I am 13 weeks pregnant, and I won a spa package. Many people have told me not to go, but I feel excellent. Is it dangerous for the baby or me? Thanks for any information you have, Angélique.
Angélique, you should wait before going, but like I always do, I try to give you all the information you need to make your own choices.
There are no clear recommendations from public health officials about spas. Some studies have shown that it is essential to be careful about spas and thermal baths, depending on the stage of pregnancy.
For very hot baths, spas, and thermal baths, they should not be used during pregnancy and especially during the first trimester. Why?
The increase in body temperature, especially during the first trimester, can increase the risk of miscarriage and malformations of the fetal nervous system, including the neural tube.
Throughout the Pregnancy
A pregnant woman’s body in very hot water provokes peripheral blood vessel dilation, which leads to a reddening of the skin and a feeling of dizziness, heat, breathlessness and general discomfort. These symptoms are often caused by a drop in the future mother’s blood pressure (hypotension, vasovagal shock) caused by high heat, which can lead to syncope (fainting).
Heat, which causes the dilation of blood vessels, can also lead to more varicose veins for the pregnant woman. Varicose veins in legs, of course, but also hemorrhoids (anal varicose veins) and vulva and labia majora varicose veins, which can be discomforting during pregnancy. For women who already have varicose veins, this vulnerability will be increased with high heat.
If you still decide to go to a spa, be very careful and use moderation. Baths that aren’t too hot to ensure that your body temperature does not rise beyond 38.9 degrees Celsius, short periods (no more than 10 minutes), maximum once a week and always accompanied by someone so that if your blood pressure drops they are there to help you.
Angélique, I think that covers current health advice about the topic, and I hope you consider it when deciding to use your spa package while still pregnant.
The Baby Expert