It goes without saying that, even in the early stages of pregnancy, there’s nothing quite like taking some time to yourself to relax and unwind. Whether that’s lounging in a cool bath or taking the time for a gentle swim, there are plenty of safe ways to ease the pressure on your body while pregnant – but what about using hot tubs?

While widely seen as one of the best ways to loosen up your body and release all the stress that comes with life, you may also have heard different snippets of advice relating to whether or not it’s safe to use a hot tub when pregnant.

Fortunately, here at Platinum Spas, we’ve taken the time to collect and simplify all the information surrounding hot tubs and pregnancy safety in one neat little package. That way, if you’re considering using a hot tub when pregnant, you can be sure that you know all the risks before stepping in.

Read our guide below for all the information you need surrounding pregnancy and hot tubs.

Can you go in a hot tub when pregnant?

First, let’s address the main question in the room; can you go in a hot tub when pregnant?

Technically speaking, yes, you can use a hot tub when pregnant, but we would not advise it unless you take several essential safety precautions before use.

Simply put, there are numerous risks that come with using a hot tub while pregnant, and not just because unclean hot tubs can harbour dangerous bacteria. Hot tubs, as the name implies, are hot, which is great if you’re using them to relax.

However, such high temperatures can have serious consequences on developing foetuses due to the changes happening within your own body.

Why can’t pregnant women go in hot tubs at high temperatures?

So, why can’t pregnant women go in hot tubs at high temperatures? What is it about being pregnant that makes this such a risk?

Well, as we’re sure you already know, being pregnant doesn’t just involve carrying a newly developing child to term. During the time you’re pregnant, your body will also be undergoing several changes relating to hormone production, and blood flow production intensity.

As part of these increased changes to blood flow, a larger volume of blood than normal will flow to your skin, hence why you may feel warmer than usual and find it harder to regulate your body temperature.

However, as a consequence of all this, it is much harder for your body to cool down, and high-temperature areas may lead to your body overheating. Thus, stepping into a hot tub is really the last thing you want to be doing when pregnant, as overheating and raised body temperatures have the potential to seriously harm your developing child.

What are the risks that come with using a hot tub while pregnant?

The risks associated with pregnancy and hot tubs stem largely from the very real chance that you will increase your internal body temperature to dangerous levels, causing your body to overheat.

When your body overheats, it draws blood away from your internal organs, such as the brain, in order to dissipate heat more quickly. This is why people often feel lightheaded when suffering from things such as heat stroke; it’s your body’s way of cooling you down rapidly.

Unfortunately, this poses a substantial risk to pregnant women in particular because your body will also draw away substantial blood from your foetus as it attempts to cool down.

Add to this the fact that your body is finding it harder to regulate your body temperature than usual and you run the very real chance of reducing the blood flow, nutrients, and oxygen reaching your child, which may result in various unintentional birth defects and possibly even preterm labour.

Are there any other risks that come with using a hot tub when pregnant?

Specifically, hot tub sanitisers like chlorine and bromine can be harmful to you and your foetus if outside of the recommended safe levels. For instance, they could cause irritation of the eyes and skin as well as being absorbed into your bloodstream.

Therefore, if you must use a hot tub while pregnant, make sure that you balance your hot tub pH levels correctly and follow safety advice when using hot tub chemicals, especially for the first time.

And whatever you do, do not use your hot tub without chemicals, as this can lead to dangerous bacterial growth.

Can you use a hot tub when pregnant at lower temperatures?

Although there are several prevalent risks that are linked to pregnancy and hot tubs, it is possible to use a hot tub when pregnant, provided the water is kept at a lower temperature than typical spa levels.

For example, most spas will have their hot tubs heated to 40 degrees and above.

This is far too hot if you’re pregnant.

Instead, hot tubs may be used while pregnant if the water is kept at a maximum of 35 degrees, which is below standard body temperatures. However, we’d still recommend lowering the ideal hot tub temperature further, possibly to 30 degrees or less, just to be safe.

As an aside, we’d also highly recommend that pregnant women avoid steam rooms and saunas on top of excessively warm hot tubs, for all of the reasons we’ve laid out above.

Are there any benefits to using a hot tub when pregnant?

Up until now, we’ve focused exclusively on the dangers that can come with hot tub use while pregnant, but that’s not to say there are no health benefits that come with using a hot tub during pregnancy.

First and foremost, hot tubs are excellent for easing back pain, reducing swelling, and relieving stress in general; they can even help with promoting better sleep (which we’re sure you’ll be after once your child is born). This sort of relaxation is also a great way to bond with your partner and improve your mood as the due date comes ever closer.

But perhaps most interestingly of all, hot tubs have even been shown to stimulate contractions, and many experts actually recommend soaking in a hot tub towards the end of your pregnancy as a means to safely encourage labour.

However, with all of that being said, you should not take this as an endorsement to use a hot tub while pregnant. Instead, you should speak to your doctor and get their advice about hot tub use based on your unique health. They’ll also help you understand whether or not the risks associated with pregnant hot tub use are advisable for your situation.

How to safely use a hot tub when pregnant

So, having covered the risks and benefits that come with pregnant hot tub use, let’s now touch on some of the best practices associated with how to safely use a hot tub when pregnant, as these precautions are essential for reducing potential pregnancy risks:

  • Always keep water temperatures at or below 35 degrees, do not go any higher.
  • Shift positions regularly and take short breaks to aid in body temperature regulation.
  • Do not soak in your hot tub for more than 10 minutes as prolonged temperature exposure can be harmful, even at low temperatures.
  • Use a thermometer to monitor your body temperature during your soak to ensure your body doesn’t overheat.
  • Always sit opposite the water jets in your hot tub as this is where the water will be coolest.
  • Make a conscious effort to keep your chest above water and avoid submerging, again to help reduce your body temperature.
  • Stay hydrated before and after using your hot tub by drinking plenty of water.
  • Leave your hot tub straightaway if you feel uncomfortable but be careful and take your time while exiting.

Again, these are just guidelines, and you should always speak to your doctor about hot tub use while pregnant before using one.

Find your ideal hot tub with Platinum Spas

And there you have it; hopefully, you should now have a much better idea of all the risks that come with using a hot tub while pregnant. Again, one final time, if you do want to use a hot tub when pregnant, please speak to your doctor so that you understand exactly what risks come with pregnancy and hot tub use.

Of course, once you’ve given birth, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from slipping into a hot tub for a quiet moment of relaxation while dad’s looking after the little one. And if that sounds good to you, then you might be interested in the range of spa-quality tubs we have in the Platinum Spa range!

Get in touch with our team of experts today for more advice on buying your first hot tub and don’t forget to head over to our owners’ hub for more in-depth guides around hot tub use and care.

Hot tub pregnancy FAQs

It is strongly advised by the majority of medical professionals that you do not use a hot tub during your 1st trimester. At this point in your pregnancy, your foetus will be developing rapidly, and you do not want to cause any form of blood and oxygen starvation or accidentally spread any water-borne diseases.

It is possible to use a hot tub during your 2nd trimester, however, it is still recommended that you do not. With that being said, if you must use a hot tub during this period, then it is essential that you follow your doctor’s advice and safety guidelines to protect both yourself and your child.

While potential risks are still present, the 3rd trimester is considered the safest time during pregnancy to use a hot tub. However, again, this should only be done so after consulting your doctor, and you must follow their instructions to the letter

Sarah Watkins
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