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Using a Heating Pad While Pregnant – Safety Tips

Heating pads in pregnancy

Using a heating pad while pregnant is considered safe, and it offers a safe alternative to having to take medications to deal with every day pregnancy aches and pains.

Heating pads are wonderful for treating achy backs, leg cramps, and achy joints and muscles in pregnancy. You can also ease your pain by taking a hot – but not too hot – bath with epsom salts.

An epsom salt bath is also perfectly safe for pregnant women. But just make sure that the water is not too hot.

Safety Tips for Using a Heating Pad During Pregnancy

When using a heating pad while pregnant, there are a few safety precautions you’ll want to pay attention to:

  • Use the lowest heat setting on the heating pad. Try to avoid the highest heat setting. You do not want to get overheated.
  • Don’t use the heating pad for a prolonged period of time. The 20 minute automatic timer that is set on many heating pads should be sufficient.
  • Apply the heating pad to a localized area – such as your lower back.
  • Do put the heating pad directly on your stomach, because this can be potentially dangerous to your baby.
  • Don’t treat any stomach or abdominal pain with a heating pad. Any abdominal pain or discomfort could be a sign of something serious – so you will want to report these discomforts to your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Avoid using the heating pad while you are sleeping. You could easily get too hot and not realize it.

Using a heating pads while pregnant is  generally safe, because it does not raise your core body temperature when you use it for limited time periods.

For example, pregnant women are advised to avoid hot tubs because they can increase your body temperature very quickly. The American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the March of Dimes recommend that you keep your core body temperature below 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

As long as you pay attention that you do not get too hot or overheated while using a heating pad during pregnancy, you should be fine. Always use common sense when you are using a heating pad. Improper use could lead to problems.

About the author: DP Nguyen is founder and editor of Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies. She’s an expert pregnancy and women’s health blogger. She is NOT a medical doctor and does NOT offer medical advice. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

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