J is for Jacuzzi

You are pregnant and sore and nothing sounds better than a soak in a Jacuzzi, hot tub, or whirlpool.  Before you jump in take a minute to read about why it may not be the best idea. 

It is recommended that you limit hot tub use to 10 minutes or less during pregnancy, or better yet avoid them completely.  The reason for this is because the high temperature of the Jacuzzi, which is usually 104°F, can raise your body temperature to a dangerous level for your baby – especially in the first trimester.  It is best to keep your body temperature below 101°F and it only takes 10 minutes in a Jacuzzi for your body to reach this temperature.  When this occurs it is referred to as hyperthermia, or an abnormally high body temperature.  An increase in body temperature in the first 7 weeks can increase the risks of neural tube defects (NTDs) or other birth defects.  These concerns also apply to the use of saunas. 

If you are still craving a warm soak, choose a hot bath instead of a hot tub.  In a bath your upper body is typically not fully submerged and the water cools down in a bath over time, unlike in a hot tub.

Tips for if you plan to use a Jacuzzi when pregnant:  Set the temperature to 95°F instead of 104°F, only stay in the hot tub for 10 minutes or less, check your body temperate after 5 minutes to ensure you aren’t overheating, if you start to sweat or become uncomfortable – get out, or better yet – sit on the edge with just your feet in the hot tub.  Hot tub use can also cause dehydration so make sure to drink extra water before taking a dip.

Did you use the Jacuzzi when pregnant? Let me know in the comments.  Next week I will be writing about the letter K… K is for Kegels.