Is It Safe for Pregnant Women to Use a Heating Pad?

For pregnant women, a heating pad can be used to eliminate complaints and pain in the back. Usually, aches and pains accompany the age of pregnancy. During pregnancy, almost every mom will experience some discomfort such as back pain.

Pregnant Women Using a Heating Pad

Read also: Best Pregnancy Pillows for Back, Stomach and Side Sleepers

During pregnancy, moms may experience back and pelvic pain for the following reasons:

During pregnancy, your body prepares for childbirth with the release of hormones that help ligaments soften and joints loosen. As a result, your back may not be supported well. Of course, it can become uncomfortable or can be painful.

  • Shifting the center of gravity

When the uterus expands to accommodate the growing child, moms’ center of gravity will change. And, posture may follow suit.

  • Weight gain during pregnancy

Mom’s back has more weight to support as the numbers on the scale tick upwards.

A heating pad will provide relief when everything is sore and painful. However, what if you are pregnant? Need to know that when you are pregnant, you are advised to avoid prolonged exposure to hot tubs and saunas during pregnancy. An increase in core body temperature will be able to increase the risk of birth defects and miscarriage.

Is It Safe to Use a Heating Pad During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, obstetricians and midwife will routinely tell you to be careful using hot tubs. Thus, it is understandable if you want to look for other alternatives such as a heating pad. Particularly in the third trimester when the ligaments shift and the weight of the uterus increases, many pregnant women who experience back and abdominal pain. So, is it safe to use a heating pad during pregnancy?

1. Can Relieve Pain

During pregnancy, pregnant women can safely use a heating pad to ease the pain. In fact, a heating pad is considered better than painkillers. According to a study from the University of New Mexico Hospital, a heating pad can alleviate pain and discomfort, and muscle cramps.

2. Increases Blood Flow

The heat from the heating pad can penetrate the muscle tissue and open the blood vessels. Thus, it can increase blood flow and bring fresh oxygen and nutrient supply to the muscles, and reduce joint pain and soreness.

Recent studies have directly tested the safety of heating pads during pregnancy, they are unlikely to increase core body temperature. Also, a 2013 study by the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, concluded that combining some treatments at once, such as aerobic exercise, heating pads, and chiropractic care, is effective for pain relief.

Apparently, the study did not record any adverse outcomes associated with the heating pads.

Here is how to minimize the potential risks of using heating pads for pregnant women:

  • Limit the use of heating pads in the first trimester because this may be the riskiest time for raising body temperature.
  • If using a heating pad makes you feel too hot, overheated, or causes sweating, stop using it.
  • Use the heating pad for 10 minutes or less.
  • Stop using the heating pad if the baby’s behavior changes, such as up or down movements,
  • Avoid using multiple heat sources. For example, do not use a hairdryer and a heating pad at the same time because it is harder to control the heat and makes it harder for the body to cool down.
  • Avoid using hot tubs, saunas, or hot showers for pain relief.
  • If you experience bleeding or leaking amniotic fluid, you do not use a heating pad unless you have permission from your obstetrician.

It is okay to use a heating pad to relieve pregnancy-related aches and pains in your back, hips, and joints. But avoid using it for more than 20 minutes. Also, avoid using a heating pad on your belly. You must watch out for warning signs of problems, although it is normal to experience some abdominal discomfort. If you have any questions or concerns about using a heating pad during pregnancy, please contact your obstetrician and midwife.

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