Are you allowed to use the sauna while pregnant? Which type of sauna in Florida is recommended for pregnant women, which one is particularly good for mother and child, and which one is not? What should pregnant women pay attention to in the sauna and what is the optimal sauna session for pregnant women? We answer these and many other questions in our guide.
A sauna bath ensures good blood circulation in the body and thus gets the circulation going. It has a positive effect on the immune system and has been shown to extend life expectancy. Especially in the damp, cold and dark season, many people around the world swear by the sauna because it brightens the mood. It is even said that a visit to the sauna leads to an extra portion of happiness hormones that our body releases. The Finns, known as the sauna nation, are one of the top places in the UN’s World Happiness Report. Is that because of your intensive sauna life? The number of sauna-goers is also growing in this country steadily, says the Deutsche Sauna Bund eV: According to this, 30 million Germans should go to the sauna more or less regularly. The figures show that the sauna is estimated: by 17 million men and 13 million women. But what about pregnant women whose bodies are doing something extraordinary?
Can pregnant women use the sauna?
There are different answers to this question in the international sauna world:
While in the USA they are more likely to be answered in the negative, mostly for hygienic reasons, Finns would answer with a resounding “yes”. In Scandinavia, the sauna was even used as a birthing room in the past because it was comparatively germ-free because of the high temperatures.
The German Saunabund eValso affirms the question of whether pregnant women are allowed to use the sauna: If you are expecting a baby, you are not ill and are therefore allowed to take a sauna, provided that certain rules of conduct are observed (see our sauna rules below!). Prof. Dr. med. Eberhard Conradi, the chairman of the German Sauna Association, emphasizes that the sauna-typical interplay of warmth and coolness stimulates blood circulation, which is a blessing for pregnant women: the baby, the expert continues, is getting bigger and heavier. This increases the pressure on the veins. Varicose veins and thrombosis could be the result. This can be prevented through regular sauna bathing. Often times, women who regularly use the sauna experience less discomfort during pregnancy. Sweating also prevents water retention in the tissue (so-called edema). The regular sauna relaxes and relaxes the muscles in the pelvic area as well. This in turn makes the birth easier and shorter, says the Saunabund, also referring to researchers from Finland.
Birgit Laue, midwife and author from Spalt, has a similar view. She tells the Aachener Zeitung that regular sauna visits activate the immune system and metabolism and prevent water retention. The muscles are also often more relaxed overall – an advantage during childbirth.
Visiting the sauna is only good for healthy pregnant women but the expert also says that this only applies to healthy people: pregnant women too.
Pregnant women with the following diseases must not visit sauna:
- Kidney disease,
- High blood pressure,
- and pronounced varicose veins
Important: Even in the case of a high-risk pregnancy, Laue clearly advises against exposing the mother and child to the additional stress of the sauna.
Sauna newbies should only visit the sauna after the 1st trimester of pregnancy
She advises pregnant women to wait through the first trimester of pregnancy before going to the sauna. According to Laue, this applies to regular sauna-goers and especially to newcomers.
In the newspaper report, the midwife justified her recommendation of a “heat break” during the first three months of pregnancy with the fact that the high temperatures in the sauna (like the UV rays in a solarium, by the way) are suspected of increasing the breakdown of folic acid, the risk of neural tube defects (so-called “Open back”) in the child.
Birgit Laue also told the newspaper that the higher the maternal core temperature, the greater the risk of miscarriage or premature labor. However, health problems can only be expected from temperatures inside the body of well over 40 degrees Celsius, says Rolf-A. Pieper, managing director of the German Sauna Association from Bielefeld. According to him, such high core temperatures are not reached with regular sauna bathing. According to the recommendations of the Sauna bath, the time spent in the sauna room is simply far too short. The body can only reach temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius with a self-made fever.
The midwife Birgit Laue also points out in the linked article that many pregnant women suffer from circulatory problems in the first few months, which leads to dizziness in the heat of the sauna, which in turn increases the risk of falling.
She, therefore, comes to the conclusion that a visit to the sauna after the 12th week of pregnancy and with a normal pregnancy is okay because the child’s organ formation is then complete and the mother’s circulation is stable.
You can visit the sauna until shortly before the delivery
Basically, pregnant women can enjoy the sauna until shortly before giving birth. It should be noted that the high temperatures and certain ingredients in the sauna infusions can trigger contractions. If you are living in Florida or come to Florida for a vacation or work, we recommend you to visit Caribbean Mystique Spa and experience the phenomenal ambiance and services there.