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Pregnancy: Hot Tub and Sauna Use

Pregnancy: Hot Tub and Sauna Use

Topic Overview

Raising your core body temperature is called hyperthermia. It can harm your developing baby (fetus). It's most harmful during the early weeks when the organs are forming. Experts don't forbid hot tub or sauna use. But they do advise caution.footnote 1

Hyperthermia during the first weeks of pregnancy has been linked to neural tube defects.footnote 2 So pregnant women are advised to treat a high fever with acetaminophen. They should also avoid other causes of hyperthermia.

If you use a hot tub or sauna, be careful. The tub or sauna should not be so hot that you are uncomfortable. And limit how long you sit in the hot tub or sauna. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggest using a sauna for no more than 15 minutes and using a hot tub for no more than 10 minutes. To help keep from getting too warm in a hot tub, sit with your arms and chest above the water.footnote 1

References

Citations

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2007). Antepartum care. In Guidelines for Perinatal Care, 6th ed., pp. 83–137. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.
  2. Cunningham FG, et al. (2010). Prenatal diagnosis and fetal therapy. In Williams Obstetrics, 23rd ed., pp. 287–311. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical.

Credits

Current as of: June 16, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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