Raising your core body temperature is called hyperthermia. It can harm your
developing baby (fetus). It's most harmful during the early weeks when the organs are forming. Experts
don't forbid hot tub or sauna use. But they do advise caution.footnote 1
Hyperthermia during the first weeks of pregnancy has been
neural tube defects.footnote 2
So pregnant women are advised to treat a high fever with acetaminophen. They should also avoid other causes of hyperthermia.
If you use a hot tub or sauna, be careful. The tub or sauna should not be so hot that you are uncomfortable. And limit how long you sit in the hot tub or sauna. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggest using a sauna for no more than 15 minutes
and using a hot tub for no more than 10 minutes. To help keep from getting too warm in a hot tub, sit with your arms and chest above the water.footnote 1
CitationsAmerican Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2007). Antepartum care. In Guidelines for Perinatal Care, 6th ed., pp. 83-137. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.Cunningham FG, et al. (2010). Prenatal diagnosis and fetal therapy. In Williams Obstetrics, 23rd ed., pp. 287-311. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMarch 16, 2017
Current as of:
March 16, 2017
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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Last modified on: 8 September 2017