Is It OK To Take A Cold Shower When Pregnant? – Safety, Benefits & Risks

Is It OK To Take A Cold Shower When Pregnant?

Pregnancy is the time when you become extra careful on your health and wellbeing. You want to do everything you can to keep your baby safe and healthy during this time. Therefore, it makes sense that you are concerned with everything you do, and how that affects your baby.

No matter if it’s summertime, after a workout or you’re just craving cold water, a cold shower feels definitely refreshing. But you may have asked yourself: is it ok to take a cold shower when pregnant?

In this article, I am going to explore the safety, benefits and risks of cold baths and cold showers during pregnancy, so you can easily decide what’s best for you and your unborn child.

This article is not a substitute for medical advice or consultation.

Can I Have A Cold Shower While Pregnant?

Although there are many debates out there, in most cases, the answer is yes. A cold shower during pregnancy is allowed as long as you follow some safety precautions1.

First, don’t start your shower with ice cold water. Let your body slowly get used to the cold temperature. You can start with lukewarm water and gradually lower the temperature until you feel comfortable. This is a good way to adapt to cold temperatures without shocking your body.

Second, try to keep your cold shower short during pregnancy. If you’ve started with lukewarm water, a cold shower during pregnancy is not preferred for more than 3-5 minutes.

If you usually finish your hot showers with cold water, that is fine as long as the water is not ice cold, and it should not be more than 30 seconds. This helps improve blood circulation and is very refreshing in hot days.

Next, cold water constricts blood vessels, so it’s a good idea to avoid standing in one place very long. You can try moving a bit or shift positions. This is a good way to keep blood flow and avoid feeling lightheaded or dizzy, or fainting.

PRO TIP: Whether you like taking cold or hot water showers during pregnancy, make sure to use a natural body wash that is safe for pregnant women (and free from harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin or even harm your developing baby!). After showering apply a pregnancy-safe moisturising body lotion for extra nourishment and pampering.

Last but not least, drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Pregnant women have an increased blood volume and are more prone to dehydration. Make sure to drink enough water and other fresh juices.

What Are The Effects Of Cold Water Bath/ Shower During Pregnancy?

A cold shower has many health benefits in adults2. This is also true for pregnant women, if followed with the necessary precautions I mentioned earlier.

What Are The Effects Of Cold Water Bath/ Shower During Pregnancy

Benefits Of Cold Showers

Among others, a cold shower promotes cardiovascular health, boosts your energy levels, can help with morning sickness and is a great way to stay cool in those hot summer months.

Let me explain in detail these benefits of cold water3:

  • Cardiovascular Health

When you take a cold shower, blood vessels in your skin compress, which makes more blood go to your internal organs and this helps with better blood circulation.

However, if you have problems with high blood pressure or other related heart problems, please consult your doctor before you take a cold shower.

  • Boosts Your Energy Levels And Immune System

Cold water exposure speeds up your metabolism and you will see an immediate increase in your energy and overall mood.

One of the main benefits of cold showering is that it’s a coffee alternative that makes you feeling awake. It also helps improve your immune system.

  • Can Help With Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is many times related to a higher core temperature, so taking a cold shower during pregnancy will help ease that feeling of sickness.

  • Soothes Itchy Skin

All pregnant women have almost certainly experienced this. Taking a cold shower reduces skin inflammation and will help sooth itchy skin. Plus, your hair will look glossier and more beautiful.

  • Relieves Muscle Pain And Swelling

It is normal to feel tired during pregnancy. You may have sore muscles, especially in the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy.

Cold water can help alleviate muscle aches and pain, as well as reduce swelling. Ice packs can also be useful.

  • Promotes Better Sleep

A cool shower will boost your mood and will help you relax. Cold water lowers cortisol levels, so this makes you less stressed and helps you sleep faster and get better sleep.

  • Help You Stay Cool

If you’re already in third trimester, your bump may be quite heavy. Additionally if it’s summer, you may sweat even more.

With cold (but not freezing!) showers you can stay cool and refresh yourself after all that sweating.

Can I Have A Cold Shower During Pregnancy

Cold Showers During Pregnancy – Risks

There are a few disadvantages when it comes to cold showers during pregnancy, especially if you overdo it:

  • If you suffer from hypertension, preeclampsia, eclampsia, or heart rhythm problems, a cold shower or bath is not advised without your doctor’s permission.
  • If you suffer from Raynaud’s4, asthma or other respiratory disease, it is better to avoid taking a cold shower during pregnancy as it can worsen symptoms.
  • In general, avoid taking a cold shower too frequently or for too long, as it may increase the risk for hypothermia, especially if you live in colder environments.

Does Cold Water Affect Baby In The Womb?

Cold water does not directly affect the baby in the womb. However, sudden temperature changes can cause discomfort, that’s why it’s important to follow the precautions I explained earlier.

Taking ice cold baths can reduce blood flow to the uterus, and slow down blood circulation to the baby.

Additionally, this extreme water temperature can trigger contractions in the third trimester and potentially lead to preterm labor. Ice baths or very cold baths are therefore not allowed in pregnant women.

Staying Cool During Pregnancy – FAQ

Considering a cold water shower challenge? Cold water swimming? Are you craving cold water? Let me answer those questions.

Can I Swim In Cold Water While Pregnant?

It is best advised not to swim in cold water while pregnant. Body heat is lost rapidly when swimming in cold water, and temperature regulation system is less effective in pregnancy.

Combined, this can lead to hypothermia which can cause serious health problems for you and your baby.

Are Ice Bath Safe While Pregnant?

Taking a cold bath or shower is safe, but ice baths are not. Ice baths can reduce blood flow to the womb, which can be harmful for your baby.

Furthermore, ice baths can trigger contractions and lead to premature labor. Ice baths can also cause hypothermia, and therefore, should be avoided.

Why Do I Crave Cold Water During Pregnancy

Why Do I Crave Cold Water During Pregnancy?

Because of hormones, you will also experience a rise in your body temperature, and that’s more than normal. This can be a reason why you crave a cold bath so much during pregnancy.

If you crave cold water in form of ice, that can be a sign of other health problems5, such as iron deficiency anemia.

Why Is Cold Water Sometimes Not Good For A Pregnant Woman?

There are many cases when cold water is not good for a pregnant woman and should be avoided.

Most importantly, if you have a medical condition such as hypertension or heart arrhythmias, you should not have a cold water bath or shower without consulting your doctor.

Other medical conditions such as asthma and Raynaud’s disease need to be discussed with your doctor, before you can have a cold water shower.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.


About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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