You may be aware that when you are pregnant you shouldn’t take a hot bath or shower, and you should limit the use of heating pads to 10-20 minutes to avoid your body temperature rising too much.
But with cold baths and showers becoming ever more popular, it’s also important to understand the safety implications of lowering your body temperature too much while pregnant.
So let’s jump in and investigate the effects of cold water during pregnancy, including taking cold baths and showers, swimming in cold water, and drinking cold water.
Effect of Cold Water Bath During Pregnancy
There are several potential benefits of having a cold shower or bath while pregnant, as well as some things you should be aware of and not overdo.
Benefits of Cold Water Baths While Pregnant
Some of the known benefits of having a cold water bath or shower during pregnancy include:
- Reduce Inflammation.
- Relieve Muscle Pain & Soreness, especially after exercising, lifting weights or working out.
- Improve Blood Circulation.
- Lower Stress Levels.
- Reduce Fatigue & Boost Energy.
- Boost Metabolism.
- Experience A Better Birth Outcome.
Precautions When Taking Cold Baths During Pregnancy
There are some important things you should avoid and be aware of before plunging into a cold bath or shower while pregnant.
- Do Not Stay In The Water For Too Long: 2 to 4 minutes is about the right length of time.
- Ensure The Water Is Not Too Cold: cold water is fine, but you don’t want it to be freezing cold.
- Avoid Taking A Very Hot Shower Before or After: doing so could cause your blood vessels to compress and may lead to dizziness or fainting.
Why Am I Craving Cold Water During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy cravings are a normal part of expecting, and some of the more popular ones include chocolate bars, hot chocolate, steak and protein snacks.
But it’s also fairly common for pregnant women to crave cold water while pregnant.
Experts suggest there are two main reasons for this:
1. You Want Something To Cool You Down
As you’ve probably experienced, it’s very common for pregnant women to feel hot whatever the indoor or outdoor temperature.
This is due to hormonal changes and because you are carrying around more weight, especially during your third trimester as your baby edges towards full term.
So reaching for a nice glass of cold water or some other cold drink is a lovely and refreshing way to cool down.
2. You Are Looking For Hydration
It’s very important for pregnant women to stay hydrated throughout pregnancy – typically you should drink about 2 litres of water per day during your pregnancy.
Often when you crave something during pregnancy, it’s your body’s way of telling you it needs more of something.
And craving cold water – for both its hydration and cooling properties – is no exception.
Why Do Babies Move Move When You Drink Cold Water?
Some women report that their unborn baby moves in the womb when they drink cold water.
Why is this the case?
According to experts, the reason is because your digestive tract lies next to your uterus, so the cold water will stimulate your baby to move.
Interestingly, it’s not only cold water which can make your baby move.
You can usually get the same result by drinking cold milk or cold orange juice, or by eating certain foods that energize your baby due to their sugar and / or carbohydrate content.
Can Swimming In Cold Water Cause Miscarriage?
There is no evidence to suggest that swimming (during your first, second or third trimester) can negatively impact your baby.
This is true when swimming in heated pools or warm water in oceans and lakes, but what about swimming in cold water?
It is advisable pregnant women do not swim in water that is too cold, so you should avoid swimming in very cold or freezing cold water while you are pregnant.
This is because your temperature regulation system is less effective when pregnant, and swimming in water that is too cold could lead to a drop in your body temperature and cause hypothermia.
In addition, swimming in water that is too cold could cause uterine contractions (tightening of uterine muscle fibers that occurs throughout pregnancy and during active labor).
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