Soaking in the tub when pregnant – is it safe?

soaking-in-the-tubGot aching muscles? For those of you who are pregnant, exercise, like shoveling after this weekend’s snow, should be kept at moderate levels (that is if your doc first says it’s okay). And for those of us who are feeling the strains of underused muscles, soaking in the tub sounds very inviting.

A warm bath can feel soothing and should not pose a health problem to a pregnant woman and her baby. But sitting in a hot tub or sauna is not a good idea. As inviting as they may be, any spa treatments that raise your body temperature (like mud baths, hot wax and seaweed wraps) are almost always unsafe during pregnancy. Steam rooms, hot tubs, and saunas can raise your body temperature to over 102 F in just ten minutes. This can be dangerous for you and your baby. Some studies have shown an increased risk of miscarriage or neural tube defects in babies exposed to high temperatures during the first four to six weeks of pregnancy. 

Overheating can lower your blood pressure which might make you lightheaded and at risk of falling.  Low blood pressure can potentially affect the oxygen supply flowing to your baby, and that’s not a good thing either.

So, enjoy a warm bath and relax your tight muscles, but avoid spa treatments that can quickly raise your body temperature while you’re pregnant