There is no doubt that a steam room, sauna, or hot tub can help with many body ache issues, but a common question that is asked is whether it is OK to use a steam room while pregnant. Or, for that matter, whether a pregnant woman can use a sauna or hot tub.
The simple answer is that it is NOT safe for a pregnant woman to use a steam room while pregnant. Further, it is not advisable to use a sauna or hot tub during pregnancy. Even if a doctor does recommend it, there will be temperature and time restrictions. But the simple answer is that it is not safe for a pregnant woman to use a steam room, sauna, or hot tub during pregnancy especially if she is in the first trimester.
People do use steam rooms, saunas, or hot tubs to relieve body aches. However, suppose a pregnant woman wants to get relief from stress and muscle relaxation. In that case, she could try a warm bath or a body massage. Or she could try using breathing to ease stress and muscle tension.
A Look at Steam Rooms, Saunas, and Hot Tubs
A steam room is a room with high temperatures at high humidity. Typically a steam room will have temperatures in the range of 114 to 120°F (46 to 49°C) at 100 percent humidity.
On the other hand, Saunas are rooms either made of wood that produces heat at low humidity. Normally a sauna has a temperature between 180 and 195°F at about 15 percent humidity.
You can control the temperature in a hot tub, but your body does not get a chance to lose heat as it is immersed in hot water.
Body Changes During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, a woman’s body temperature is much higher than normal. So if she spends time in a steam room, sauna, or hot tub, it may raise the temperature, even more, leading to hyperthermia which could be harmful to the unborn baby. It could lead to congenital disabilities. That is why we do not recommend a pregnant woman using a steam room, sauna, or hot tub during pregnancy.
The simple answer to “Can I go in a steam room while pregnant?” is “NO”. You could, of course, seek medical advice. But we advise against it.
If the doctor allows you to use a steam room, she will suggest lower temperatures for shorter durations. It is the same if you are allowed to use a sauna or hot tub, lower temperatures for shorter durations. However, we strongly suggest you either avoid a steam room, sauna, or hot tub during pregnancy.
People use a steam room, sauna, or hot tub to relax and ease any stress and muscular pains. However, it is not safe for a pregnant woman to use either of these means to relieve the stress and pains of carrying a baby in the womb. It can be even more dangerous to the unborn baby in the first trimester.
So, if you are asked the question: “Can I go in a steam room while pregnant?” the answer is that it is not safe, especially in the first trimester. It is suggested that a pregnant woman use traditional body massage, a warm bath, or breathing to ease the pregnancy pains.