs which could affect you and your little one.
If they’re properly maintained and tested, the risk is low, but if you have no way of knowing what the water quality in a public pool is like, it might be best to give it a miss.
The main concern about jacuzzis and pregnancy is that submerging your whole body in hot water raises your core temperature more quickly than you might realize.
Although the water might help to soothe your aches and pains, it could also make some other pregnancy symptoms, such as dizziness, dehydration, or low blood pressure, worse.
Raising your temperature above 101° has also been linked to a higher chance of neural tube defects (problems with the baby’s brain or spinal cord). These studies looked at women who have a high fever during early pregnancy as well as people who used hot tubs and saunas.
It’s important to remember that the risks are low and that if you’ve already been in a hot tub, you probably felt uncomfortable and got out before you got to the point when your temperature went up that dramatically. So, there’s little need to worry.
But, if you’re usually a regular hot tub user, it’s worth bearing in mind.
Can hot tubs cause miscarriages?
It’s always hard to pinpoint the exact cause of pregnancy loss, and the studies on miscarriages and hot tubs have had mixed results.
There’s enough evidence that lots of doctors advise against getting in a jacuzzi while pregnant (and until after you’ve been given your post-partum all-clear).
This is why lots of mamas-to-be prefer to play it safe, especially in the first trimester when your little one is especially sensitive to changes in your core temperature.
The final answer: can you go in a hot tub while pregnant?
Lots of people look at the evidence and decide that there are too many unknown factors to make them comfortable using a hot tub while pregnant.
But if you want to, there are some things you can do to reduce the risks.
- Keep it cool. Most hot tubs have a maximum temperature of 104°, which is enough to raise your body temperature dangerously high in around 10 minutes. Adjust the settings to 97°, and your body will cope much better.
- Keep it short and sweet. If you spend 10 minutes or less in a hot tub or sauna, your body will find it much easier to cool down after.
- Keep listening to your body. If you start to feel sweaty, clammy, or uncomfortable in any other way, get out of the hot tub straight away.
And if all else fails, you can always have a luxurious warm bath instead.
Because the water isn’t heated continuously, baths at home (with as many bubbles and candles as you like) will also relieve pain and help you relax during pregnancy, and are very, very safe for you and your little one.
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