Pregnancy comes with a whole list of no-gos. So what about spending time in the tub? Can you take a bath while pregnant? We’ll take you through it.
Pregnancy is awe-inspiring, extraordinary, and mind-blowingly amazing.
It’s also not without its anxieties and aches.
Look, you’re making a miracle here.
It’s going to come with some growing pains.
Soaking in the tub can be an ideal way to ease stress and relieve aches.
But can you take a bath while pregnant?
The good news is, provided you take a few precautions, you’re okay to turn on the taps.
We’ll take you through the details.
In this article: 📝
- Can a hot bath harm my unborn baby?
- Can you take a warm bath while pregnant?
- How long can you sit in a bath while pregnant?
- Can you take a bubble bath while pregnant?
- And what about hot tubs?
- The bottom line on taking a bath while pregnant
Can a hot bath harm my unborn baby?
The main concern when it comes to bathing when pregnant is the heat.
Numerous studies have shown that overheating when you’re pregnant can be dangerous for both you and your baby.
(There is also recent research to suggest that the risk of overheating while pregnant might negligible. Basically, we’re still trying to figure this all out, so you decide what’s best for you.)
Symptoms of overheating while pregnant include:
- Dizziness and confusion
- Hot (or cold) sweaty skin
- Muscle cramping
- Extreme fatigue
So how hot is too hot?
The official word from doctors is to limit any activities that raise your body’s core temperature above 102 °F (38.9 °C). And that advice applies at any time of your pregnancy.
In the first trimester, overheating may lead to preterm birth, low birth weight, and even stillbirth.
There’s also some evidence to suggest that overheating might affect your baby’s neural tube (that’s the early version of your baby’s heart and spine.)
By the time you get to the third trimester, hormones and increased blood volume might cause your body to turn up the heat.
Yep, welcome to the joys of the pregnancy hot flash.
While being a little warmer than normal is par for the course, overheating can put you more at risk for dehydration.
This is not great at any time of life, but can be specifically dangerous during pregnancy.
You need added liquid at the moment to form the baby’s placenta.
This allows nutrients to pass to them, and waste from them.
Water also helps to create the amniotic sac that keeps your little one safe and secure in there.
That’s why the recommendation from the American Pregnancy Association is to keep yourself well-watered, with between eight and twelve glasses of water a day.
Can you take a warm bath while pregnant?
And what about turning down the temperature.
Yep, this should be fine. Keeping things on the cooler side will allow you to enjoy the best of bathing benefits, while at the same time keeping you and your baby safe.
How long can you sit in a bath while pregnant?
And then there’s the question of how long you can soak for.
This 2019 study said that you can soak in a warm bath for up to twenty minutes without raising your core body temperature.
But if you start feeling sick or dizzy before this, it’s time to get out.
Listen to your body. And if you need, a cold shower or swim can do wonders to cool you down.
Can you take a bubble bath while pregnant?
We hate to pop your bubble, but there may be a slight risk here.
Harsh soaps that contain chemicals and dyes can cause vaginal irritation.
An alternative? Bathe in Epsom’s salts to relieve pregnancy aches.
While the scientific research is still very young, Epsom’s salts do appear to have some significant benefits, reducing stress, inflammation, and muscle aches and pains. Sound pretty good right now? We thought so.
And what about hot tubs?
There are a few reasons to be extra cautious when it comes to using hot tubs and jacuzzis while pregnant.
One is, of course, the heat — which is generally high and more long lasting than in a bath.
Various studies have been done on the dangers of hot tubs while pregnant, showing a link to pregnancy loss and major health complications for your baby.
(It’s important to note that research is ongoing in this area and there could be other factors at play when it comes to the strength of these ties. But is might be worth being cautious.)
The other concern is germs.
When we’re pregnant, we are so much more vulnerable to infections.
And these can be harmful to our babies.
While the risk is low, hot tubs and jacuzzis can be breeding grounds for invisible invaders if they’re not properly maintained.
The bottom line on taking a bath while pregnant
When you’re pregnant, time in the tub can be a great way to relieve stress and help with aches and pains.
Just go carefully.
Keeping it shorter and cooler can help keep it safer.
And listen to your body. It can be a pretty awesome guide.
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