Effects of cold water bath during pregnancy [Explained]

Verified by Edna Skopljak MD
Verified by Edna Skopljak MD

Edna Skopljak is a medical doctor and an editor at BJBMS medical journal. She graduated from the University of Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.

As a pregnant woman, you are likely familiar with the conflicting messages surrounding cold water baths.

Everyone has an opinion, from your midwife to your significant other! And while normal pregnancy shivers may be enough to scare away the most daring mom-to-be from dipping into a pool of cool or cold water, there could actually be several associated benefits!

In this blog post, we’ll look at the effects of cold water baths during pregnancy and if you can take ice baths during pregnancy. 

Effect of cold water bath during pregnancy

Cold baths during pregnancy can have many positive effects on the mother-to-be. Some of these are as follows:

Promotes better sleep

During the second and third trimesters, women often experience restless nights. Cold bath during pregnancy promotes mood boosters and helps you sleep better. They might also stimulate your immune system and decrease inflammation. 

It helps to deal with fatigue.

Taking a cold water shower can improve blood circulation and reduce muscle aches and pains. Cold baths also help deal with fatigue and swelling of feet, which is a common problem with many pregnant women.

It helps to stay cool.

During pregnancy, women feel hot flashes that can be worse in summer. And a cold water bath helps pregnant women stay cool and relieve stress.

Swimming in cold water while pregnant – Is it safe?

Swimming in cold water when you are pregnant is completely safe for you and your baby. There were some myths that swimming in cold water can cause infection in your developing baby, but that is not true.

Some recent research has shown that exposure to cold water has no link with causing infection in your fetus. Experts now believe and suggest that pregnant women should take cold water baths and swim in cold water to enjoy certain benefits.

Is it safe to take a cold shower at night while pregnant?

Yes, you can take a cold shower at night while pregnant, as long as you follow the below tips.

  • Start with lukewarm water and then lower the temperature gradually.
  • As cold water compresses your blood vessels, avoid standing for too long in one place. Changing positions or moving a little bit will help better blood circulation.
  • Drink plenty of fluids after a cold bath or shower to prevent dehydration.

Ice baths during pregnancy 

It is best to avoid ice baths during pregnancy because there isn’t enough scientific literature on the effects of ice baths during pregnancy. 

Furthermore, there most likely won’t be any research on this topic because of the ethical consequences of exposing pregnant women to ice baths. 

We know that exposure to very cold temperatures (ice baths) can cause vasoconstriction or narrowing of blood vessels, which can reduce blood flow to the uterus and potentially harm the developing fetus. 

Apart from that, the shock of the cold temperature can cause changes in heart rate and blood pressure, which can be dangerous for both the mother and the developing baby.

Keeping that in mind, we suggest avoiding ice baths during pregnancy unless your doctor recommends it. 

Are ice baths safe during pregnancy? 

You should avoid ice baths during pregnancy because there is insufficient scientific evidence on their effects. Exposure to freezing temperatures can cause vasoconstriction, reduce blood flow to the uterus, and potentially harm the developing fetus. But you can have a cold bath by following the steps mentioned in this article. 

Additionally, the shock of cold temperatures can cause changes in heart rate and blood pressure, which can be dangerous for both the mother and the developing baby. 

It is recommended to avoid ice baths during pregnancy unless recommended by a doctor.

Does cold water affect babies in the womb?

Cold water baths cannot affect the babies in the womb. The idea of hot showers in winter might sound appealing, but cold water baths can be more refreshing. They don’t affect pregnant women or their growing fetuses.

Conclusion

Taking a cold bath and shower in the morning or night is considered safe for pregnant women and their babies in the womb. You can also enjoy swimming in cold water after checking with your doctor.

Sources:

https://goodformama.com/blogs/news/cold-baths-and-showers-during-pregnancy

https://mommyscutie.com/is-it-ok-to-take-a-cold-shower-when-pregnant/

https://www.babycenter.in/x1049741/will-my-newborn-baby-catch-a-cold-if-i-have-a-bath-in-cold-water