Pregnancy and Hot Tubs—Soak with Care!
Congratulations! You’re having a baby. It’s always an exciting, nerve-wracking, nail biting time.
We get a lot of questions regarding using a hot tub while pregnant. Hot tub lovers have a hard time adjusting their soaking ritual when going through a pregnancy. Can I use it? How long is safe? How often?
The #1 thing (true for your entire pregnancy in all ways) is to listen to your body. Your body is going to go through a myriad of changes during the course of your baby-growing time. With that in mind, here are some recommendations for safe hot tub soaking while pregnant.
- We know it’s hard to quit soaking cold turkey, but for your first trimester it’s likely the best thing to do.
- Of course, check with your doctor on his or her recommendation. They will take into account your entire health history, and give you guidance on hot tub use during your pregnancy.
- If you do take a soak, it’s best to limit your time in the tub to 10 minutes. This is the recommendation from many health professionals found online.
- Because it’s not a good idea to raise your core body temperature to 102 degrees or higher while pregnant, you should lower the temperature of your hot tub for soaking. 99 degrees will be just above body temperature. If you tend to “run hot” as a general rule, you may want to lower it to 98 degrees. This will feel more like a warm bath.
- Take a thermometer to the tub and test the temperature of the water before soaking, to be sure it’s the optimal temperature for your soak.
- Know where the heat return is in your hot tub. (In a Hot Spring Spa, it’s your floor drain.) Take care to steer clear of the return during your soaks.
- Do a good job of hydrating while soaking.
- Give yourself breaks from the heat by sitting up on a cool down seat in your tub, or safely perching on the edge of the hot tub’s bar top—preferably in a corner where there’s good support. Getting your torso out of the water periodically will help minimize overheating.
As noted at the beginning of this blog entry, listen to your body. If you start to feel dizzy, feel you’re sweating profusely, get clammy skin—your body is done with the tub!
Again: Check with your obstetrician before soaking while pregnant. They will give you the best counsel, based on your body and your history.
And—go back to regular hot tub use after the birth! It’s going to be a crazy exciting time, and it will be easy to forget to take care of YOU. You’ll need the treat of a relaxing soak after a day of new motherhood.
Have a terrific pregnancy!