Especially if you are feeling achy and sore during your pregnancy, you’re probably looking for relief. While a sauna might seem like a good option for relaxation, the elevated temperatures and intense heat could be extremely detrimental to your developing baby.

A recent study shows that elevated body temperatures during pregnancy that exceed 101 degrees Fahrenheit put the baby at risk for epilepsy. Even getting a high fever during your pregnancy could put your baby at risk. Also called hyperthermia, the elevated body temperature is most harmful around week four, and will remain so up until week fourteen. This is because the high temperature hinders certain stages of your baby’s development.

If you’re having trouble relaxing during your pregnancy, skip the sauna and try some other, safer ways to relax. If you enjoy the heat, try taking a warm bath. However, Jacuzzis and hot tubs should be avoided at all costs, as they too can bring on the harmful effects of hyperthermia. You could also try getting a hot stone massage to relax and relieve some of the aches and pains of your pregnancy. Practicing breathing exercises is another excellent way to relax, and it can simultaneously help you prepare for labor. Pregnancy can be stressful, so there is no harm in seeking natural methods of relaxation to help you manage. You should also be upfront with your significant other if you are feeling too stressed. Your partner might not even realize how you are feeling unless you tell them, and doing so might cause them to leap into action and help out around the house a little more. Your pregnancy can be the perfect excuse to ask for back rubs and massages from your partner.

If the aches and pains are really getting to you, speak with your doctor about medications you can take for relief. There are many safe options available, and getting them is as easy as knowing which to look for. If you get a fever during your pregnancy, you should seek medical attention right away. In addition to the elevated temperatures having a negative effect, it could be a sign of a more serious infection, and letting it get out of hand could be fatal to you or your baby. When you are pregnant, keeping your body temperature regulated is a good way to keep your baby safe, so doing so should be a priority.

Source: Yuelian Sun et al: Prenatal Exposure To Elevated Maternal Body Temperature And Risk Of Epilepsy In Childhood. Pediatric and Perinatal Epidimiology Volume 25 Issue 1 pp. 53-59 January 2011

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