A hot water bath could be extremely soothing for any pregnant woman. Not only does it helps the muscles relax—it also eases the joint and back pains, which moms often complain about during pregnancy. However, there are claims that those long baths could actually be harmful to mom.
‘As if there are any lesser number of does and don’ts that now they have a problem with a bathing pregnant women!’—You might think.
Anything that a mother could do, which puts her baby at risk must be known and understood well. Let us concentrate on a very common part of our daily lifestyle—’a hot shower’.
What Happens To The Body During A Hot Shower?
When you are in a warm shower your body heats up. Warm baths are considered safe and soothing, but a hot water could overheat the body. Moms must cut down on the time they stay in the shower when they are using hot water for bathing. An overheated body carries the risk of birth defects for the baby, especially in the first trimester. Hot water baths could also cause dehydration—the rising temperature will cause sweating and the mother won’t realize how much she sweated while taking shower.
However, hot showers are still safer because as soon as you close the nob of the shower, your body starts cooling immediately.
It is okay to take hot showers, which aren’t too long and that don’t overheat your body.
What Happens To The Body During A Hot Tub Bath?
Hot tubs pose a higher risk than hot showers. But why? When you are in a hot tub, your body is completely immersed in the hot water and could get overheated quickly. This could lead you closer to a dangerous condition called hyperthermia, wherein an overheated body causes the blood pressure to drop down. You could feel dizzy or even faint.
Since a mother’s blood volume increases by 50% during pregnancy, a sudden drop in your blood pressure could decrease the nourishment that reaches your baby, including the oxygen and essential nutrients. Low blood pressure will cause the growing fetus to incur damage resulting in complications.
You can’t figure out a change in your body temperature so easily sitting in a hot tub. If the body temperature rises above 38.9 degree Celsius or 102 degrees Fahrenheit, it could be dangerous for your baby. Researchers have found that birth defects called neural tube defects (NTD) associated with the abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord could arise if the body temperature exceeds this limit.
Moms are best advised to stay away from hot tubs and saunas and even the summer sun when the weather is too hot outside. Even when you are exercising, make sure you don’t overheat your body.
Another note of caution for moms. If you are the one who loves natural fragrances and essential oils and add them to your bath tub, you must stop using them right now. These elements can alter the Ph or the natural acidic balance of the vagina. It could increase the risk of developing thrush (a yeast infection), which can spread to your baby during birth.
Prefer a warm shower instead of a hot one. Avoid hot tubs—if you feel dizzy your blood pressure could be dropping. Move out of the bath and cool yourself. If you feel thirsty or a chill from an overheated bath, time to quickly move out and cool down your body temperature. If you have already taken a hot shower before, you might have moved out before getting overheated, so fret not. Remember to keep yourself hydrated at all times.