Heating pads is commonly used for getting relief from sore muscles or backache are perfectly safe. But are they safe to use during pregnancy?
Good news! According to health experts, generally using heating pad during pregnancy is safe, as long as it is not placed directly on the belly.
The major concern in this regard is that during pregnancy, it is necessary that your body be not exposed to too much of heat as it can raise your body temperature. This in turn can affect the development of your baby. That is why, doctors advise pregnant women not to soak in the hot water tub for long or take very hot baths as this can lead to birth defects or related complications during pregnancy [i].
Can Using A Heating Pad During Pregnancy Increase Your Body Temperature?
Health experts suggest that a pregnant woman should always try to maintain the core temperature of her body below 102.2° .
- If at all it goes beyond this temperature, it should be back to the normal temperature wit
- The heating pad is applied to body’s local area (on the skin) and usually does not affect the rise or fall of body’s temperature.
- Remember, if the heating pad is directly placed above the abdomen, it immediately passes on the heat to your baby and that can be dangerous – since the foetus resides just beneath the belly!
Heating Pad Alternatives:
Muscle aches, back pain, and abdominal pain are common during pregnancy. As you grow bigger, your reflexes and movement are restricted. That is why heating pads are sought after by pregnant women, as a pain relieving measure. But if you want to avoid any accidental risks, you can try using alternate options.
To get relief from back pain, try using back support or maternity belt.
- Soaking your body in a warm bath (not hot bath!), getting a good massage from a prenatal massage expert and using a body pillow while sleeping, are the other things you can try.
- From second trimester onwards, the weight of your baby starts increasing rapidly. Hence, standing for long period or sitting in one position for extended periods can put more pressure on your back and lower limbs. To be safe, keep on changing your position!
[ Read: Back Pain During Pregnancy ]
Aches and Leg Cramps:
Stretching exercises, if continued during pregnancy, can ensure that you do not suffer from leg cramps and aches as all your body areas get the relaxation and blood circulation that it needs iii.
- The stretches can be carried out using a towel. Check out videos for easy steps on Internet.
- You can also take help of your partner for gently stretching out your legs.
Other Pains and Aches:
Use ice for getting relief from several types of aches and pains that trouble you during pregnancy.
- Since pain killers or any kind of analgesic drugs is not recommended for pregnant women, using ice can be a good topical option of getting relief without worrying about the side effects of painkillers.
- Make sure the ice comes from drinkable water, from your home refrigerator!
When Should You Avoid Using Heating Pad?
Never use a heating pad to get relief from abdominal pain. Neither should you try other measures, as mostly abdominal pain during the pregnancy is associated with complications such as uterine rupture, placental problems or onset of labour.
Bottom line is that heating pads are safe to use during pregnancy, as long as you never place it directly on your belly. If you know of any other alternative use of heating pad during pregnancy, do share them with us!
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