For a pregnant woman, sometimes nothing can sound more luxuriously relaxing than a soak in a or spa to loosen muscles and ease tension. While you may think that there is nothing dangerous or potential harmful with something as simple as a quick dip in what appears to amount to nothing more than a hot bath, using a hot tub or spa can be problematic during pregnancy.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, using a spa or hot tub during pregnancy is not recommended because the increase in your core body temperature can cause complications with the development of your unborn child. High temperatures in your womb can interfere with and halt development of cells, causing physical malformations in the fetus. Furthermore, when your body temperature is escalated, it decreases the blood flow to your uterus, which means your unborn child is not receiving the oxygen and nutrients he or she needs to develop properly.
Pregnant women are strongly cautioned to avoid raising their body temperature above 102 degrees, and it only takes between 10 and 20 minutes in a hot tub or spa to do that. Despite the fact that it is not recommended, pregnant women can use a hot tub or spa as long as they strictly adhere to a few guidelines for doing so and do not, under any circumstances, deviate from these guidelines.
- Re-program the spa temperature to less than 100 degrees
- Constantly monitor your body temperature
- Limit your spa usage to 10 minutes per session
- Keep a thermometer in the spa’s water to monitor the temperature
- Stay hydrated with plenty of water
- Never use a hot tub or spa alone; always have someone with you
Be sure you know the warning signs of potential danger, such as dizziness, any physical discomfort, or if you stop sweating. If those happen, get out of the spa immediately and contact your OB-GYN. If you have any concerns at all about using a spa during pregnancy, speak with your physician before doing anything that could harm your unborn child.