March 8, 2019

Can pregnant women take baths?

Can pregnant women take baths?

Before doctors had a complete understanding of how the body works, it was believed that pregnant women should never take baths. While there is a right way and a wrong way, expectant mothers do not have to be afraid of taking a bath.  

UAMS OB/GYN Dr. Amy Phillips says the only concern with taking a bath is the risk of infection.

“The main concern with long baths is they actually increase your risk of vaginal infections,” she said. “If you enjoy a bath, make it brief. Don’t soak in the tub for hours or you’ll get an infection.”

Women should also be aware of the temperature of their bath water, especially during the first trimester of their pregnancy. The temperature should not be more than 98 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water is too hot, it could reduce blood flow to the baby, which puts the baby under stress. If you enjoy baths, you may want to consider purchasing a tub thermometer.

If you pay attention to the water temperature and the length of your bath, taking baths can actually have benefits for expectant mothers. Baths can decrease swelling in the arms and legs, increase amniotic fluids and prevent premature contractions.

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