Pregnant and looking for a place to relax those aches and pains? Is a hot tub the place to do that? The simple answer to this question is to use hot tubs during pregnancy with extreme caution and consult your physician as individual circumstances and conditions can preclude what you will read in this article.
Duration of usage and temperature are two of the most important considerations for using hot tubs during pregancy. Hot tubs should be used for no more than 10 minutes a day and at temperatures below 101 degrees especially during the first trimester. Any increase in duration or temperature can cause concerns during pregnancy. Hot tubs and spas cause the body to go into a state of hyperthermia (overheating) and some studies have shown an increased risk of birth defects during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend that woman never let their body temperatures go over 102 degrees and to monitor their body temperature periodically while using the hot tub to ensure that it doesn’t. Normal body temperatures average about 98.6 degrees and it can take only 10 minutes of soaking to get it up to 101 degrees or more.
Hot tubs have digital controls and thermostats that allow a user to set any temperature up to 104 degrees which is the maximum allowable on the hot tub programming. It would be recommended to set temperatures at 101 degrees or below and to limit soaking time to 10 or fewer minutes to ensure safety. Furthermore, it is extremely important to pay attention to any feelings of discomfort or malaise during usage and to immediately cease soaking if those feelings start to come on.