As long as they do not significantly increase the woman’s body temperature, using heating pads while pregnant can alleviate any muscle or joint pain. Women may be concerned about using heat sources during pregnancy. Obstetricians and midwives frequently advise against using even hot tubs during pregnancy.
Especially in the third trimester as tendons shift and the uterus becomes heavier, several expecting mums experience abdominal and back pain. Normally, you can use a heating pad while pregnant but only for a brief time, and it very well might be more secure than other painkillers, like ibuprofen.
We go over the advantages and disadvantages of using a heating pad, as well as when and where women can use them. We also look at other methods of relieving pain that pregnant women can use and most importantly, answer this question, “Can I use a heating pad while pregnant?”
So, Are Heating Pads Safe During Pregnancy?
You can use a heating pad while pregnant but only for something like 10 minutes at once. Heating pads while pregnant are frowned upon by some women due to the possibility that a high body temperature will harm the unborn child. The baby’s temperature may also rise when the mother’s body temperature rises. This may lead to birth defects in the baby.
A study published in 2011 linked neural tube abnormalities to the usage of hot tubs in early pregnancy. What is a neural tube? It is the structure in the fetus that eventually turns into the spinal cord and the brain in a fully developed fetus.
Albeit no ongoing research has tested any benefits of using heating pads while pregnant, they are probably not going to raise a person’s core heat level. These pads are a standard piece of pain relief during pregnancy.
Another study published in 2013 found that chiropractic care, aerobic exercise, and heating pads combined can effectively relieve pain. Heating pads were not found to have any negative effects in this particular study. Don’t use any heat if it hurts or makes you feel uncomfortable. Many specialists suggest low intensity for back, hip, or pelvic agony but before applying heat to the back or belly, always consult a doctor.
How To Safely Use A Heating Pad While Pregnant?
Here are some tips on keeping your unborn human safe while using heating pads during pregnancy:
- Avoid using heating pads during the first three months of pregnancy because this may be the most risky time to raise body temperature.
- Stop using a heating pad if it makes you feel too hot, overheated, or makes you sweat.
- Use the heating pad for no more than 10 minutes.
- Stop using the heating pad if the baby’s behavior changes, like moving more or less.
- Try not to use different heat sources. For instance, avoid using a heating pad and a hair dryer at the same time because then it becomes harder for the body to cool down and or control the heat.
- Do not use a sauna, hot shower, or hot tub to relieve pain.
Now Let’s Check Out Some Awesome Benefits of Using A Heating Pad While Pregnant
The benefits of heating pads could be a good alternative to prescription painkillers. If you want to take painkillers while you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor about which ones are best for you. Heat can speed up the healing process for minor injuries and can
- Increase circulation
- Prevent or lessen painful muscle spasms
- Improve mobility in stiff muscles
- Provide temporary pain relief
Women who have an open wound, a numb area, or a fever should avoid using heat. Alternating between cold and hot packs might help some women feel better. Before applying ice directly to the stomach or back, consult a physician.
If Not Heating Pads, Then What?
Exercising, massaging, holistic remedies, and over-the-counter (OTC) medication are the options you have if you cannot for some reason use heating pads.
1. OTC Medications
A 2010 review found that common prescription medications for chronic pain are likely safe for pregnant women. Acetaminophen has been consistently found to be safe for pregnant women, but research on other over-the-counter medications is mixed. Some over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen, may not be safe during pregnancy.
Muscle tension can be caused by the uterus’s weight changing a woman’s posture and walking style. Tense muscles can be eased by gentle massage, which can also alleviate widespread pain and tension.
3. Exercises For Relaxation
The progressive muscle relaxation technique involves progressively tensing and relaxing different muscle groups to promote relaxation and release tension. Start from your toe muscles and work your way up, tensing each muscle group for a few seconds before releasing. Focus on the sensation of relaxation as you release the tension.
4. Mind-Body Techniques
5. Holistic Remedies
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine where thin needles are inserted into specific points of the body. Some studies suggest that acupuncture may help reduce pregnancy-related pain, such as back pain and pelvic pain. However, it is important to consult with a trained acupuncturist who has experience in treating pregnant women.
A Final Word on Whether You Can Use A Heating Pad While Pregnant
It is important for individuals who are contemplating treatment options like massage or acupuncture to conduct extensive research on practitioners. They should specifically look for professionals who have received training in prenatal techniques and are experienced in providing treatment to pregnant women. Seeking recommendations from a doctor could be helpful in finding a suitable practitioner.
It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or midwife, before using a heating pad while pregnant for pain relief since each pregnancy is unique. Certain individuals may have specific factors to consider, such as elevated body temperature caused by infection or a potential risk of preterm labor, which could make the use of a heating pad unsafe.
However, in the majority of cases, a heating pad can provide safe and efficient relief from the typical discomforts and pains experienced during pregnancy.