Safety Tips for Taking a Bath While Pregnant

Pregnant? Relax in a Bath Safely With These Tips

Pregnant Woman Lying in Bath.
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You may have heard that taking a bath while pregnant is a no no. The good news is that's simply an old wives tale. Baths are perfectly safe in pregnancy if you follow a few simple rules:

  • Keep your bath water warm, not hot. 98.6 degrees is just perfect and feels great.
  • Your water is not broken.

If you meet these criteria, you can take a bath every day until you give birth, even several times a day if you're suffering from pregnancy symptoms like a backache.

To ensure water temperature, simply use a child's bath tub toy thermometer. You allow it to float and then read how hot the water is, adjusting it as needed.

The reason to avoid hot water or hot tubs is that water above your body temperature, particularly in the first trimester, has the possibility of causing problems with your baby. This could cause a potential increase in mom's body temperature, which might reduce blood flow to the baby and cause stress. Normal body temperature is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep your baths at or below 100 degrees. 

Some mothers even use water as a pain relief method for labor. Here the temperature is also monitored to keep it around the 100-degree mark for the safety of your baby and you. This form of pain relief is second only to epidural anesthesia, which is why it is very popular.

Pain relief is one of the reasons that women use a bath in pregnancy.

It can be easier to relax in the water. You may feel your aching joints relax as the weight is lifted by the buoyancy of the water. It might just be your trained down time to mentally chill and soak. Just because you are pregnant does not mean that you have to give this up. Just pay attention.

Sources:

Cluett ER, Burns E. Immersion in water in labour and birth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD000111. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000111.pub3

Geissbuhler, V., Eberhard, J., (2000) Waterbirths: A comparative study, a prospective study on more than 2000 water births. Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy Sept-Oct; 15(5):291-300

Gentle Birth Choices Harper, Barbara, R.N., Ch. 6

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