When pregnant, it is important looking at the risks associated with certain activities. Although using a hot tub may seem like a good way to unwind, during pregnancy they should be used cautiously or even not at all.
Over the years spas have become increasingly popular, with outdoor hot tubs becoming more common. The warmth or the water can help to sooth the muscles and can be a great social activity for spending time with friends or a partner. Despite this, they can be dangerous if you are expecting a child.
Sitting in the hot water will raise your body temperature, which can then lead to health issues for both you and your baby. Generally, it is agreed they should only be used for a very short period of time, but ideally not at all if you are pregnant. If you are concerned, it is always best to discuss with a medical professional.
Hot Water Risk
When pregnant, your body should not get above 102°F, so if you are sitting in a hot tub, which often will exceed this temperature (they should never exceed 104°F, your body temperature can quickly and easily rise to high.
This has been known to have detrimental effects on the baby, as a rise in temperature can cause certain spinal or brain birth defects, especially during the first trimester.
It is not just the temperature of the tub that can be an issue, germs are also a concern. Germs love moist and warm environments, and that is exactly what a hot tub provides. If the water is not properly cleaned and maintained, it can be a breeding ground for a whole range of harmful bacteria.
In a hotel or spa, it is likely that there will be someone trained to ensure that the water chemistry is properly balanced. If you are worried, then speak to the manager to make sure the water is tested regularly. They will also be able to help you with any other concerns you may have such as what temperature the water is kept heated, is the filter replaced regularly, is it serviced by an experienced technician and how often is the water replaced. If you are still concerned, it is not worth taking the risk.
If you own the tub yourself, always ensure that the right disinfectant is being used and that you regularly test it using pool water strips. You should also always ensure that the free chlorine, bromine, and pH levels are correct.
Using Hot Tubs Safely When Pregnant
Everyone is different, so your body could always overheat sooner than expected. It is for this reason that you should avoid using the hot tub if you are in the first trimester, as this could dangerous for your baby, even if you are only in the tub for a short period of time.
If you are past the first trimester and want to use the tub, always get your doctor’s approval first. You should never be in the tub for more than 10 minutes, and if possible sit on the cooler side, stepping out as soon as you feel sweaty or feel any form of discomfort. Monitor your condition after using the pool to make sure your body returns back to normal and never use if you have a fever. Keep your chest above the water if possible, or even better, only have the lower half of your body in the water. However, to be completely safe, it can be best to avoid until after you have given birth.
If you really love the feeling of warm water, there are some safer alternatives than using a hot tub while pregnant. One option is to have a warm bath, however, you’ll still need to ensure that the water is not too hot. Like with hot tubs, be sure to get out if you feel any signs of discomfort. One of the biggest risks here is slipping, as you balance can sometimes undergo some adjustments. You could always try trading in the bath for a foot soak to be extra safe. This can still be very relaxing while sipping on a cup of tea.
Ideally, you shouldn’t use a hot tub while you are pregnant, but especially during the first trimester or if you have a fever. If you decide to use one after the first trimester, always take precautions and only soak for a short amount of time, while keeping an eye on your temperature. It is especially important to get a doctor’s OK before using the hot tub during pregnancy.