heating pad while pregnantMany women want to know what they should do about aches and pains that normally would involve the use of a heating pad if the woman is not pregnant.  Does pregnancy change the rules about using a heating pad?  In some ways, yes it does.

Women pregnancy are usually told by their doctor not to use hot tubs or saunas, especially in the first trimester.  The recommendation is to use these comfort measures for less than ten minutes at a time and to make sure the water temperature of the environment is less than 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

The reason behind the recommendation is that, if you increase your core body temperature, you put yourself at a greater risk of having a miscarriage or developing birth defects in the child.

The risk isn’t great but, if doing these things increases your core body temperature above 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit, you can cause an increase in the body temperature of the fetus, which isn’t considered healthy.


Heating Pad During Pregnancy Yes or No?

—This is not a yes or no answer – Always consult your doctor before using a heating pad when pregnant.—

While some can use a heating pad in pregnancy, there are some rules that needs to be followed:

Use the heating pad for a short period of time – The usual cutoff for the use of a heating pad is about twenty minutes.  This should prevent the body temperature from rising to 102.2 degrees or higher and will still help ease muscle tension when applied to a local area of the skin.

After twenty minutes, allow the body area to cool down before reapplying the heating pad.

Use the heating pad at the lowest possible setting – Most heating pads come with settings that allow you to adjust the temperature.  In using a heating pad in pregnancy, you should put it on the lowest possible setting that will also give you the pain relief you need.

You can increase the setting to medium if the pain persists, but don’t ever use the heating pad on high while pregnant, regardless of how far along you are in the pregnancy.

Use the heating pad on a localized area –  Don’t cover large areas of the body with a heating pad.  Rather than using a large heating pad, use the smallest one you can find that covers the sore area of the body.

The greater the body surface area being heated up, the greater is the chance that you will cause your core body temperature to rise.

Don’t sleep with a heating pad – Always use the heating pad while you are awake and aware of the amount of time you have the heating pad on.  If you fall asleep while using a heating pad, you can cause an unnecessary rise in your core body temperature or could potentially burn your skin.

See your physician if you are having abdominal pain –  Rather than treat abdominal pain in pregnancy with a heating pad, seek the advice of your physician so that the cause of the pain can be determined.

Never put a heating pad directly on sore areas of the abdomen because that may cause overheating of the fetus and will be detrimental to fetal development.

Not only that but you may be using a home remedy on something that really needs a doctor’s intervention.

Use the heating pad to warm the bed instead of the skin – If what you are looking for is overall warmth to your body, place the heating pad in the bed for an hour or so before getting between the sheets.

That way your bed will be warm and will soak away your muscle aches and pains without overheating the body.  Be sure to remove the heating pad and shut it off before going to sleep.

Wrap up the heating pad –  Use a towel, wash cloth or other covering on the heating pad and place it between the heating pad and your skin.  That way you won’t burn your skin from excessive heat from the pad.

If the pain is in your back, use the heating pad to warm up a pillow.  Then remove the heating pad, turn it off, and rest your back on the warmth of the pillow.

—Again…Always consult your doctor before using a heating pad when pregnant.—