Hot Tubs During Pregnancy: What’s The Risk?
During an overnight wedding with my new husband while I was pregnant with my first daughter, I made the mistake of dancing a bit too much during the festivities.
Just barely beginning to show at about five months pregnant, I was inexperienced in the world of pregnancy. The next morning, I woke up feeling almost too sore to move — I was having back spasms, back pain, and felt like I had been run over by a semi-truck. Convinced that I was in premature labor, I called my midwife, only to have her assure me that, most likely, all I needed was some rest.
Propping open my eyeballs long enough to take a look over our room, my eyes fell on the one thing in our room that beaconed out to me like a respite for my pain —
The in-room Jacuzzi hot tub.
Every fiber of my pregnant being willed me to climb into the tub and let the jets works their magic on my aching body. But I just wasn’t sure if it would be safe. Could a pregnant woman use a hot tub? Surely just a teensy dip wouldn’t hurt anything, right?
Well, as it turns out, some experts say that even using a hot tub for a short amount of time during pregnancy can be very dangerous. According to the Mayo Clinic, using a hot tub for more than ten minutes can raise the risk of miscarriage and neural tube defects for developing babies, especially in the first few weeks of pregnancy.
The American Pregnancy Association also recommends that women keep their core body temperature under 101 degrees Fahrenheit; using a hot tub at the standard factory setting can raise a woman’s body temperature to 102 degrees in less than 20 minutes.
All in all, mixing hot tubs and pregnancy doesn’t look like a good idea. If you just can’t help but take a dip, keep it quick and take care not to let your body get overheated.
And when in doubt, there’s always a pregnancy massage instead, right?
Would you use a hot tub during pregnancy?
Photo via Flickr/tobo