• Jess Court

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. The warm bath with the right 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 nice 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 caution and care.


Studies suggest that your water temperature should not exceed 104 F as this could bring about an elevated temperature. If you sit too long inside hot water, it could cause your body temperature to rise, which would put you and your unborn baby at risk.


While there are some serious concerns about using a hot tub during pregnancy, it doesn't always have to be that way as it can be used for a limited amount of time and carefully.


Can Pregnant Women Go In A Hot Tub?

f you soak in water warmer than the temperature of your body, then you are sure to see a significant rise in your core temperature whether it is in a hot tub, hot springs, or bath.

Following health guidelines, the body's core temperature should not go beyond 102.2 F during pregnancy.


This can happen easily if you stay inside a hot tub for more than 10 minutes with the water temperature reading 104 F (40 C). Even if you are going to exercise at an antenatal class, the water temperature should not exceed 32 C.


Most hot tubs have settings that could help you stay within the 97 to 98 degrees range and it would be in your best interest to avoid hot tubs that lack this feature.

Most women feel warmer during pregnancy and this is caused by an increase in blood supply to the skin and also some hormonal changes.


What are the risks associated with hot tubs during pregnancy?


There is little research when it comes to using steam rooms, hot tubs, jacuzzis, and saunas during pregnancy. But, with the information available, these are some of the risks associated with using a hot tub during pregnancy.

These are some of the problems that have been shown to arise when the hot tub is used during pregnancy.


Overheating

Your body is less likely to lose heat effectively through sweating when you utilize a steam room, hot tub, jacuzzi, or sauna. On a normal basis, this does not pose a risk, but it could be harmful if you are pregnant. For instance, when you overheat, it could result in disorientation and nausea.


When the temperature of your body is raised, it could affect the circulation of nutrients and blood to your baby, causing issues in the process.

Some studies link overheating, particularly during early pregnancy to birth defects that impact the way the spine and brain of the baby develops. The common name for these conditions is neural tube defects.


Feeling faint


When you overheat, your body tries to cool you down by sweating, which means that there would be more blood flowing close to your skin. In this case, there would not be as much blood flow to internal organs like the brain as there should.

You could start feeling faint if enough oxygen and blood are being supplied to your brain. During pregnancy, this faint feeling could intensify and this is due to the hormonal changes in the body.


At this point, it is expected of you to stay clear of any situation that could make you get too hot. This includes getting into a steam room, sitting in a jacuzzi, or using a hot tub. If you must use a hot tub, proceed with caution and step out immediately if there are significant signs of fainting.


Dehydration


Generally, dehydration is not an issue that should be taken lightly. During pregnancy, the risk to get dehydrated is increased and this could result in various ailments that impact the body's ability to fight off viruses and infections. You should check with your doctor to know the optimal level of hydration that you require.


While hot tubs can be used to soothe the body, they can also prove to be a source of dehydration. The high temperature of the water causes you to sweat more. With the increased lack of water that comes with pregnancy and the high water temperature, you could suffer from mild dehydration.

Try to dress properly and be hydrated always to avoid these symptoms. Get out of the hot tub and cool down if you begin to feel overheated.


Hot tub germs

Another cause for concern is the germs that could be picked up while using a hot tub. There are cases where harmful bacteria could be in the water and exposure to them could be dangerous. To make sure the water chemistry is balanced properly, you can monitor it constantly for abnormalities and carry out regular maintenance.


If the hot tub is not yours, you can test the water or request regular testing of the water from the manager. However, if the hot tub is yours, then you should ensure you test the water with pool water strips and use the correct disinfectant.

Bromine levels should be kept between 4 and 6 ppm (parts per million) while free chlorine levels are expected to be between 2 and 4 ppm.


Water temperatures


While you might want to pamper yourself during pregnancy, it is important to know the effect hot tubs could have on you. Your body's temperature is bound to rise if you enter a body of water that is warmer.

If you get into a hot tub with a water temperature of 104 F and soak for more than 10 minutes, your body temperature could easily rise above the 102.2 F mark, which is not healthy.

This is a great risk, particularly during the first trimester, which means that a temperature rise could lead to birth defects like spinal cord and brain defects.


Baby Defects And Miscarriage


If you use a hot tub intensively during the early stages of pregnancy, there is the chance that you might have a miscarriage or your baby might be born with some defects. Some of these defects include;

  • Spin Bifida

  • Anencephaly

  • Neural tube defects

How to safely use the hot tub during pregnancy?


In the early months of pregnancy, during the first trimester, pregnant women are advised to stay away from hot tubs to be on the safe side. While you might not stay longer than 10 minutes, there could be an increased risk for your baby's development to be impacted negatively.


Everybody is built different and some might overheat before others because of the low blood flow to the brain caused by the extreme heat. For the sake of your developing baby, you should take this parenting information and skip the hot baths for the first three months of pregnancy.


You can opt to dip your feet while sipping on a fine glass of lemon water. This could be helpful with relaxing during early pregnancy and also help avoid birth defects, ensuring your baby growth is not affected.


That being said, if your first trimester has passed and you have gotten the necessary approval from your doctor, these are some tips to follow to ensure you use the hot tub safely without much cause for concern.

Tracking pregnancy is not only useful for knowing your due date but it also helps you know which trimester you are in to let you know if it's safe to use a hot tub

  • If you have a fever, completely avoid a hot tub.

  • In the case where you stop sweating and feel any type of discomforts like nausea or dizziness, step out of the tub and track your condition until your body returns to normal.

  • A nice piece of advice is to sit in a way that sees only the lower part of your body submerged in the water. So, try not to let the water level pass your chest.

  • Get out of the tub immediately if you start to feel sweaty. Cool your body temperature before you get back into the hot tub.

  • If the hot tub jets are on, ensure you are seated on the other side. This is because the water is at a lower temperature there.

  • The most important tip is to spend nothing more than 10 minutes at a go inside the hot tub. You should also have cooling sessions.

Are there any safer alternatives to hot tub during pregnancy?



If you cannot maintain or stick to the precautions altogether, there are some alternatives you can still enjoy and feel comfortable doing while you are pregnant.


Warm baths


Hot tub use comes with an increased risk of birth defects during early pregnancy and as such a safer alternative would be to avoid hot tubs and take warm baths instead. Warm baths provide you with a lot of health benefits but not the risks linked to a heated spa.


You need to ensure that the water is warm as soaking in a tub with hot water is counterintuitive because it's just the same as when you use a hot tub. You can use your private spa, ensuring the water temperature is kept below 98 degrees.


Foot Soak


If a warm bath is out of the options for you, then you can opt for a hot foot soak. Pregnant women get a lot of relief from soaking their feet. It helps to ease aching and can also reduce swelling.


FAQs


Can a pregnant woman use a hot tub during the first trimester?


It could be dangerous to use the hot tub during the first trimester as while you subject yourself to the risk of overheating, you could bring harm to your unborn baby. Some studies are finding possible links between overheating and premature birth.

Hot tubs and pregnancy 2nd trimester

It is possible to use a hot tub during your 2nd trimester given the fact that you follow the safety guidelines to protect your baby from anything that could be harmful.


Can a 7-month pregnant woman get in a hot tub?


It is safe for a 7-month pregnant woman to get into the tub as long as the guidelines are followed properly. If you don't raise your body temperature above the healthy limit, then there is no cause for concern.


Can you put your feet in a hot tub while pregnant?


If you have any pregnancy complications or chronic health conditions that affect your body's temperature, it would be best to avoid using the hot tub. Dipping your feet into the spa's warm water is acceptable but you should also limit the soak to around 10 minutes.


Can you have a miscarriage from the hot tub?


Some studies link the use of hot tubs during early pregnancy to an increased risk of miscarriage as well as neural tube defects. Most experts and physicians agree that pregnant women should avoid the hot tub experience during the early months.

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AUTHOR

Jess Court

I'm Aqua Warehouse Groups Marketing Officer - overseeing all things news worthy in the hot tub industry, with tips and tricks that are bound to make a splash.

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