Some pregnant mothers worry that bath water can get into the uterus and harm their developing baby. The good thing is that your baby is protected within the amniotic sac. So unless your water breaks, your baby is completely separated from the water you’re soaking in.
A bath is a great way to soothe sore muscles and relax during pregnancy. Just keep the temperature warm, not hot, and be careful as you step in and out of the tub.
Baths are perfectly safe in pregnancy if you follow a few simple rules:
- Keep your bath water warm, not hot. 98.6 degrees is just perfect and feels great.
- Your water is not broken.
If you meet these criteria, you can take a bath every day until you give birth, even several times a day if you’re suffering from pregnancy symptoms like a backache.
To measure water temperature, simply use a child’s bathtub toy thermometer. You allow it to float and then read how hot the water is, adjusting it as needed.
The reason to avoid hot water or hot tubs is that water above your body temperature, particularly in the first trimester, has the possibility of causing problems with your baby. This could cause a potential increase in mom’s body temperature, which might reduce blood flow to the baby and cause stress. Normal body temperature is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep your baths at or below 100 degrees.
Some mothers even use water as a pain relief method for labor. Here the temperature is also monitored to keep it around the 100-degree mark for the safety of your baby and you. This form of pain relief is second only to epidural anesthesia, which is why it is very popular.
Pain relief is one of the reasons that women use a bath in pregnancy. It can be easier to relax in the water. You may feel your aching joints relax as the weight is lifted by the buoyancy of the water. It might just be your trained downtime to mentally chill and soak. Just because you are pregnant does not mean that you have to give this up. Just pay attention.
Hot water baths are not safe when you have vaginal bleeding or ruptured membranes. To prevent burns on the skin, test the water temperature with your wrist or forearm and see if you are comfortable with it.