You asked

Are hot baths safe during pregnancy?

There is nothing quite like a relaxing warm bath.  The promise of bubbles, warm water and stealing time makes it a little treat and there is nothing to suggest that it is harmful in pregnancy.
 
However, you do need to be cautious about hot baths (including hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms) as they raise the core body temperature. Hot tubs and saunas are to be avoided in particular as they take longer to cool down.
 
Animal studies have indicated that overheating (especially in the first five to six weeks of gestation), may cause birth defects in the offspring.  The types of birth defects that may arise affect the brain and spine - they are called neural tube defects or NTD. Spina Bifida (meaning split spine) is one example of a neural tube defect.
 
Hyperthermia or having a core body temperature of greater than 38.8 degrees Celsius has also been associated with miscarriage, retardation of foetal growth and brain damage.
 
Also keep in mind, that throughout your pregnancy, any increase in body temperature can lower your blood pressure, which may cause extreme exhaustion and dizziness. This is dangerous for you and your baby.
 
And don't forget to test your filled bath before you get in as you would with a child by using your elbow.
 
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