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Pregnancy Safety

Q&A: Is It True Pregnant Women Shouldn't Take Baths?

Is it true pregnant women shouldn't take baths?

No, baths are safe (and super-relaxing!) during pregnancy, but you do need to watch the water temperature. Pregnant women should never let their core body temp get higher than 102.2°F—especially in the first trimester—since there may be a greater risk for baby to be born with defects in the brain and spinal cord. But you're not likely to overheat in a bathtub, since the water cools over time and your upper body is actually out of the water. To be extra-safe, test the water with a bath thermometer (get one made for babies!) and be sure to run both hot and cool water as you're filling the tub. You should avoid hot tubs, though. They can raise your body temp to 102°F in just 10 minutes.

By Ashley S. Roman, MD, ob-gyn and clinical assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine