Safety Tips for Taking a Bath While You're Pregnant

pregnant woman taking a bath

Digital Vision / Getty Images

You may have heard that taking a bath while pregnant is a no-no. The good news is that's simply an old wives' tale. Baths are perfectly safe in pregnancy if you follow a few simple rules:

  • Keep your bathwater warm, not hot. 98.6 degrees F is just perfect and feels great.
  • Avoid baths after your water has not broken.

If you meet these criteria, you can take a bath every day until you give birth. You could even take baths several times a day if you're suffering from pregnancy symptoms like backache.

To measure water temperature, try using a child's bathtub toy thermometer (you'll need it when you bathe your baby later). You allow it to float and then read how hot the water is, adjusting it as needed.

Why Hot Water Is a Risk

The reason to avoid hot water or hot tubs is that water above your body temperature, particularly in the first trimester, has the possibility of causing problems with your baby. Immersion in hot water could cause a potential increase in your body temperature, which might reduce blood flow to the baby and cause stress.

Normal body temperature is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep your baths at or below 100 degrees F. Some mothers even use water as a pain relief method for labor. Here the temperature is also monitored to keep it around the 100-degree mark for the safety of your baby and you. This form of pain relief is second only to epidural anesthesia, which is why it is very popular.

Pain relief is one of the reasons that women use a bath in pregnancy. It can be easier to relax in the water. You may feel your aching joints relax as the weight is lifted by the buoyancy of the water. It might just be your downtime to mentally chill and soak. Just because you are pregnant does not mean that you have to give up a soothing soak. Just pay attention to the temperature.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.