If you are pregnant, you may be left wondering if the sauna is safe. After all, you have to be concerned not only about your health but also about the well-being of the baby in your womb!
The different types of sauna will generate heat that you will find relaxing, especially during pregnancy. However, while it is soothing, take note that there are also dangers, especially if you overdo it.
Can you use a sauna during pregnancy? What are the health risks? What are the alternatives? Keep on reading and let’s talk more about sauna and pregnancy.
Is It Safe to Use a Sauna When You are Pregnant?
Sauna pregnancy is a highly-debated topic even among health experts. A quick online search will reveal that people are divided in terms of their opinions. There’s little research about this topic, so there is no concrete answer to the question of whether you can use a sauna or not when you are pregnant.
In one article from The Telegraph that looks at a recent review of 12 studies involving 347 women, the conclusion is that sitting in a sauna may elevate one’s temperature but not at a dangerously high level. The review notes that heat stress risk is low, and hence, it is safe during pregnancy as long as you follow safety measures.
The same review also notes that pregnant women can sit in a hot or dry sauna with an average temperature of 70 degrees Celsius for up to 20 minutes. Regardless of the stage of pregnancy, you can enjoy amazing sauna health benefits.
Aside from the sauna, it also notes that you can use hot tubs during pregnancy. To be safe, however, you will need to limit the temperature to 40 degrees Celsius.
Sauna Pregnancy Risks You Need to Know
While it is safe to use steam and infrared saunas, they are not free of risks. Especially if you are already in a bad state of health, it would be best to avoid the sauna and wait until you have given birth.
Sauna and pregnancy may not be a good combination because of the heat. This will elevate your body temperature, and this is the one responsible for the risks it can bring during pregnancy.
Among others, maternal hypothermia is one of the most serious risks of sauna pregnancy. It refers to having an abnormally high body temperature. If your temperature goes above 38.3 degrees Celsius during pregnancy, this can already be a cause of concern.
When you are pregnant, the risk of dehydration and dizziness is apparent. You can experience it almost every day. Getting in the sauna, or even just using an infrared sauna blanket, can intensify the risks.
While in the sauna, the extreme heat can limit the flow of the blood to the internal organs, including your brain. Without enough blood flow and oxygen, there is a risk that you will faint. This is one thing that you would not want to happen to you in the sauna, especially when you are on your own.
The hazards can be apparent not only on the mom-to-be but also on the baby. Elevated body temperatures can be dangerous for the body and brain development of your little one. It can increase the risk of neural tube defects, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Using a Sauna Safely
The best thing that you can do is to limit your time in the sauna. The safest bet is less than 15 minutes. To be even safer, do not stay in the sauna for more than 10 minutes.
Use sauna only from facilities that you trust. It can be a breeding ground of germs and bacteria, which is another reason why sauna pregnancy does not seem a good idea. If the facility looks dirty and shady, stay away from it.
Do not use a sauna on your own when you are pregnant. If anything unfortunate happens when you are inside the sauna, such as when you collapse, it is important that someone is immediately available to extend a helping hand.
Pay attention to the signs that your body is overheating. If you are feeling uncomfortable or nauseous, leave immediately. As soon as you get out of the sauna, drink water so that you will be dehydrated. Find somewhere cool so that your body temperature can normalize.
Whether it is a barrel sauna, outdoor sauna, or any other type of sauna, the best thing that you can do is to consult your doctor. Seek medical advice before subjecting yourself to heat therapy. This can help to provide you with peace of mind.
Other Options for Relaxation During Pregnancy
While sauna pregnancy can be relaxing, this is not the only thing that is promising if you want to destress. There are other safer ways to unwind while assuring the safety of your baby.
Take a warm bath instead. This is recommended because you will have fuller control of the temperature of the water. Make sure that it is not too hot.
Try aqua yoga and aqua Pilates. These are low-impact exercises that can help prepare your body for giving birth. However, do this only with an experienced instructor for an assurance that you will be guided accordingly.
While you are already in the water, swimming is also good exercise. You can enjoy the countless swimming health benefits, even when you are pregnant. It can provide relief from swelling and reduce morning sickness.
Aside from exercise, a balanced diet will also help. Eat regularly to avoid your blood sugar from dropping. Otherwise, you will end up being irritable and restless.
Try to enjoy the outdoors without being too tired. Camping while pregnant can be a good idea. This is a good opportunity to breathe fresh air and bond with your husband. Nonetheless, from the campsite location to the sleeping arrangement, make sure that everything is done based on what is safest for you and the baby.
The best way to relax when you are pregnant is to get enough rest and sleep. Avoid being too physical as this can put too much strain on the body.
Allow us to answer some questions you might have about sauna pregnancy.
Q: Can You Sit in a Sauna While Pregnant?
Yes, you can sit in a sauna while you are pregnant. However, be mindful of how long you stay in a sauna. To be safe, do not stay in the sauna for more than 15 minutes. You should avoid standing. The weight of the baby in your womb and the hot temperature may not be a good combination. This can make you easily tired instead of being relaxed.
Q: What is the Right Sauna Temperature During Pregnancy?
To be safe, do not go beyond 38 degrees Celsius. If you go higher, your body’s temperature can elevate quickly and this can have serious health repercussions for you and the baby.
Globo Surf Overview
Sauna and pregnancy do not go hand in hand. While it is safe to go to a sauna when you are expecting a baby, limit your time exposed to heat. Otherwise, this can compromise not only your health but the health of the baby as well. If you want to be safe and sound, just stay away from the sauna while pregnant!
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- Sauna Pregnancy, NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov