A hot water bath can be very comforting for your body. It gives a soothing and relaxing experience that can prevent tiredness and stiffness in the muscles of the pregnant body. It can also have a calming impact on your nerves. But before you indulge in it, you need to check about its safety in pregnancy. Yes. Soaking in a warm bath is completely acceptable provided you follow a few precautions.
Benefits Of Warm Water Bath
Pain relief is the basic reason why a woman chooses to take a warm water bath in pregnancy. Due to the lifting of the body weight by the resistance of the water, she may get relief from her aching joints and sore muscles. Soaking in warm water also relaxes you on mental and emotional levels.
How To Take A Warm Bath While Staying Safe In Pregnancy?
Taking a warm bath can be a rejuvenating experience. It helps relax your sore muscles and calm down your worries. However, during this procedure, the temperature of the body mustn’t increase to an unhealthy level. This can cause pregnancy complications and abnormal growth in the fetus.
To prevent such consequences, it is important to know that you should keep the core body temperature of the body below 38.3°C. Compared to the normal internal body temperature of a healthy pregnant woman at 37.2°C, there can be a rise of one degree in the temperature.
The ideal temperature to take a warm bath is around 98.6 to 100°F. You can also check the water temperature by using a thermometer before you take the bath.
As per the study, taking a twenty-minute bath at this temperature would not raise the core temperature of the body to unsafe levels. It is also important to know the signs of overheating so that you know that the bathwater is hot and you should lower the temperature.
Some of the signs of overheating include feeling hot, red skin, and sweating. Chronic signs include dizziness, fainting, and nausea. If you identify such signs, you should add cold water in your bathtub to make it less warm.
Risks Involved In Taking A Warm Water Bath
Hot tubs are different from warm bathwater. In the latter case, the water is continuously recycled to sustain a higher temperature, whereas bathwater cools down with passing time. In addition to it, hot tubs have a greater chance of germs as compared to bathtubs.
Immersion in hot water above the body temperature, specifically in the first trimester, can cause issues with your development of the baby. It can lead to a rise in the body temperature, which may lower blood circulation to the baby. A hot water bath is seen to induce stress as opposed to stress relief.
Studies have reported that if a pregnant woman takes bath in hot water then it can cause risk to their babies.
When the core body temperature of a pregnant woman exceeds the baseline temperature of 99°F, by 2 Fahrenheit degrees, then it causes an increased danger for neural tube defects. The extent of this risk is dependant on the duration of the temperature for which you are exposed to this high temperature.
In some women, a hot water bath can also lead to a water break. In such a condition, the amniotic sac ruptures, and the baby is in an unprotected state. This can lead to the possibility of infection for you as well as your baby.
There is also found a greater possibility of congenital abnormalities, which include anencephaly, spina bifida, and gastroschisis. This is more likely when a woman uses a hot tub several times in her initial trimester of pregnancy and stays in it for over half an hour duration.
Also, do not add any special oils, and bath bombs in the bathwater during your pregnancy. These additions may cause a yeast infection and can change the pH balance of the vagina.
To save from these consequences, it is important to monitor the temperature and keep it within the 100-degree mark. This will keep your baby and you safe and protected.
Also read: Can I Swim During Pregnancy?
A warm water bath or hot bath is an effective way to relax and recharge your body on physical and mental levels. It is a good antidote to pain, and stress. However, it can also pose mild to severe complications if the temperature is not properly regulated. Ensure to implement every additional and essential precaution to stay healthy and safe.