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Is it safe to use a sauna or jacuzzi if I'm pregnant?

There's little research on using saunas, jacuzzis, hot tubs and steam rooms during pregnancy.

But it's advisable to avoid them because of the risks of overheating, dehydration and fainting

You're likely to feel warmer than normal during pregnancy.

This is caused by hormonal changes and an increase in blood supply to the skin.

These hormonal changes can also make pregnant women feel faint.

Overheating

When you use a sauna, jacuzzi, hot tub or steam room, your body is unable to lose heat effectively by sweating. This means your body's core temperature rises.

It's possible that a significant rise in your core temperature could be harmful in pregnancy, particularly in the first 12 weeks.

Feeling faint

If you overheat, more blood flows close to your skin to help cool your body by sweating.

This means there's less blood flow to internal organs, such as your brain.

If you do not get enough blood and oxygen to your brain, it can make you feel faint.

When you're pregnant, the hormonal changes in your body can make you feel faint more often. 

You may want to avoid situations where you could get too hot, such as sitting in a jacuzzi or steam room.

Water temperature

If you're exercising in water, such as at an antenatal class, the temperature of the water should not be above 32C.

If you're using a hydrotherapy pool, the temperature should not be above 35C.

Some hot tubs can be as hot as 40C, so it's best to avoid them.

Find out more about exercising during pregnancy 

Get more answers to questions about pregnancy

Further information

Page last reviewed: 30 April 2019
Next review due: 30 April 2022