Can I Take A Hot Bath To Induce Labor?
Check out the safety aspects of taking a hot bath in order to induce labor.
When it’s over 9 months, of course, you would want to induce labor but is it okay to take a hot bath to induce your labor? This question is often asked by moms who have already gone past their due date so you are not alone in this because the wait becomes unbearable after that point.
Going past your due date and giving birth is more common than you might think. My first baby took an extra week to get into this world so when my due date was over I got worried and started looking for ways to induce my labor.
When you are in your trimester, it gets emotionally and physically draining so getting past your due date but not finding any sign of labor then waiting for another week will feel like a painful eternity.
So, if you are here facing similar instances then you are probably searching for ways to induce your labor. Well, you might just need to take a hot bath! So here you will get all the information about taking a hot bath to induce your labor.
Yes, taking a hot bath to induce your labor is not unsafe but you have to make sure that the water you are using is not too hot. This can be problematic for both your baby and your body.
If the water is too hot, it will be a cause of distress for you as well as your little one. Here are some factors why you should opt for a hot bath to induce your labor.
When you are pregnant, you will be stressed at some point in your journey. It is bound to happen because you will be in physical pain and your hormones will be all over the place so mentally as well you will be a bit out of it.
I remember when I got so stressed during my first pregnancy, I ate a whole jar of orange-flavoured jelly but that’s because stress eating was and still is my thing. Your body is changing to accommodate your little one to grow healthily so it is very common to feel stressed out.
Stress is a vital factor that prevents you from getting into labor. Your body naturally feels unsafe while you are stressing but to induce your labor, you need to feel secure and relaxed. So your body automatically goes into defence mode so the contractions become less frequent.
A hot bath will make your body relaxed, and the stress you feel will slip away as you get some physical comfort making your mind calm. This safe and secure environment can be a trigger to induce your labor.
Do you know why taking a hot bath relaxes you? Well, it releases a hormone called oxytocin which is also known as the feel-good hormone. This hormone has another use which is to help you get into labor by promoting contractions and they become frequent and stronger each time.
Sometimes, doctors also give would-be mothers artificial oxytocin as a drug form that helps in the process of the delivery of the baby while the mother is in labor. It is better to induce your labor naturally and in this case — if taking a hot bath helps get you into labor, give it a shot. All you need to do is ensure that you are feeling relaxed when you are taking the hot bath.
If you take a hot bath, it will help ripen your cervix but it is not a guaranteed fact so you need to see for yourself if it works for you.
Cervix ripening usually happens before you start having contractions. It makes the cervix softer so when that occurs it becomes a sure sign that you are going into labor. Your cervix needs to be softer before the dilation starts. This is when your cervix starts to open up so that your baby can come out.
Taking a hot bath might help your cervix become softer while inducing labor. Even if it doesn’t ripen your cervix or induce labor you can enjoy the bath itself to calm your edges and mentally be stress-free.
You can consult with your provider or doctor and ask if you can have an Epsom salt bath because it will also help soften your cervix.
Temperature is the one thing that you need to be concerned about when taking a hot bath, otherwise, it is completely safe. The water temperature should not be less than 101 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature should make you feel comfortable and do not make it so warm that it feels bad for your body because it will be bad for your little one.
You can purchase a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water, then you can ensure that the water is just the right temperature before you go in.
You need to be extra careful when you are pregnant so it is advisable to clear out any queries or doubts with your doctor beforehand.
Pro Tip: Do not use a jacuzzi or even a hot tub because these will increase the risk of developing birth defects in your baby. Though there hasn’t been much research in this area, all the information and past incidents are warning signs enough to avoid using them for the safety of your unborn baby.
You might have questioned whether you will get infections or if the risk factor of getting one while taking a hot bath is highly likely. Infections will harm both you and your baby so you need to take precautions beforehand.
The timing is also a factor, you need to set a time limit on how long you should be taking a hot bath. You should not stay for more than 15 minutes to 20 minutes there especially when you are about to go into labor.
While pregnant, you can not make use of bubble baths, bath bombs, fragrant chemicals, any kind of oils, or even bath soap because these products will serve as an irritant to your highly sensitive areas.
There are, however, a few products that can be used and are safe for both the mommy and the baby. You might add them while taking a hot bath but not before you consult with your doctor about it. Some products might seem safe but can harm you both so be careful about what you do while you are pregnant.
Another tip, after your water breaks, you can not take a hot bath. If you do then you will be at high risk of contracting an infection because the bacteria can enter your uterus once your water breaks.
Our skin leaves behind many dead skin cells, germs, and bacteria while we take a hot bath so if you require washing after your water breaks then a shower will be a much safer option. But do not use any chemical while showering as well so no gel or body wash or soap while you’re at it.
There are also other natural ways to induce labor but taking a hot bath is simple, easy, and might be effective so it will not hurt to give it a try. But in the end, if it doesn’t work, don’t worry because you have had a relaxing comfortable bath time to relieve some of your stress.
So as long as you have taken in the risk factors of getting an infection, and keep the temperature of the water to the right level, the hot bath will be safe for both the mama and the baby. So, enjoy your time while you are in the hot bath and hopefully, this induces your long-awaited labor so you get to meet your little one as soon as possible.
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