Hot showers and baths are a sigh of relief, especially during the last trimester of pregnancy, as they soothe and relax all the muscles. The problem arises when we think if they are equally calming and safe for your pregnancy and your baby or not. As we bear a lot to keep our baby safe, this is not a risk worth taking. So let us find out in this article if it is really safe for your baby to take hot showers or not.
Is It Safe To Take Hot Showers While Pregnant?
Generally, it is not harmful to your baby or your pregnancy as a whole if you take hot showers. Still, as you know, excess of everything is bad. So, if you are planning to take extra hot showers with a cold body or if you are planning for a long, cozy hot shower, things might just not stay the same.
In short, small sessions of mild hot water showers are not harmful, but if you increase the intensity of heat or the time of shower, you might be putting yourself in a difficult situation.
What Are The Risks Of Taking Hot Showers While Pregnant?
Now that we know that exposing yourself to long hot showers is not healthy for you, let us talk about what damage it can inflict upon your body. Minor issues aside, it can also cause some serious issues like:
Fainting or Dizziness
Fainting or dizziness is not an alien concept in pregnancy. It usually occurs due to low blood pressure and also due to prolonged stay in a hot and humid environment. Taking long hot showers can also cause your blood pressure to fall drastically, causing you to faint and fall suddenly.
With an increase in the dehydration of the mother, the chances of abnormalities such as premature birth and stillbirth increase. Taking hot showers can cause a loss of water from the body in the form of sweating. Hence, it is always a risk.
Increased Heart Rate
The heart rate and blood pressure usually fluctuate during pregnancy, and taking a hot shower with a cold body can really disrupt your body’s natural hemostat. This can be very dangerous to your pregnancy, as you are holding two lives in yourself.
Suppose you have certain heart conditions like angina or have been previously treated with a heart attack or heart arrest. In that case, taking hot showers for longer periods can cause pretty hefty danger to you and your baby. The reason for this is that if the body stays hot for longer periods of time, the risk of heart stroke increases.
Increasing your body’s temperature above a specific level during pregnancy can cause some serious damage and put your baby at multiple risks, including a neural tube defect. It has most probability during the first trimester and can cause serious damage to your child’s brain and spine development.
How Hot Is A Hot Shower During Pregnancy?
There can be no proper value of temperature specified as each person has their own specific tolerance for heat and hot waters. On average, a shower above the temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.9 degrees Celsius is considered to be dangerous for even a normal person, and while considering pregnancy, the temperature should be kept way down than this for a pregnant woman.
Can Hot Showers Affect The Baby?
Yes, hot showers can be potentially dangerous for your unborn child’s health and consciousness. It is always recommended to take only mild hot showers and not expose yourself to extreme heat during the pregnancy as it can cause some serious damage to your child’s health with, most prominently affecting the neural tube.
How Often Should You Shower When Pregnant?
During the pregnancy, it totally depends upon the pregnant woman how she keeps her hygiene good and up to the mark. This is a subjective thing, and it depends on everyone’s own personal habits. You can take a shower daily or once after skipping one day. It is recommended not to take more than 1 bath during the later stages as the movement is difficult during this time.
How Should A Pregnant Woman Shower?
Proper care of every aspect is very crucial for a pregnant lady, especially during the last trimester. There is no proper way of showering for a pregnant woman as it is a subjective thing. Still, there are some considerations that need to be followed and taken care of while taking showers. These include:
- Take moderately warm showers only and prevent any contact with very hot showers.
- Use a non-slip bath mat or a shower mat to prevent slipping in the bathroom.
- Keep the shower sessions as short as possible.
Tips For Taking Safe Hot Showers While Pregnant
These tips can be of great help considering the safety while taking hot showers.
- You can install a chair in your shower area, as it can get quite difficult to stand for showers during the later stages of your pregnancy trimesters.
- Make sure that a window is open during the hot shower so that all the steam can be prevented from accumulating in the bathroom.
- One of the main issues of hot showers can be dehydration, so it is advisable to drink plenty of water before going and after coming from the shower.
- You can also set a timer or an alarm for when you go to the bathroom to avoid spending extra time in hot showers.
It is always advisable to consult with a doctor or gynecologist and discuss such situations with them in detail.
Can Hot Showers Induce Labor?
Long hot showers can cause some different issues, but they cannot induce labor. There are many misconceptions regarding hot showers, and inducing labor is one of them. Labor is a very complex phenomenon that cannot be affected by simple hot showers.
What Temperature Should The Water Be For A Hot Shower While Pregnant?
The temperature of water during hot showers is usually dependent on individual priorities and comfort. Still, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), it is recommended not to increase the temperature of water above 38.9 degrees Celsius or 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Long Is Too Long For A Hot Shower While Pregnant?
During pregnancy, it is recommended to avoid long hot showers, and it can inflict some serious damage to both your and your baby’s health. Although, one is advised that most of the shower times should be kept under 15 to 20 minutes to keep yourself from excess heat.
Should I Avoid Hot Showers In The First Trimester?
Taking extremely hot showers is contraindicated during all the trimesters of pregnancy as it can cause some serious hazards to you and your baby. Still, long extremely hot showers are even more harmful during the first trimester. This is because the first trimester is very crucial as it marks the development of all major organs and especially neural body parts. Any deviation during this phase can cause permanent damage to major organs of your baby’s body.
Should I Avoid Hot Showers In The Third Trimester?
As the pregnancy progresses to its third trimester, the risk of any abnormalities decreases as compared to the first trimester. This is because most of the organs have been developed and are only maturing during this phase. Still, you should not jump into hot showers, especially really hot ones, to avoid any damage or birth defects.
What Happens If You Accidentally Take Too Hot Of A Bath While Pregnant?
Taking a shower that is extremely hot during any phase of pregnancy causes a lot of potential damage to your baby. Some on-the-spot side effects will include:
- Increased Heart Rate
- Feeling Dizzy
Is Taking A Bath At Night Good For Pregnant Women?
If you take strict control over the temperature, timings, and hydration, then taking a shower before going to bed can be a pretty good idea. A soothing warm, and cozy shower before bed can relax your muscles, help you get a good deep sleep, and will also reduce stress levels. It can be a pleasing and soothing experience to add to your daily routine during pregnancy.
When Should I Stop Taking Baths During Pregnancy?
There are no such restrictions over taking baths during the pregnancy or during any stage of it. Taking showers or warm baths is a healthy routine and has benefits for your overall health. However, it is always advised to take certain precautions while taking showers, such as avoiding long showers, avoiding extreme hot showers, keeping your session short, etc.