For many, there is nothing more relaxing than taking a nice, long soak in a hot tub. Doing so has many physical and emotional benefits, but it is not always safe to do so. One common question about hot tubs is whether or not they are safe for pregnant women.
Spending more than 10 minutes in a hot tub can result in a rise in your body temperature to higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit. For people who aren’t pregnant and are in good health, this isn’t an issue, but for pregnant women, this can pose real challenges, as some evidence suggests that a fever can increase the risk of suffering a miscarriage. Furthermore, fevers and increased body temperature may be linked to abnormalities in your child, with specific studies showing that higher body temperatures may lead to an increased risk of brain or spine deformities.
The Final Verdict
If you are pregnant or might be pregnant, you should limit your time in a hot tub to 10 minutes or less, if you use it at all. Doing so is more likely to keep your body temperature in safe ranges and ensure that you don’t overheat. You should also avoid standing near areas where the hot water comes from and avoid submerging yourself totally in the hot water.
If you want to be truly safe, skip the hot tub altogether. Alternatively, you can always take a warm bath. Warm baths do not reach the same temperature as hot tubs, and baths will cool after a short period of time. This is unlike a hot tub, which maintains its temperature as long as it is set to do so.
If you aren’t in good health and pregnant – or your pregnancy is an at-risk one – you should completely avoid a hot tub. If you have any questions about your hot tub use, contact us at WFMC Health.