Are Hot Tubs Really Bad For Pregnancy?

  • By: Adam
  • Date: August 3, 2022

Pregnancy can truly be an amazing experience for all of those involved.

However, if you are an expectant mother, then you will know how many things can be dangerous for the unborn baby, and that you will have to avoid some activities, foods and drinks in order to protect your baby.

You know about coffee, and that you should avoid alcohol, but did you know that you may have to avoid hot tubs, too? 

Now, when your feet are aching and your pregnant body feels sore and tired from carrying your baby around all day, a hot tub may sound like it is a good idea, but it actually may not be.

A hot tub can raise your body temperature too much, too quickly, which puts you and your baby at a serious risk. 

Luckily, we are here to help with some advice regarding hot tubs, and whether you should avoid them if you are expecting a baby.

However, if you have got any concerns regarding your health, or your baby’s health, then do not hesitate to speak to a medical professional, or your doctor. 

Are hot tubs really bad for pregnancy?

When you are pregnant, you are going to need to be very cautious and careful when it comes to most activities! Going in the hot tub is no different, and doing this whilst pregnant can be very risky.

This is mainly because when you go in a hot tub (pregnant or not), you will be raising the body temperature due to the warm waters. 

When you spend more than 10 minutes inside a hot tub, you can raise the body temperature to above 101 degrees Fahrenheit, and some research suggests that pregnant people who have had higher body temperatures due to fevers can cause abnormalities in the baby’s spinal cord or even the brain.

Few other studies also suggest that high body temperatures can lead to a miscarriage, or can be harmful to the unborn baby.

However, pregnant people are not entirely told to avoid hot tubs by most medical professionals. It is best to use with caution, try lowering the temperature, and only use the hot tub for a maximum of 10 minutes if pregnant or expecting. 

If you are concerned, then it is best to avoid the hot tub or a sauna entirely during pregnancy, as they do pose a risk of overheating, dehydration and fainting.

When you are pregnant, you may feel warmer than usual due to increased hormones, and a hot tub will not be a good idea for you, because you could pass out. In addition, the hot waters can be too much for pregnant people, and should be avoided. 

Can a hot tub cause miscarriage?

Some studies have shown that the high temperatures of a hot tub and the risks this poses to pregnant mothers can cause miscarriages, particularly in the first trimester when the baby is developing.

Therefore, if you are pregnant, then you should avoid the hot tub, especially within the first few months of pregnancy.

The same goes for hot baths, as these can raise your core body temperature above 101 degrees fahrenheit, which poses a risk of miscarriage.

It is best to avoid hot tubs during pregnancy, but if you do choose to use one, do not do so often, lower the temperature of the water, and only bathe for less than 10 minutes. 

Do hot tubs cause birth defects?

Using hot tubs and hot baths during pregnancy have been linked to neural tube defects in babies. A neural tube defect is a birth defect that disrupts the development of the neural tube, which relates to the spinal cord and nervous system.

This part of the body is formed very early during pregnancy, and if it does not form properly, then this can lead to severe birth defects that can sometimes even be fatal. 

These types of birth defects can be diagnosed during prenatal testing, and are not always caused by things such as hot baths and tubs.

However, as neural tube defects have been linked to them in the past, it is best to avoid hot tubs altogether, particularly during the crucial first weeks of pregnancy.  

Can you put your feet in a hot tub while pregnant?

When pregnant, you are probably wondering what you can do, and sick of hearing about what you cannot do!

The good news is that you can put your feet in the hot tub water whilst pregnant, but the same rules apply. 

Remember to lower the water temperature if possible, only submerge the feet, and make sure that you only soak for less than 10 minutes at a time, so that you do not overheat.

As always, exercise caution, and stop soaking if you feel unwell, uncomfortable or dizzy in any way. 

Why are hot tubs bad for pregnancy?

Hot tubs can be bad for pregnancy because they can raise the body temperature quickly.

By raising your core body temperature, this can lead to hypothermia, which can be damaging to a developing baby, especially in the first few weeks of pregnancy, when the vital organs are beginning to form. 

That being said, most experts do not ban pregnant people from using hot tubs entirely, but encourage you to be aware of the risks, and to not use them excessively.

To protect you, and your baby, we recommend that you exercise caution when using a hot tub whilst pregnant, and limit the time to less than 10 minutes in the tub.

In addition, you should avoid submerging the head, arms, shoulders and upper chest entirely, and get out of the tub if you feel too hot, dizzy, or any discomfort.