Avoiding extreme heat while pregnant


Cold temperatures are upon us, and usually when one get cold, they seek warmer climates and/or things to keep them comfortably warm. This even includes women who are pregnant. Sometimes cold temperatures can exasperate discomfort especially if it is joint related. This can cause some pregnant women to want to seek heat based comfort. However, some heat based comfort techniques can do more harm than good. Certain heat based comfort techniques can cause serious complications such as birth defects and even death of the developing fetus. This is especially true in early pregnancy.

One heat based comfort technique that most if not all women enjoy is a warm bath and/or use of a hot tub. There is nothing wrong with taking a warm bath, however the water should be of a comfortable temperature, not steaming hot. Also, soak time should be limited. This keeps the body from overheating. Hot tub usage should be limited or avoided due to the very hot temperature of the water. This can cause the body to overheat, which can cause complications and harm to the unborn baby.

Saunas and steam rooms should also be avoided. Just like hot tubs, and overly hot bath water, saunas and steam rooms can cause harm to the unborn baby. If saunas and/or steam rooms are used, one should keep themselves hydrated while in use. If one becomes uncomfortable, the expectant mother should remove herself from the sauna or steam room immediately.

Electric blankets can also pose harmful risks to pregnant women and their unborn child. Sleeping with an electric blanket can also raise the body temperature enough to cause harm. It has been deemed okay to a certain extent to warm oneself up with an electric blanket and then turn the blanket off. However, many may forget to turn it off once they fall asleep.

Expectant mothers who have concerns or at high risk of miscarriage should consult with their physician about any questions that they may have.

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