Can I have a hot bath when I’m pregnant?

Dr Christine Catling

Dr Christine Catling

Dr Christine Catling, a midwife for over 25 years, is the Director of Midwifery Studies at UTS. She believes research, innovation and good quality midwifery are pivotal to the well-being of mothers and young families. Christine has extensive experience in antenatal education, policy development and research, and has published on workforce issues, homebirth, vaginal birth...
Updated on Jul 09, 2024 · 2 mins read
Can I have a hot bath when I’m pregnant?

As your pregnancy progresses and your body grows tired and achy, there is nothing like the soothing effects of a warm bath to make you feel better and to relax and unwind. But you may have heard people say you can’t have hot baths when you’re pregnant? Well don’t worry that’s not necessarily true – but there are a couple of things you should know before you draw the tub.

Providing your doctor or midwife hasn’t specifically told you not to (they may do so if you are experiencing vaginal bleeding or if your waters have broken), pregnant women can enjoy a bath – as long as the water isn’t too hot.

If you like a scalding hot bath then you will need to dial it back a little, as the water can raise your body temperature too high which can potentially be harmful to your baby, especially in the first trimester.

How hot is too hot?

Try to stick to a warm, rather than a hot bath, and test the water temperature by placing your elbow or wrist in the water before you get in. These areas will often be more sensitive than the rest of your body, and will give you a good indication of whether it is too hot.

You can also try and keep your bump out of the water (not hard as you grow bigger!) and also take your feet out of the water every so often to help keep you cool.

What about hot tubs and spas?

It is advised that you avoid hot tubs, spas and saunas as per the current recommendations. Unlike regular baths which lose their heat, hot tubs, spas and saunas maintain their temperature which will, in turn, raise your core body temperature and can put your baby at risk.

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