As you progress through your pregnancy and every part of you starts to ache, nothing sounds better than a hot bath. But is taking baths while pregnant safe?
When I was pregnant with my son, I was working retail so I was on my feet all day every day and my body was in desperate need of some relief. The only thing that seemed to relieve the pressure was to be in water.
I, of course, turned to the Internet and found all sorts of contradictory information. I was afraid of doing anything that could possibly harm my baby, so I took cold or lukewarm baths. They just weren’t doing the trick though.
So what is a safe temperature? Well, I was finally able to find some real answers. The important thing is not to raise your body temperature above about 100.4 degrees. This means as long as you keep the temperature of the bath water around your normal body temperature (about 98 degrees, no not the boy band) you’ll be fine.
You might be wondering how you’ll know without actually taking the temperature of the water. In my experience, the water still felt warm enough to be comfortable and relaxing, but not hot enough to make me sweat.
Most hot tubs range between 100 and 104 degrees, so unless you have control over the temperature, these should still be avoided.
Benefits of Baths
If you can get the temperature figured out, there are some great benefits to taking a bath. Adding some Epsom salt will maximize the benefits and make your bath even more enjoyable. Here are some of the key benefits to an Epsom salt bath while you’re pregnant:
- Relieves stress – Epsom salt helps increase serotonin and will also help you sleep better, both of which will decrease your stress levels.
- Relaxes muscles – The hot water on its own hill help with muscle relaxation, and adding Epsom salt will only increase recovery in your muscles and joints.
- Improves mood – In addition to helping with stress levels, the increase in serotonin that you get will help your overall mood.
- Improves digestion – Epsom salt can help regulate the levels of magnesium in your body, which helps with bloating and digestion. This includes helping with constipation.
- Soothes skin – Your skin is stretching about as far as it can go right now and Epsom salt’s exfoliating and restorative properties can help relieve the discomfort.
When Not to Take a Bath
Most importantly, if your doctor recommends against taking a bath for any reason, you should avoid them. You also want to be careful if you are in labor. Although water births are very common, you should check with your health care professional before getting in the bath if your water has already broken.
Now that you know how to safely take a bath during your pregnancy, enjoy it. Your little one will be here before you know it and quiet time will become a rare commodity in your home. Take the time you have now to relax and get ready for your baby’s arrival.