Pregnancy is an exciting time of life, but it is also a time wrought with worries and an aching back. The best cure for both of these ills can often be a relaxing soak in the tub, but many women are concerned about the risks that a bath might pose to their babies. The good news is that in most cases, a bath is not only safe during pregnancy; it can also be the perfect way to de-stress during those anxiety-ridden nine months.
Turn Down the Heat
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women should never let their core body temperature rise higher than 102°. This recommendation rules out the use of hot tubs, Jacuzzis and saunas during pregnancy, but allows for warm baths as long as the water is not scalding. One reason that a soak in the tub is considered safe is because the top half of your body is not usually immersed in the water, making it much more unlikely that you will overheat. Another reason that baths are given the green light is that the water begins a gradual cool-down almost as soon as the tub is filled. So forget the hot tubs, but enjoy a relaxing evening in your tub as often as you like.
Beware the Aromatherapy
If you are accustomed to enjoying aromatherapy on your tub nights by adding essential oil to your bath water, there are a few adjustments that you need to make to keep your aromatherapy sessions safe during pregnancy. First, most experts will agree that you should avoid any kind of aromatherapy during the first trimester of pregnancy. Once you have successfully passed the 12-14 week point, it is best to cut the amount of essential oil that you would normally use by about half. It is also important to avoid certain types of essential oils, including basil, cedar, juniper, cinnamon and lemongrass. Oils that are good to use during pregnancy include chamomile, lavender, sandalwood and rosewood. If you are in doubt about a particular oil, leave it out until after your baby is born, or talk to your doctor about the possible risks.
While most women in normal pregnancies can enjoy a warm bath as often as they`d like, there are some instances where bathing is not recommended. If you have a urinary tract infection, it is best to opt for showers instead of baths until the infection is cleared up. Once your water has broken, it is never a good idea to get into a bathtub until after delivery. You must also use care not to let your body overheat in the tub by avoiding very long, very hot baths, and taking yourself out of the water if you begin to feel extremely warm. If you are still concerned about the safety of baths during pregnancy, you can talk to your doctor about your concerns.
Pregnancy takes its toll on your body during those nine months, so give your body and mind the break they need by indulging in a luxurious bath. Once that baby comes, your time for leisurely soaks will be minimal at best. Relax while you still can!