Unwinding in a hot shower at the end of a long, hard day is a great way to relax. And not only that, showering has a number of health benefits like boosting your immune system or helping with skin conditions.. but during pregnancy, are hot showers dangerous? Progesterone levels are extraordinarily high during pregnancy which can cause pregnant women to get very hot and sweat more than normal.

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How hot, is too hot?

You may have heard that certain activities are unsafe for pregnant women as they can raise your core temperature - one of these activities is taking very hot, long showers and baths. So is taking hot showers while pregnant okay? Whilst precautions do need to be taken around the temperature of the water, having regular warm showers whilst pregnant is perfectly safe.

Many women also wonder is it safe to take a shower at night while pregnant. There is no difference between showering at night, or earlier in the day - the most important thing is to listen to your bodies cues, and recognize if you are overheating. It is recommended that pregnant women get eight to nine hours of sleep per day. Taking a warm shower before bed might help you relax, reduce stress, feel more refreshed and get to sleep quicker. It promotes greater blood circulation and aids in physical relaxation. All of this promotes physical relaxation and restful sleep in the expecting mother.

What are the possible consequences of raising your temperature too much?

Hot water can cause heat stress and boost your core body temperature beyond 102°F (39°C), which can be potentially dangerous for your baby. Although research is on-going, studies have shown that overheating, especially during the first trimester, can cause neural tube defects that affect your baby’s brain and spine development.

If your water is too hot, it could also make you feel faint or sick when you’re expecting, as the heat can lower your blood pressure more than normal. This can then affect the blood flow to your baby, which is unsafe at any stage of pregnancy.

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What can you do as an alternative?

Mothers who have high levels of stress or anxiety during pregnancy are more likely to deliver their babies at early or low birth weight. If you are really missing your steaming hot showers as a way of reducing stress, how about trying swimming or yoga, and cut down the length of time spent in the shower? Even a quick walk can reduce the stress hormone cortisol and raise endorphin levels. Doctors and scientists have studied the benefits of meditation and breathing exercises on pregnant women and they have shown that it can help mothers-to-be throughout pregnancy and especially at birth. Another excellent technique of relaxing is massage therapy. Prenatal massage helps pregnant women relieve tension, swollen arms and legs, and pain in their muscles and joints. It also helps to loosen muscles, improve sleep, and lower stress and worry. You should always consult your doctor before getting a pregnancy massage.

How can you stay safe while showering in pregnancy?

While you can cut down the time spent in the shower, what other factors can be monitored to ensure you stay safe in the shower during pregnancy.

The right temperature is a very individual decision, but keep in mind that the water should be cool enough that you can get in the shower straight-away without any hesitation. If the temperature of the water makes your skin turn red or you start to sweat, it is too hot. Take a cool shower, or one that is no hotter than 100°F (37.8°C), to reduce your core temperature if you start to feel too warm.

Make sure you test the water first by dipping your elbow or forearm under the water, as these parts of your body are more sensitive than others.

In short: if the water isn’t too hot taking regular showers whilst pregnant can be a great way to escape from the many stresses and strains of pregnancy. An Epsom salt bath can aid with hemorrhoids, stress relief, and aches and pains.

It is also advised that you stop using bath oils as they may result in allergic reactions, early labour, or even miscarriage.

Be careful not to slip in the shower!

Another - often forgotten about - worry for pregnant women (and for families with young children or elderly loved ones) is around slipping in the shower. To avoid unnecessary injury, ensure to keep your shower as clean as possible to prevent build up of soap, shampoos and other potentially slippy substances. You can read our simple cleaning tips here.

You may also want to consider adding a grab bar or shower rail to your shower for added support. The MERLYN revo Collection was designed with pregnancy in mind, to give women added peace of mind. revo is a multi-functional shower storage system and support rail finished to the same luxury design standards as the MERLYN Arysto collection.

Designed with multi generational homes front of mind, the sleek chrome shower rail acts as a steadying hand for younger and older generations. revo also provides a practical shower storage solution – without compromising on style.

Another option to consider is installing a Slip-Resistant Shower Tray. Our range of stylish trays have been tested extensively to give you and your family peace of mind. Shower in the safest environment, without compromising on style. Learn more about our slip resistant range here. 

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