Showers While Pregnant

Patient

Q: Hi,

My husband and I are trying to get pregnant, so I may or may not be pregnant. I read that pregnant women should avoid taking showers above 100 deg F due to risk of birth defects. When I take a shower less than 100 deg I am freezing and feel exhausted afterwards from being so cold. This does not seem like a good environment for carrying a developing baby either. My thought is I should at least be comfortable in the shower but just not overheating. Please advise.

Thanks,
Lauren

Symptoms:  None
Doctor

A:   According to the Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS), a body temperature of 101º F and above may raise concerns of birth defects during pregnancy. Some studies have shown an increased risk of birth defects in babies of women who had an increased body temperature during the first trimester of pregnancy.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states that becoming overheated in a hot shower is not recommended during pregnancy. ACOG also recommends that pregnant women never let their core body temperature rise above 102.2º F.

Although the specific degree differs, both OTIS and ACOG attest to the concern related to hot shower use during pregnancy. To be on the safe side, it better not to overheat one's body more than its normal temperature of about a hundred. Please consult a Fetal medicine expert for specific advice.

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