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Pregnancy: Hot Tub and Sauna Use

British Columbia Specific Information

According to Baby's Best Chance (PDF 14.88 MB), when you are pregnant it is important not to increase your inner body temperature. Overheating can increase your developing baby’s body temperature which can affect their healthy development.

If you choose to use a hot tub or sauna while pregnant, follow this advice: lower the temperature to below 38.9°C (102°F); spend a maximum of only 10 minutes in a hot tub or 15 minutes in a sauna. Have another adult with you; and get out right away if you feel dizzy, faint, have a rapid pulse, irregular heartbeat, stomach pain, or tingling in your feet or hands. In a hot tub, sit with your arms and chest above the water.

For more information about hot tub health and safety, see HealthLinkBC File #27a Residential Hot Tubs and Pools: Health and Safety Tips. If you have questions or concerns about your pregnancy, labour, or baby care, speak with your health care provider. You may also call 8-1-1 to speak with a registered nurse anytime of the day or night, any day of the year, or a pharmacist from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.

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 

If you use a hot tub or sauna, be careful. The tub or sauna should not be so hot that you are uncomfortable. Lower the temperature to below 38.9°C. And limit how long you sit in the hot tub or sauna. Experts suggest using a sauna for no more than 15 minutes and using a hot tub for no more than 10 minutes. Have another adult with you. To help keep from getting too warm in a hot tub, sit with your arms and chest above the water.footnote 1

Get out right away if you feel dizzy, faint, have a rapid pulse, irregular heartbeat, stomach pain, or tingling in feet and hands.

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

Adaptation Date: 9/23/2021

Adapted By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Reviewed By: HealthLink BC