There’s nothing like a relaxing bath and for pregnant women in particular they can be very comforting. Immersing yourself in the water can help to relax aching muscles and ease tiredness.
If you are an expectant mother, you may be wondering whether it is safe to take a bath and whether soaking in the bubbles poses any risks to your baby.
You will be pleased to discover that you can still enjoy baths during pregnancy so long as you follow a few precautions. It’s important to ensure that your body temperature does not increase too much.
Of course, it is highly unlikely that you are going to bathe in extremely hot water but the key to a safe bath for you and your baby is to keep your core body temperature below 101°F whilst ensuring that the temperature of your bath does not exceed 100°F. To test the temperature of the water, you can use a bathtub-friendly thermometer or you can test how the water is by dipping your wrist in. If the water feels burning hot, you should not proceed to get into the bath. Some mothers express concerns regarding the water and the potential harm that it may have on the baby’s development. However, this needn’t be a problem. Unless your waters break whilst you are soaking in the bath, you can be sure that your baby is protected by the amniotic sac. Many mothers decide to have a bath when pregnant as a means of relaxing. As your body changes, it is likely that you will encounter more issues with sore muscles and joints. A bath can act as a form of pain relief helping to reduce any discomfort that you are experiencing. Now you may be wondering what the risks associated with taking a bath during pregnancy are. Whilst there is little research to suggest that baths pose extreme dangers to the health of the mother and child, bathing in water that is too hot increases the risk of pregnancy-related issues. Exposure to high temperatures has been linked to neural tube defects. If you begin to feel as though you are overheating whilst you are in the bath, you should get out and cool yourself down in the shower instead. Signs that indicate that you are overheating include sweating and red skin. In more serious cases, you may experience feelings of nausea and dizziness.
Any level of heat can also leave you feeling dehydrated. Because of this, you must drink plenty of water before you step into the bath and plenty when you get out. If your skin is showing signs of dryness, you can replenish the moisture by using a lotion. Although bubble baths and bath bombs can make your baths seem more relaxing, they should be avoided during pregnancy. This is because there is a chance that they may cause irritations and this can worsen conditions such as thrush which some women experience when they are pregnant.
Your doctor will likely be able to inform you of the best products that can be added to your bath which don’t present the risk of any irritations or infections. You must not get in the bath if your waters have broken unless you have been instructed to do so by your midwife or a doctor. Before your waters break, your baby is protected by the amniotic sac, however, this ruptures when your waters break and will no longer protect your baby from the bathwater or other elements.
As a result, there is a greater risk of the germs from the bathwater entering your uterus and causing an infection. This presents dangers to both you and the baby.Care must also be taken when stepping in and out of the bath. Remember you are stepping onto a wet and often slippery surface which may cause you to fall if you are not cautious. To reduce this risk, it may be worth investing in some reliable bath mats which you can position on the bottom of the bath.
Also, as your pregnancy progresses, you may have occasions where you feel a little unsteady in your feet and this is because your center of gravity may have shifted. In this case, you must be extra vigilant and if needed ask for help when getting in and out of your bathtub.
Is it safe to bathe in any trimester of pregnancy?
It is safe to bathe at any stage of your pregnancy so long as you proceed to do so with caution. During your first trimester, you will need to ensure that the water isn’t too warm and you haven’t used any chemical-based bath products.
Ideally, you should also try to limit the amount of time that you soak in the water to around 10 minutes. As you head into your second trimester you will need to take similar precautions. Don’t just fill the tub up and jump straight in, check it beforehand to make sure that the temperature is right.
At this stage, you can still enjoy your regular baths unless your doctor has given you different advice. Again, if possible you should also try to reduce the amount of time that you sit in the bath for. During your third and final trimester, you can still enjoy some time relaxing in the bath.
In fact, it is likely that you are experiencing the majority of aches and pains at this point, so a bath will likely be an appreciated pain reliever. If you begin to feel nauseous or you start to overheat, you must remove yourself from the bath immediately and follow the steps that we have listed above.
Are hot tubs safe during pregnancy?
Now that you know that baths are safe during pregnancy, you may be questioning whether a hot tub is safe to use too. Generally, pregnant women are advised to avoid hot tubs and jacuzzis, etc because of the heat.
Whilst the water inside a bath will eventually cool down the longer that it is in there, the water inside a hot tub will not. This is because hot tubs are programmed to constantly retain the hot temperature of the water. There are also likely to be more germs inside a hot tub which may lead to possible problems.
As you can see, having a bath during pregnancy is safe and can be very relaxing. If you enjoy soaking in the bath during your downtime you must make sure that you do so carefully.
Hot water must be avoided along with any bath bubbles that can cause irritations. You need to follow the necessary precautions to keep you and your baby safe.