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Sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, hot bath, sun bed etc

(26 Posts)
nappyaddict Tue 01-Feb-11 23:33:54

Is it OK to use these when pregnant? Presumably it is OK as long as you are cautious and get out if you start to feel faint or sick and get out if you feel your skin start to burn (I have heard your skin is more sensitive and likely to burn when pregnant)

openerofjars Wed 02-Feb-11 00:25:06

Definitely no to the sauna and steam room, as the baby can't cool itself down like you can. I went on a spa weekend at 5/6mo pg and was hardly allowed to do anything. Dunno about the sunbed, but I would guess no. And warm bath, fine, but not hot. As I remember, you're not even supposed to put a hot water bottle on your bump.

I'd err on the side of caution, plus you may find some places just won't let you do certain things, as they aren't insured for you to do them.

JBrd Wed 02-Feb-11 08:54:18

Agree with openerofjars - sauna and steam room would be a no-no, warm bath rather than hot. They say even to be careful with long hot showers...

As to sun beds, they're bad any time, pg or not. Why not go for a nice spray tan?

lilly13 Wed 02-Feb-11 09:41:13

the advice UK doctors give is NO. however, women in Russia go to sauna/steamroon for up to 10 minutes and give natural births to healthy babies without a problem. I have personally observed many women doing this, and, mind you, women there have been doing this for years...

I am 26 weeks and recently started going to steamroom for 3 minutes (3 times per week after swimming). I feel good. My blood pressure is low, so I think it should be ok.

don't have a view on sunbeds...

PipPipPip Wed 02-Feb-11 09:55:29

My (pretty unscientific) thoughts are that you need to use your OWN comfort as a guide.

So if it makes you hot, faint, flushed or uncomfortable, then it isn't a good idea.

The issue isn't the temperature of the bump/baby per se, rather that your own body cools itself down by re-directing blood flow to the surface of your body. This is why you go pink - because there is more blood on the surface, to cool down. This means there's less blood available for baby.

But I think you need to be flushed/hot/sweaty for quite a while for there to be a risk to the baby.

I think Openerofjar's warning about the hot water bottle is inaccurate - it doesn't matter if the warmth is near the bump or not, it is your OVERALL temperature that's the issue.

So my suggestion would be: if it makes you uncomfortable, dizzy, flushed, pink or very sweaty - avoid it.

But delicious warm baths, moderate jacuzzis, heated swimming pools etc should be fine as long as you're comfy.

PLEASE NOTE: That this is based on my memory of GCSE biology and random bits of reading, not on any expert advice. Feel free to ignore

midori1999 Wed 02-Feb-11 10:02:35

It's potentially dangerous to use these whilst pregnant.

From NHS:

"When you use a sauna, jacuzzi, hot tub, steam bath or steam room, your body cannot lose heat effectively by sweating. Your body's core temperature therefore rises.

It’s possible that a significant rise in your core temperature could harm your unborn baby, particularly in the first 13 weeks of the pregnancy. "

I would imagine that most gyms etc won't have insurance to cover them for pregnant women using saunas or hot tubs/jacuzzis either. tegoryID=131

openerofjars Wed 02-Feb-11 12:47:37

The hot water bottle advice given to me, just to clarify, was that in later pregnancy, if you need to relieve pain in your lower abdomen, put the hot water bottle on your lower back, not at the front, much as you wouldn't pop a hot water bottle on a tiny baby. Sorry, I wasn't very clear before.

And it's bloody difficult to hold a hot water bottle on your back when you're 8 months gone! Mind you, at that stage, it would just roll off your bump anyway. <rambles>

It's a pisser, isn't it? Make someone treat you to a massive spa experience after the baby's born.

cece123 Wed 02-Feb-11 14:45:08

as far as i am aware you should not use a sauna, steam room or jacuzzi whilst pregnant. As for the sunbeds i am not sure, but once i found out i was pregnant i stopped using them.

PipPipPip Wed 02-Feb-11 17:39:17

All the advice will be "don't use sauna, steam rooms or jacuzzis" but at my local pool, the jacuzzi is so lame cool that it is no warmer than a normal bath.

So my advice is just to use your common sense, and use your own body as a guide.

midori1999 Wed 02-Feb-11 17:53:33

There is also the infection risk from jaccuzis though.

babynelly2010 Wed 02-Feb-11 18:08:53

Nope, your fetus can't regulate own temperature, by rising your own body temperature especially in first trimester you are running risks of birth defects. I used sauna a lot before I got pregnant but I stopped while trying to get pregnant. I think 3 minutes is fine because you probably will not rise your temperature too high is such short period of time but 10-15 minutes is probably note. I would just stay away from these things while pregnant to be on a safer side.

RugbyWidow7 Wed 02-Feb-11 18:09:59

V good to read your info about the hot water bottle as I have been wondering...thanks

Foreverondiet Wed 02-Feb-11 19:30:43

no to sauna and steam room. jacuzzi could be ok if not too hot (37C) but a problem if hotter. there is an infection risk, but i figured i'd have the same taking the DC swimming.

StickThemWithThePointyEnd Wed 02-Feb-11 19:51:13

in germany they tell women it's fine to use the sauna during the second and third trimesters as long as you are careful. heat relaxes your muscles and can help shorten your labour. it can also lower your blood pressure, though, and make you dizzy. They also say that the temperatures in most saunas will not raise your core temperature high enough to do any damage to the baby in the time that you can actually spend in the sauna. [also, they say there is nothing wrong with taking your newborn into the sauna, but that's a different debate...]

The NHS says not before 13 weeks afaik, and then be sensible after - my local sauna says to consult your doctor.
Personally, because I know my own body and I am used to regular sauna trips, I would go. But if you are not used to the sauna before pregnancy, that's a different thing again...

nappyaddict Thu 03-Feb-11 11:57:38

There is nothing set in stone though is there like there is for foods you should avoid like blue cheese etc. There's a lot of possibles and maybes thrown about with the advice that to me it seems they don't really know the answer.


I read something similar but it didn't mention lack of blood and oxygen going to the baby.

It basically said if you overheat, more blood flows close to your skin, to help cool your body by sweating. This means less blood flows to your internal organs such as your brain.

If this happens, your brain may not get enough blood and therefore oxygen. This can make you feel faint.

That's why I figured unless you start feeling sick of faint, go pink, or overly sweaty you will probably be OK and just to use your common sense.

OST2013 Sat 08-Feb-14 07:16:46

Hi all, i myself fell so bad now.. I use electric blanket when 19w, it was so hot as the weather at my place was so so cold then.. My hubby next to me was sweating at back but i werent. The temperature might reach high as in sauna.. Im so so worried.. I come to hospital monthly to check blood, ultrasound as it routine here and doctor say nothing abnormal even his heart.. Yes i think my baby is formed already.. But im so worried.. I got obsessed.
I read from many source from internet to find if anyone have same prob like mine but there is no helpful experience but just advice.. I really need help.. Anyone have that experience pls share with me .. What would happen to my baby? Thanks a lot everyone

Cariad007 Sat 08-Feb-14 09:07:25

I wouldn't worry - I highly doubt an electric blanke would have the same effect on you as a sauna.

Aoifebelle Sat 08-Feb-14 09:41:38

I have only gone and booked myself and oh a spa break. So no sauna, just found out no massage either, no ice cold glass of sauvingnon blanc. What is the fecking point? May as well stay home in my tepid bath.

greentshirt Sat 08-Feb-14 10:29:52

Hah welcome to pregnancy aoife!

Madamecastafiore Sat 08-Feb-14 10:31:48

I wouldn't do any of those when pregnant and wouldn't use a sun bed when not pregnant.

It's 9 months of your life so not the end if the world.

callamia Sat 08-Feb-14 10:39:27

My Finnish friend used saunas because it's normal thee to continue doing so - she said that you just use some common sense (imagine!) - don't stay in for ages, stay well hydrated etc.

Having been pregnant last summer in 90C heat, I've no idea why you'd want to be so uncomfortable while pregnant - I found heat unbearable. Massages were the best though - will there be anyone trained in pregnancy massage?

mel0dy Sat 08-Feb-14 10:59:15

Personally I don't think anyone should use sunbeds, pregnant or not! But that's my own prejudice. The science I've read about the other stuff talks about raising core body temp, saunas and hot tubs very affective at this so no more than 10 mins, but hot bath ok cos you're not fully immersed for long periods.

Ilovekittyelise Sat 08-Feb-14 11:17:38

the only danger is where you significantly raise your body temperature. sensible use of steam rooms/saunas does not do this

LavenderFox Sat 08-Feb-14 11:43:54

Overheating causes fetal abnormalities because the baby is already one degree celsius warmer in the tummy as it is, so it is not an over-cautious warning. The proteins in the brain are particulalrly vulnerable for this over-cooking so while some of the damage may not be seen it doesn't mean it is not significant. The advice about using very hot baths to start labour is based on creating a state of emergency for the baby where labour may indeed start to rescue the baby.

Often forgotten advice is that when women have a temperature they should take paracetamol, drink cold drinks and use cold flannels to get the temperature down. A fever of 38 is not much for an adult but for baby that means 39 which is already much worse and not far off the brain-damaging 40+ degrees.

tertle Sat 08-Feb-14 12:18:05

Warm baths and jacuzzis are ok, saunas and steam rooms are generally not advised.

Sunbeds are a definitely no as is sunbathing as you are at a greater risk of developing 'sun stains' (tea coloured marks on your skin) which don't go away after pregnancy.

As for massages , you can have a pregnancy one! Or a facial, manicure etc.

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