Sauna During Pregnancy – How Safe Is It Really?

Can you go to the sauna as a pregnant woman? But of course! Visiting the sauna during pregnancy usually has many positive influences on the expectant mother. A regular visit to the sauna relaxes and decramps the muscles, also in the area of the pelvic floor.

However, it is important to observe a few rules of conduct when taking a sauna during pregnancy. Pregnant women who have already saunted regularly before their pregnancy can generally continue to do so as expectant mothers without any problems.

Why are infrared saunas often more pleasant than the classic Finnish saunas and what do pregnant women have to pay attention to? You will find an answer to this question in our article.

What Positive Effects Can The Sauna Have During Pregnancy?

Regular saunas are generally beneficial for health because the increased temperatures inside the body have an activating effect on the immune cells. In the sauna, due to the heating of the skin surface, blood vessels become wider, and muscles tense. The benefits of a regular sauna include fewer colds, a more stable cardiovascular system, fewer respiratory and joint problems.

Sauna can have additional positive effects during pregnancy. The loss of fluid as a result of sweating prevents water from accumulating in the tissues (edema). This is particularly important for pregnant women, as edema is a common side effect of pregnancy. As a result of sweating, already existing edema can also decrease.

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Sauna bathing relaxes the muscles, which promotes an easier and shorter birth. During childbirth, the pelvic muscles in particular play a role. A soft, elastic pelvic floor favors an easy birth.

Pregnant women who regularly sauna before and during pregnancy can look forward to the birth in a more relaxed way. Have you already thought about a good pelvic floor training?

Finally, the psyche also benefits: when visiting the sauna during pregnancy, the body releases more endorphins. We feel relaxed and in a good mood afterwards.

What Are The Risks Of Visiting The Sauna During Pregnancy?

If you have little experience with saunas and suffer from circulatory problems, you should avoid saunas during the first months of pregnancy. Other exclusion criteria are high-risk pregnancies (for example, gestational diabetes), pregnancy complications, premature labor, high blood pressure or kidney problems.

Expectant mothers with a tendency to varicose veins should not expose themselves to heat stress in order to avoid putting even more strain on the veins. Until the 15th week of pregnancy, sauna sessions should be avoided completely so that the embryo is not damaged by overheating (also called “artificial fever”).

Sweating is also taboo shortly before the expected delivery date, because heat, steam, and aroma components in the infusion could induce labor. It is best to discuss your questions and concerns about “sauna during pregnancy” with your gynecologist to be on the safe side.

Tips On Sauna During Pregnancy

A relaxing day in the sauna – even during pregnancy – can be very pleasant. Just don’t overdo it and keep a few points in mind.

Choose A Seat That Is As Cool As Possible

Sit on one of the lower benches, where it is cooler than upstairs. Instead of a Finnish sauna (90 degrees) you should prefer a bio sauna or an infrared cabin.

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Once A Week Is Enough

Do not visit the sauna more than once a week and do not visit the sauna more than twice a week.

Prepare Yourself For The Sauna Visit

With a warm foot bath before the sauna you stimulate the blood circulation, which prepares your body for sweating.

Only Short Sauna Sessions

You should plan no more than five to ten minutes per sauna session, up to 15 minutes for trained persons.

Pay Attention To Your Circulation

After lying down, carefully stand up again to prevent a circulatory collapse. Move your legs and stand up slowly.

No Plunge Pool

Do not use the cold plunge pool, but shower with cold water instead. After the sauna you should first shower your legs, then your arms, then your back and stomach.

Also Pay Attention To Hygiene

To prevent infections, you should always sit on a fresh and dry towel. You should avoid infections during pregnancy at all costs, because they can lead to complications.

Not Before The 15th Week Of Pregnancy

Avoid saunas until the 15th week of pregnancy.

Drink A Lot

Before going to the sauna and afterward, you should drink plenty of fluids to make up for the fluids lost during sweating. It is best to use isotonic drinks or mineral water rich in minerals. After all, you have not only lost fluid, but also many minerals. You should not drink anything during the sauna.

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Not Until The Last Day Before Delivery

Even though Finnish women often do this, you should refrain from taking a sauna shortly before giving birth.

Recover Well

After a day in the sauna you should allow your body to rest and recover.

Your child will not notice much if you use the sauna even during pregnancy. Its temperature increases only slightly during a sauna session. If you use the sauna for less than ten minutes during pregnancy, your child’s temperature will only rise by one to two degrees.

It becomes critical only when the body temperature exceeds 40 degrees. If the stay in the sauna cabin is not too long, the child is not at risk.

Infrared Cabin Instead Of Sauna?

, In particular, warmth-sensitive humans feel infrared cabins substantially more pleasantly than the classical Sauna – not only in the pregnancy. An infrared cabin, also called an infrared sauna or heat cabin, gets along with a clearly lower room temperature than a conventional sauna.

The temperature is usually around 35 degrees. A session in the infrared cabin feels similar to sunbathing. The positive effects of infrared cabins are comparable to those of saunas.

Currently there are no long-term scientific studies on whether infrared cabins are suitable for pregnant women or not. Therefore no generally valid recommendations can be given to it yet.

On the other hand, there are no indications of an increased risk from infrared treatments in normal pregnancies. The infrared sauna is considered an effective means of relaxation for mother and child. By relaxing the muscles, joint and back pain are relieved. These complaints occur more frequently in pregnant women.

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Infrared radiation (IR) penetrates only the uppermost layers of the skin. Even with IR-A radiation, the rays penetrate only a few millimeters deep. Your child, the amniotic fluid, or your uterus are therefore far away from the radiation. The child can therefore not be endangered by the radiation.

What Else Should You Pay Attention To?

The following recommendations apply only if the pregnancy is harmless:

Watch Out For Overheating

Do not exceed 38 degrees body temperature. Pay attention to whether it gets too hot for you in the infrared cabin, so that the intensive temperature level does not cause overheating. Listen to your body sensation and adjust the duration and temperature according to how you feel.

Your body temperature should not exceed 38 degrees Celsius. If you feel too hot, turn down the heat immediately and open the cabin door. If you feel nauseous, stop the session immediately.

Start With Low Heat Intensity

Be careful if you do not have a stable circulation. This is especially true for women who have not had heat treatments in an infrared sauna before.

Use The Cabin Only In A Seated Position And With A Companion

During infrared treatments you should sit upright because lying down can quickly cause nausea. Also, keep in mind that heat may trigger labor, which can induce childbirth. Therefore, you should not be alone in the cabin, but have a companion with you for safety.

Discuss the possible risk with your doctor. It is best to clarify in advance with your doctor whether an infrared sauna is recommended for you.

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