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Did you know that an increase in core body temperature has been associated with an increase for birth defects. This is the reason Obgyns advise women to hot showers and excessive heat, such as jacuzzis, hot baths and saunas. On the other hand, taking a hot shower when pregnant doesn't result in an increased core body temperature; of course if the shower is not excessively hot or long. Long and steamy showers, not to mention saunas, might seem relaxing when your body is going through changes during first trimester of pregnancy. The fact is that this type of relaxation raises your body temperature above 38.9 Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) which is proved to be is in strong connection with neural tube defects and dehydration later in pregnancy.

The baby is very sensitive to changes in maternal blood pressure. When maternal blood pressure drops, which is the case when body overheats, there's less blood supply to the uterus, the placenta, and of course to the baby. This is the main reason studies have proved a link between neural tube defects and the use of saunas and hot tubs.

Heat can be very dangerous for a pregnant woman; and overheating and dehydration can lead to several dangerous reactions such as:

Fainting Cramps; often in legs; Heat exhaustion (which includes symptoms such as weakness, thirst, blurred vision, confusion and irritability) Heat stroke, life threatening emergency.

For a pregnant woman it is essential to limit activities such as that raise body temperature. These activities include:

Saunas and Jacuzzis Taking hot and long showers Becoming overheated either due to over exercising or/and because of hot weather

Instead using hot tub or sauna, I recommend taking a dip in a cool or warm pool. Hot shower as long as it is a short one, won t harm you, but try to follow your body's cues that you're showering. The same is when enjoying outdoors: be careful not to get overheated when exercising and make sure to drink enough water and take a break from whatever you re doing if you are feeling overheated. Additional advise to all women who are going through hot-weather pregnancy is to choose maternity clothes that have as little spandex or nylon and as much natural fiber as possible. The problem is that most maternity clothes have spandex or some other similar stretchy fabric, but the problem with them is that they are hot they do not breathe. Also, instead black or navy color, use lighter tones, perhaps something in pastels or earthy tones, or maybe something white?

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