As your little one grows in your tummy, you may start feeling aches and pains that make you want to head straight for a hot bath, in hopes of some relief. However, before you take that step, you might want to understand the safety measures and possible dangers. This article will highlight whether or not it is safe for pregnant women to enjoy saunas or hot baths.
Benefits of a Warm Bath
Pregnancy can take a toll on your body. As your stomach continues to grow, other parts of your body can begin to ache and swell up. Taking a warm bath is good for the following:
- Relieving Stiff Neck & Shoulders — Allowing hot water to run over your neck and shoulder is an excellent way to ease any pain or stiffness. Gently massaging the areas will also help alleviate the pressure building up.
- Decreasing Stress & Insomnia — Being pregnant and worrying about your baby may cause you some stress and sleepless nights. A warm bath helps calm the body, mind, and nerve. This reduces stress and makes it easier to fall asleep.
- Producing Energy — The feel of warm water on your skin is sure to wake you up and give you energy. Try taking one in the morning when muscles tend to stiff. A warm bath can loosen you up.
Benefits of Using a Sauna
While saunas are typically sought after to help with weight loss, there are other benefits such as:
- Flushing Toxins — A deep sweat, such as the ones given by a sauna, can help detoxify your body. A detox can rid your body of heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and mercury.
- Cleansing the Skin —A sauna is like a heat bath; it helps cleanse the skin and replace dead skin cells.
DIY Sauna Kit
For mothers-to-be who want to enjoy a safe sauna without going to the spa or somewhere else, you can enjoy it in the comfort of your home. Thanks to DIY sauna kits that are readily available for purchase.
New studies show that there is a safe way to use a sauna and take a hot bath. Instead of a hot bath, expecting mothers are encouraged to take warm baths; however, they should not let their temperature get higher than 102 degrees F, or 39 degrees C.
A warm bath for 10 minutes is the estimated safe time for pregnant women to be submerged in heated water in a hot tub. A warm bath is more recommended as opposed to a shower because in a bath the water eventually cools off.
Whatever you decide, limiting how long you are exposed to a hot tub or sauna is the best way to keep you and your unborn baby safe.
Drawbacks of Using Saunas or Hot Baths While Pregnant
In some reports, it has been advised that you avoid using things like a sauna, jacuzzi, hot tubs/hot showers or a steam room. What this means is that you should stay clear from anything that will make you sweat and possibly overheat.
Studies have shown an increased danger with taking hot baths or sitting in saunas because of the exposure to extreme and constant heat. It is believed that raised temperature levels can cause harm to the unborn child—some instances can even lead to miscarriage or birth defects. If you have an existing medical condition, using a sauna or taking a hot bath may complicate your health even more.
Please keep in mind that there is still research being done on the topic. While some doctors advise against it, others suggest using it with caution. Depending on your situation, a medical professional may suggest limiting the time spent in a sauna to 15 minutes or a hot bath to less than 10 minutes.
If you would like to take a hot bath or relax in a sauna, but still uncertain of its safety, it best to consult with a doctor.
To answer the question, yes, it is safe to some degree—as long as you maintain a body temperature less than 102 degrees F, or 39 degrees C. You can enjoy a DIY sauna, sauna from your gym, or a home hot bath while pregnant. If you have any drawbacks, it is recommended that you speak with a doctor.
Pregnancy is hard. There may seem to be a million things you have to worry about, but this doesn’t have to be one if you follow the recommendations for safely using hot baths and saunas during pregnancy.
Just keep in mind how often you take a hot shower or go into a sauna, as it is best not to do so daily. It is safe for you and your baby if you do not raise your temperature level past a certain point.