Do hot tubs and pregnancy mix?
February 23, 2018 – When you find yourself pregnant, it’s a very exciting and scary time. Periodically over the years I’ve run into some of my customers celebrating their pregnancy and abandoning their hot tub use until the joyous delivery day arrives. But do you really have to cut out hot tub use altogether?
Logic would say yes. However, Dr. Bruce Becker, who has done dozens of studies on the effects of hot water soaking on the human body, has published a clinical review on the topic that might offer up a way for you to dip into the hot tub after all.
The key issue for pregnant women: it’s easy to raise your core temperature in no time flat. If you’re prone to overheating easily, hot tub soaking may not be wise. However, Dr. Becker notes that there are no reports of any fetal abnormalities when your core temperature rises to 102◦F.
He also states that hot tub soaking could in fact be perfectly fine for a healthy pregnant woman for limited time periods—10-15 minutes a soak.
If you are an avid hot tubber who can’t bear the idea of nine months of hot tub denial, consider these guidelines:
- Get your obstetrician’s blessing first. Your treating physician is going to be aware of your personal health profile and can counsel you on whether limited hot tub use is permissible.
- If it’s a yes, you should consider lowering your hot tub temperature to around 100-101◦F.
- Limit your soaking to 10-15 minutes.
- Check your temperature midway through your soak to make sure your core temperature isn’t rising about 102◦F. Soaking with your torso only partially submerged could help keep your temperature regulated.
I’m certainly no doctor, and this is by no means intended to give anyone free reign to hot tub away during pregnancy! But, the myth that a hot tub is absolutely off limits has been spread far and wide for many years, and I felt compelled to share info that could offer the opportunity to continue hot tub soaking.
You and your obstetrician know what’s best for you and your precious cargo until delivery day. Maybe an occasional soak can be part of your nine-month journey.
Read more of Dr. Becker’s clinical review.