Hot Tub Baths during Pregnancy

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Sep 06, 2011

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Pains and aches related to pregnancy can make any woman crave for the warmth of a hot tub! The soothing water washing over the body killing the pain is every pregnant woman’s dream come true. But experts say, ‘Beware’. Hot tub baths during pregnancy reportedly increase the risk of miscarriage and birth defects in newborns. In fact, researches in the past have proven this fact.


Why avoid hot tub baths during pregnancy?

  • A pregnant woman should maintain her body temperature and it should ideally be lower than 102.2°F.
  • Hot tubs are generally programmed to maintain the water’s temperature at about 104°F. This is way higher than the recommended body temperature of a pregnant woman.
  • It takes less than 20 minutes in a hot tub for the core body temperature to rise above normal levels which increases the risk of hyperthermia.
  • The risk of neural tube defects in babies of women who have been exposed to hot tubs during pregnancy has been conclusively proven.
  • Experts have especially warned pregnant women in their first trimester against hot tubs. This is because, the core temperature is already increased during that interval and a hot tub bath only adds to it. However, this is no way means that hot tubs in the latter parts of pregnancy are approved. Try and avoid them altogether if you are pregnant.
  • A study that has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, states that hot tubs account for the greatest risk from overheating in pregnant women.
  • Although the increased risk of miscarriage due to hot tub baths has not been directly proven, gynaecologists/obstetricians all over the world agree that it does have a connection. Therefore, they advise against their use during pregnancy.

Alternatives to hot tub baths during pregnancy

  • If you really need to relax and seek relief from the aches and pains associated with pregnancy, then opt for a hot bath instead. In a hot bath, the water cools down rapidly allowing the body to maintain its core temperature.
  • In case, you are in a hot tub, try and regulate its temperature. Also avoid using it for an extended period of time. However, it is advisable to not use hot tubs at all during pregnancy.
  • Hot showers are another alternative to hot tub baths during pregnancy. However, do measure the temperature of the water before stepping under the shower.


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