Not only are hot water bottles a staple to survive the wintry season, they are also pretty indispensable for warding off aches and pains. But are they safe to use when you’re expecting?
The short answer is yes, water bottles are safe to use while pregnant. Midwife Anne Richley explains, “It’s best to use a cover so that you don’t get burnt but this advice applies whether you’re pregnant or not.”
The cardinal rules for using hot water bottles are:
- Ensuring your bottle has no splits or apparent wear and tear
- Closing the top securely before using
- Not using boiling water to fill the bottle as it could cause a split
- Not sitting or lying on the bottle
- Not using in conjunction with an electric blanket
The important thing to remember is that the womb offers great protection.
“You’d be amazed at how much protection you baby has inside your tummy, and there are several ‘layers’ between the hot water bottle and baby, so he won’t be affected,” says Anne.
What’s more, heat is incredibly therapeutic, particularly for the aches and pains that come standard with pregnancy. Hot water bottles can also provide relief for symphysis pubis dysfunction.
But that doesn’t mean all types of heat are healthy for baby; hot water bottles are an external heat source—anything that raises your internal body temperature is not advisable—like saunas and hot tubs.
“Heat during pregnancy is only an issue if your core temperature rises significantly,” explains Anne. “This wouldn’t happen with a hot water bottle. It’s more likely if you were unwell with a high temperature or if you soaked in an extremely hot bath.”